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Ontario ag sets export records at Port of Hamilton

Ontario ag sets export records at Port of Hamilton

Agriculture now accounts for more than 20 per cent of the port’s total exports

By Diego Flammini
News Reporter
Farms.com

Ontario growers are helping export facilities set local records.

The Port of Hamilton announced yesterday that 2017 was a record year, in terms of its ag-related shipping.

Almost 2.3 million metric tonnes of locally-produced corn, soybeans, wheat, canola, sugar, potash and fertilizers travelled through the port in 2017.

The port handled more than 9.8 million metric tonnes of cargo last year and agricultural cargo now accounts for 23 per cent of the port’s total intake. That number is up from 12.5 per cent in 2010.

Since 2010, agri-food exports have increased annually.

Ontario exported more than $9 billion worth of ag goods in 2010 and exported more than $14 billion worth of ag products were exported in 2016, according to OMAFRA.

And the province is always ready to accommodate more agricultural exports, according to Jeff Leal, Ontario’s minister of agriculture.

“Ontario agri-food businesses looking to export their products can get government support through Ontario Food Export consultants, who leverage resources around the globe to help with sales and marketing to expanding markets,” Leal told Farms.com in an emailed statement today.

“By increasing sales to world markets, Ontario’s agri-food businesses are competing and succeeding globally, and contributing to the growth of the province’s economy."

The increase in exports is a sign that global markets are demanding high-quality products, according to Ian Hamilton, president and CEO of the Hamilton Port Authority. And Canadian farmers meet those needs.

“Global demand for food is growing, and Canada has been an impeccable brand internationally for food safety and quality,” he said in a statement yesterday.

“The Port of Hamilton has attracted more than $200 million in agri-food related private sector investment in recent years, which means our terminal operators have the ability to move more product, more efficiently.”

The port is home to 14 agri-food tenants including food processors, grain mills, beer brewers, truckers and warehouses.

Top photo: A vessel loading for transport at the Port of Hamilton.
Photo: Hamilton Port Authority