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Why Canada's farm industry is ripe for change

Wells, Jennifer
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/migrants/2017/10/06/why-canadas-farm-industry-is-ripe-for-change-wells.html

Publisher:  Toronto Star
Date Written:  06/10/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article

Ottawa is touting agri-food as an area where Canada's economy can grow globally -- and temporary foreign workers have a key role to play.

Abstract: 
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Excerpt:

In the federal government's long-term vision for the economy, "agri-food" has been championed as a vector for global growth. Taking a sector approach, the government's economic advisory council, led by McKinsey's Dominic Barton, has targeted key areas -- health care; advanced manufacturing -- with agriculture highlighted as an obvious agent of the country's "endowment" properties. The country's vast natural attributes -- clean water, arable land -- should theoretically play well on the world stage, especially looking to such export opportunities as fast-growing Asian economies.

"Fast growing" doesn't quite capture it. In February, the Brookings Institute forecast that the global middle class will explode by 160 million people per year on average through 2030. "We are witnessing the most rapid expansion of the middle class, at a global level, that the world has ever seen," writes Brookings deputy director Homi Kharas. Close to 90 per cent of that growth will emerge in Asia, particularly India, with a projected 380 million newly arrived middle class consumers, and China, with 350 million.

Top of mind for the newly affluent global consumer will be safe, sustainable, traceable, nutritious food, and the bet is that these newly arrived customers will be willing to pay a premium for product that delivers all of those attributes. Kharas calculates that by 2030, the growth in middle class consumption could total a $29-trillion (U.S.) increase from 2015. By 2020, he predicts, China will outpace the U.S. as the world's top country for middle-class consumption.

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