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Key Sectors


Agriculture is the second largest primary goods producing sector in the region. Production includes various commodities with the top nine generating farm cash receipts of $227.4 million in 2012. This is represented by floriculture/nursery/sod, dairy, corn, poultry, soybeans, cattle/calves, wheat, field vegetables, and fruit.

The agri-food industry prides itself on embracing technology and innovation with some of the most progressive and skilled managers in the industry. Durham agriculture has grown from traditional commodity crops to include new biomass crops for the next generation of energy, biofuels and chemicals, as well as new crops to meet the growing demand from our ethnically diverse population.

As Durham Region moves towards a bio-based economy, opportunities will continue to develop for value-added products. Durham Region’s livestock breeders are world renowned for their quality genetics, which are found in many countries around the world. Food processing continues to expand in the region due to its proximity to market, safe, high-quality food inputs and complementary industry clusters.

Several food producers are also benefiting from the advanced manufacturing benefits in Durham Region, the supply chain and services, as well as locating close to the food source.

Companies who have located in Durham Region include:

  • Algoma Orchards Ltd.
  • Atlas Logistics Services
  • Ball Packaging Products Canada Corp.
  • The Elite Meat Company
  • Exopack
  • Greenwood Mushrooms
  • MeadWestvaco Corporation
  • Maple Leaf Consumer Foods
  • Sandra Tea and Coffee Co.

Support networks and services are also available in Durham Region. These include:

Durham Farm Connections (DFC)

Durham Farm Connections works to enhance the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of agriculture and the agri-food industry in Durham Region. It provides learning opportunities for the local community through two annual events designed to align with and extend the Ontario school curriculum for Grade 3 students, and high school students.

Durham Farm Fresh (DFF)

DFF brings together Durham farmers, livestock producers, chefs and farm organizations who care about locally produced food. They are all dedicated to bringing the quality and freshness found in Durham Region’s farms and markets directly to your table.

Durham Farm and Rural Family Resources (DFRFR)

DFRFR provides quality and flexible children’s services and programs to farm and rural families in Durham Region. Outreach to farm families includes providing information about farm safety (and hosting farm safety days), safety training for youth working on farms, and a seasonal on-farm childcare program.

Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance

The Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance (GHFFA) is comprised of the Niagara Agricultural Task Force; the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority; the Friends of the Greenbelt; the Ontario Ministry of Food and Agriculture; the Regions of Durham, Halton, Niagara, Peel and York; the cities of Hamilton and Toronto; as well as local representatives from the food and farming value chain. For more information visit

Leading Livestock Genetics (LLG)

Leading Livestock Genetics is an alliance of dairy cow and dairy goat breeders located in the east-central region of Ontario and provides quality livestock genetics to many countries around the world through live animals and embryos. LLG members are focused on breeding for high production, conformation and health traits to produce profitable animals for dairy operations.

The Region of Durham Agricultural Strategy 2013 to 2018

Designed to help the community become a leading agricultural and agri-food area in Ontario, the Region of Durham Agricultural Strategy 2013 to 2018 is the result of a three-year process focusing on industry attraction, retention and expansion; outreach and education; supportive policy environment and service delivery; and labour force development. For more information, Region of Durham Agricultural Strategy 2013-2018 (PDF)

Vibrant North Durham

Vibrant North Durham is a five-year plan to implement economic development thinking, processes and projects in north Durham. The Region of Durham led the creation of the plan, in collaboration with the townships of Brock, Scugog and Uxbridge.

Four strategies with related action plans are identified to ensure north Durham townships are open for business; inspire and support entrepreneurship; create a vibrant future for young adults; and build a stronger rural and small-town identity. For more information, Vibrant North Durham Plan August 2013-2018 (PDF).

For more information on rural and agri-business contact:
Nancy Rutherford
Phone: 905-668-4113 Ext. 2609

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