Home » Strategic Sectors » Agri-Food


The agri-food sector includes crop and seed research and development, manufacturing and processing components, specialty crops, livestock production, geomatics and nutraceuticals, and a significant farm machinery component.

Winnipeg’s agri-food sector enjoys a global leadership position, especially in the areas of grain trading and marketing, manufacturing and technology.

The city is the headquarters of Canada’s grain industry and home to agri-business leaders serving world markets. Unbeatable industry integration and synergy have been created in this sector, which includes companies in commodities transportation, marketing, manufacturing, food processing, information technology, and industry support organizations such as regulatory agencies, training schools, and consulting engineers.

Winnipeg is home to most of Canada’s major grain companies, including Cargill Limited and James Richardson International. The Canadian Grain Commission and the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) are also located here. The CWB is the marketing board for western Canadian wheat and barley growers. With annual revenues of $4 to $6 billion annually, it is one of Canada’s largest export firms and one of the world’s largest grain marketing organizations.

Processed food and beverages accounts for annual shipments of approximately $3.3 billion. Principal manufacturing shipments include: meat products(primarily pork), dairy, flour and feed, poultry, other processed food and beverages.

A comprehensive network of public and private R&D facilities supports the industry. The sector, which employs approximately 8,500 people, represents over one-quarter of provincial manufacturing shipments. Goods are shipped across Canada and to more than 100 countries, including the US, Australia, Latin America, China, the Middle East, Europe and Mexico.

The food processing industry benefits from low cost, high-quality raw materials (agricultural products), a stable workforce, and the lowest energy costs in North America.

Annual agri-industrial manufacturing shipments exceed $1 billion. The industry employs an estimated 5,800 people.

Areas of expertise include:

  • crop production equipment: tractors, swathers (windrowers), seeding and spraying equipment, front-end loaders, etc.
  • components: castings, electronics, hydraulic cylinders, precision machining, composites, etc.
  • precision instrumentation, controls, monitors
  • grain handling, storage and processing technology
  • animal production technology
  • related professional services and expertise
  • principal manufacturing including: meat products, dairy, flour and feed, poultry, other processed food and beverages.

Major agri-business companies located in Winnipeg include:

  • James Richardson International
  • Cargill Limited
  • Buhler Manufacturing
  • MacDon Industries Ltd.
  • Canadian Tool and Die Ltd.
  • Canadian International Grains Institute
  • Agri-Tec International Inc.
  • Peak of the Market

Winnipeg’s competitive strengths:

  • clustering of diverse agri-business industry capabilities
  • export of agricultural technologies and capabilities
  • low factor costs
  • highly productive agricultural resource
  • variety of raw materials supply
  • research and development infrastructure

Related links:

  • Canadian Grain Commission
  • Canadian Wheat Board (CWB)
  • Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals
Source: Manitoba Competitiveness, Training and Trade