Key Industries


For over 140 years, Winnipeg has served as the gateway to Western Canada and a hub for agricultural activities of all kinds. The centre of Canada is the world leader in commodities trading, health & functional food research and innovation, value-add food processing, advanced crop research and precision agriculture. Prairie headquarters and agribusinesses make Winnipeg a global agricultural powerhouse and a compelling choice for investment.

While commodity markets like grain and livestock are substantially mature, extraordinary potential for growth exists with functional foods, bio-composites and biofuels. R&D efforts are fertilizing innovative new products for the agri-food and fibre industries, for value-added food processing firms, for manufacturing and technology companies, and for life sciences and biotech industries.

From seed to harvest, agribusiness grows faster in Winnipeg.

Vital Stats

Winnipeg’s agribusiness sector is divided into two main industry categories: agricultural production and food manufacturing. Within the agricultural production industry, farm cash receipts for Manitoba were $5.9 billion in 2016, including $2.1 billion in livestock receipts and $3.6 billion in crop receipts. The food manufacturing sector in Manitoba earned $4.1 billion in revenues in 2016.

Winnipeg’s agribusiness sector offers a diverse set of opportunities for value-added food manufacturing. Food manufacturers in Manitoba benefit from low factor costs and excellent multi-modal distribution networks that efficiently transport products to markets across North America and beyond.

Cutting-edge research by an impressive network of world-class talent and food development entities has strengthened Winnipeg’s position as a leader in the industry. While the Ag community is proud of its past and current global impact it is also full of forward thinkers who embark on new opportunities including machine learning and artificial intelligence to create the most advanced agricultural economy in the world.

Fast Facts

  • The agribusiness sector in Manitoba earned revenues of $10.1 billion in 2016.
  • The food manufacturing sector in Manitoba has a strong export focus, with exports of $6.7 billion in 2017.
  • In 2016, Manitoba accounted for approximately 10 percent of Canada’s farm cash receipts.
  • Did you know canola was developed in Winnipeg at the University of Manitoba?
  • As of 2016, the food processing industry in Manitoba is composed of 218 food and beverage manufacturers, with about 184 of them in the Winnipeg CMA.
  • Established in 1857, Winnipeg-based James Richardson & Sons is now one of the largest private companies in Canada, with annual revenues exceeding $10 billion
  • 10 world-recognized major food development and research centres are based in Winnipeg and the surrounding area.

  • 10,300

    Workers in food processing industry

  • $10.1B

    Agribusiness sector revenues, 2016

  • $2.3B

    Food manufacturing exports, 2016

  • 4.55%

    Food processing industry revenue increase CAGR, 1992-2016

Source: Statistics Canada (2016) | All infographic statistics refer to Manitoba

Note: CAGR = Compound Annual Growth Rate

YES! Winnipeg Investors

Great-West Lifeco

Great-West Lifeco Great-West Lifeco

Winnipeg-based Great-West Lifeco and its subsidiaries have over $1.2 trillion in assets worldwide. The company employs 3,000 people in Manitoba.

Economic Development Winnipeg

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