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The Business Development Branch at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) acknowledges all those individuals who worked on putting this resource together, both in the Ontario Public Service and in the food manufacturing sector in Ontario. There are too many to mention here however their dedication, hard work and commitment are greatly appreciated.


This resource is provided as a public service. Although we endeavor to ensure that the information is as current and accurate as possible, errors do occasionally occur. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information. Readers should, where possible, verify the information before acting on it.


Congratulations on being part of Ontario’s food processing sector. Food processing is Canada’s largest sector and employs over 100,000 people across in Ontario.

This guide is one of many resources that OMAFRA offers individuals and businesses starting or growing a food processing business. If you are new to food processing in Ontario, you may find it useful to bookmark or save this document to favourites. If you have an established food processing business, you may find several specific topics in this guide helpful.

The guide reflects the advice, knowledge and experience of many successful food sector entrepreneurs and business development experts. In a previous edition of this document, OMAFRA partnered with the Province of Nova Scotia to produce this guide.

Whether you are new to the food industry and starting a new business, or are considering expanding your existing operation, you will find information and easy-to-follow tools and templates to help you:

  • plan for your food processing business’s start-up and ongoing success
  • navigate the regulatory requirements of starting and operating a food processing business
  • take your product from concept to market
  • set your product’s price
  • find and sell to customers
  • learn about the programs, services and resources that are available to food processing businesses in Ontario

The staff at OMAFRA wish you all the best as you build and grow your food processing business. Whatever your growth, investment or export goals, OMAFRA’s Business Development Branch has staff with the expertise, connections and resources to help your business start, grow and succeed in Ontario’s food processing sector.

To learn more about any of the topics in this guide and other resources for food processing businesses, please visit our website.