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Labour Market

As new production, processing and distribution systems are established, it will be important to ensure that people are available with the skills and experience to work in those new and rewarding jobs. Here are some of the factors that impact the labour market.

  • The 2008-09 global economic crisis took its toll on Southwestern Ontario and recovery has been slow.
  • The modern global industrial food system has been efficient at producing an abundant supply of “cheap food”, allowing Canadians to enjoy the second lowest food costs (9.9% of total consumer expenditures).
  • Net farm income continues to decrease.
  • There is a demographic shift towards a retiring aging population.
  • Population is migrating from rural areas to urban areas. In 1900 the ratio was 50/50. Now it is 15/85.
  • Siblings from agriculture families are moving to urban areas for work.
  • The number of students enrolling in agriculture programs is declining.
  • People do not want to work in the food industry because it is low paying.
  • People do not choose agriculture because it has the reputation of being low tech, hard work.

The reality is that agriculture depends on sophisticated technology to increase the value and quality of farm outputs; and that consumers are looking for innovative, new niche food products produced in a sustainable way.

Now is the time to attract creative, tech savvy, young food entrepreneurs to the rewarding career in agriculture and food production.