Food Processing Skills Canada’s Latest Labour Market Information Study Reveals Serious Workforce Gap for Industry

11 June 2019

OTTAWA, June 11, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Results from a 2019 labour market information study being completed by Food Processing Skills Canada (FPSC) has quantified the major gap in employment for the food and beverage manufacturing sector between 2018 and 2025.

This latest study, which builds on the 2011 published report, Who is Processing Your Food? Food & Beverage Labour Market Information is providing fresh insight into a significant and quickly approaching workforce challenge for businesses.

Based on the 2018 Agri-food Strategy Table report that challenges industry to grow at 3.5% per year to achieve export sales of $85 billion in 2025, FPSC estimates the food and beverage processing industry will need to hire almost 65,000 new employees – 21,000 for industry growth and 44,000 for replacing workers due to retirement – to meet the target. Given that the workforce in 2017 was composed of just over 265,000 people, this new hiring demand represents 24.3% of employment.

“Initial numbers from the 2019 labour market research analysis are concerning,” said Mike Timani, Food Processing Skills Canada chair & president, Fancy Pokket. “The industry is already struggling with recruitment and retention of qualified employees making it difficult for businesses to grow and meet consumer demand for Canadian products.”

The Agri-food Strategy Table report target of $85 billion in exports by 2025 is ambitious in that it requires 17,000 more workers than the 48,000 needed for the current rate of industry growth to reach $70 billion in exports by 2025. Of interest, two recent labour market reports published by FPSC – Securing Canada’s Meat Workforce and Securing Atlantic Canada’s Fish + Seafood Workforce – have indicated that 50% of the employees required to maintain the current pace of industry growth will be in these sectors.

“FPSC is an important part of the food and beverage workforce solution by offering programs, resources and training tools to employers, employees and people planning a career in the industry. With our partners, we can successfully address barriers to industry growth and career development for Canadians,” said Jennefer Griffith, Executive Director, Food Processing Skills Canada.

FPSC is committed to assisting food and beverage businesses across Canada in forecasting and planning for their workforce demands with accurate and up to date labour market information. The organization’s latest labour market information report on the Canadian food and beverage manufacturing industry will be released September 2019.

FPSC is an active participant in the Government of Canada’s Food Processing Industry Roundtable addressing the labour challenge with colleague organizations and companies across the country.

About Food Processing Skills Canada
Food Processing Skills Canada is the skills and workforce development organization for food and beverage manufacturers in Canada and around the globe. As a non-profit organization, Food Processing Skills Canada collaborates with governments, industry stakeholders, provincial associations and educators to support food and beverage manufacturers in human resources and workforce development. Flagship programs include Succeeding at Work, Food Skills Library, Food Processors’ Institute and the Food Safety Management Training Program for Newcomers. To learn more visit Food Processing Skills Canada.

About FPSC’s Labour Market Information Initiatives
To identify the scope of human resource challenges for Canadian food processing sectors and to identify best practices which will help employers meet their labour force needs, Food Processing Skills Canada’s has committed to a series of labour market information reports accessible here.

Food Processing Skills Canada has received generous support from the food and beverage processing industry and Employment and Social Development Canada.


Jennefer Griffith
Executive Director
Food Processing Skills Canada

A PDF accompanying this announcement is available at