Fast Facts

Fast facts about Canada’s agriculture and agri-food industry

Agriculture is a big part of Canada’s economy.

In 2017, primary agriculture contributed $62 billion in total sales to the Canadian economy, and Canada’s agriculture and agri-food system accounted for:

  • 2.3 million jobs in Canada – 1 in 8 jobs!
  • $112 billion in product sales
  • 6.7% of the GDP

But the agriculture sector faces big labour challenges:

  • 16,500 jobs could not be filled in 2017
  • 47% of agricultural producers could not find enough workers, causing stress, production delays, lost sales, and delays or cancellations for farm expansions or upgrades.
  • 34% of employers reported that no Canadians applied for jobs on their farms
  • $2.9 billion in sales were lost because jobs went unfilled

Those labour challenges will get worse in the future:

  • Older workforce: 4X as many workers aged 65+ 
  • 1 in 4 workers retiring by 2025
  • 200,000 fewer young people entering agriculture by 2025