Saskatchewan is home to more than 40 per cent of Canada’s cultivated farmland, creating significant opportunities within our agri-food sector. As the fastest growing value-added sector in Canada, Saskatchewan’s value-added industry has grown to $5 billion in annual sales, an increase of over a 30 per cent from 2012-2017. This sector now includes more than 300 processors and over 5,000 employees.
The importance of agriculture value-added
- A strong and vibrant value-added sector helps diversify Saskatchewan’s economy, contributes to gross domestic product (GDP), creates jobs and attracts additional investment.
- A diverse sector creates more domestic markets for Saskatchewan’s agricultural commodities, reducing the price volatility that producers face and the constraints on our rail, roads and air transportation systems.
- Value-added capitalizes on the diversity of crops that can be grown, such as oilseeds, pulses, cereals, mustard, spices and horticulture crops from which a wide range of proteins, fibres, starches, sugars and antioxidants can be obtained.
- Value-added can continue to capitalize on sector trends fuelled by changes in consumer preferences such as the demand for micro-brewing and distilling, plant based protein, as well as emerging industries like cannabis.
Opportunities in food, crop and beverage processing
Saskatchewan ingredients are the base of, or are included in many household and food products. From culinary cooking oils and shampoos made from canola, to pasta and flour products made from pulses, Saskatchewan ingredients can be found in products around the world.
Other common products include: nutritional beverages and soy and egg replacement ingredients (oats), pastry products and alcoholic beverages (wheat), paint binders (flax), ethanol fuel and cosmetic products (barley), beef, pork and chicken processing (livestock) and pharmaceuticals (cannabis).
Saskatchewan also has a diverse specialty agricultural sector that includes the production of wild rice, mustard for spreads and canary seed for commercial bird seed and human consumption.