Canada’s sugar industry has been a significant contributor to the Canadian economy since the early 1800s. The industry was founded on importing raw cane sugar for refining at Canada’s major ports and expanded to producing and processing sugar beets, principally in the prairie region. Since its inception, the industry has operated under world market conditions and continues to provide Canadians with a reliable supply of high quality, low cost refined sugar.
Sugar is a basic and essential ingredient in Canada’s food supply. In addition to its sweet taste, sugar (sucrose) has many unique functional properties that make it an important ingredient in many foods. As a result, refined sugar is widely available for both consumer/home use (retail packaged sugar) and industrial customers (food processing and food service).
Canada’s globally efficient sugar producers offer a valuable competitive advantage to the Canadian food processing industry - which is the top manufacturing industry in most Canadian provinces and indirectly supports close to 75,000 Canadian jobs in sugar using manufacturing industries. In fact, Canada’s comparatively low priced sugar has been cited as an important competitive advantage in encouraging several food processors to locate in Canada to serve the Canadian and export markets.