Food & Beverage Innovation Centre
The food and beverage industry is an important part of Toronto’s economy. Almost half of all the food manufacturing in Ontario is done here. In Toronto it is a $17 billion a year industry. Within the City of Toronto there are 494 food and beverage manufacturing establishments. There are approximately 27,700 City of Toronto residents employed in the Food and Beverage manufacturing sector.
As well, the food and beverage processing industry is more recession resistant than other major manufacturing sectors.
As the City of Toronto’s representative to the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance, Councillor Fragedakis heard a report by the Association of Ontario Food Processors paper on the Food and Beverage industry titled ‘The New Engine of Ontario’s Economy ‘.
You can find the report online here. The report’s number one recommendation is to Establish a Food and Beverage Innovation Centre dedicated to food and beverage processing, innovation, business development and incubation. Some key reasons cited for that include:
- Major ongoing shift in consumer preferences: Consumers increasingly turning to healthier food and beverage options.
- Changing demographics: Growing and ethnically diverse populations in Toronto, across Ontario and in other markets have generated substantial interest in innovative food products.
So, Councillor Fragedakis has a motion that will be before the Economic Development Committee on January 20th for City staff to look into hosting that Innovation Centre in Toronto.