Vista on the Agri-Food Industry and the Farm Community

The Canadian Bioproducts Industry, 2003 and 2006

The Canadian Bioproducts Industry, 2003 and 2006

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By David Sparling, University of Guelph; Pamely Laughland, The University of Western Ontario and Verna Mitura, Statistics Canada


Canadian firms are developing and producing industrial and consumer products including fuels, plastics, chemicals, fibres and other materials from biomass. Canada's abundance of biomass, especially from agriculture, forestry, and marine sources, provides a strong base for the bioproducts industry (BioProducts Canada, 2004). These bioproducts hold promise for improved environmental sustainability, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, economic growth and global competitiveness. Their production creates a market for primary and waste agricultural biomass and may benefit rural economies through localised production and manufacturing (BIOCAP Canada, 2004; Steufen, 2005; Urbanchuck, 2006; Sparling and Laughland, 2006). The development of bioproducts in Canada offers opportunities for the agricultural industry to participate in newly developing (and potentially lucrative) markets.

This study is a comparative analysis based on data from the Bioproducts Development Survey (2003) and the Bioproducts Development and Production Survey (2006), conducted by Statistics Canada and sponsored by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. These surveys provide an opportunity to assess how Canada's bioproduct industry has evolved in what could be termed its formative years. This study examines the current state of the domestic industry, changes occurring over the period, and implications for agriculture.

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