Agri-Food Transformation

Greater Montréal is home to a world-class agrifood industry specializing in food and beverage processing and distribution. This sector accounts for close to 45,100 jobs. The Montréal area also has over a dozen public and parapublic agrifood research centres.

At a Glance

  • GDP of $4.4B
  • 45,100 jobs
  • 1,235 facilities
  • $16.7B in sales


  • Educational institutions that produce a skilled and versatile workforce
  • More than 3,600 students registered in biochemistry, chemistry, chemical engineering, and food science and technology university programs
  • Over 800 university graduates from programs that are strategic to the sector


Greater Montréal and the surrounding area are home to over a dozen public and parapublic agrifood processing research centres. Most are located in the town of Saint-Hyacinthe, a business hub 45 minutes from Montréal. The main centres are:


The provincial and federal governments offer numerous tax incentives to agrifood companies, including R&D tax credits of up to 15% from the federal government and 17.5% from the Québec government (refundable in Québec).

In addition to R&D tax credits, there are numerous other tax and financial incentives available to businesses. Contact us to find out whether you are eligible for one of the following programs:

  • NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program
  • Tax holidays for foreign researchers and experts
  • Financial assistance for job creation and training
  • Tax credit for the acquisition of manufacturing and processing equipment
  • ESSOR Program – Feasibility study of an investment project
  • ESSOR Program – Support for investment projects


According to KPMG (2013), Greater Montréal is ranked third among the top 20 most populated metropolitan areas of North America in terms of competitive operating costs (e.g., labour, industrial space and office rentals, energy) in the food processing sector.

Major Leaders

  • Ultima Foods
  • Barry Gallebaut
  • Danone Canada
  • Lassonde Industries
  • Kraft Canada
  • Labatt
  • Molson
  • Nestlé
  • Parmalat
  • Saputo

Sources: KPMG, 2013; Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation, 2012; Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport, 2013

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