January 10, 2024

Addressing Labor Shortages in Canada's Food and Beverage Manufacturing Industry

Canada's food and beverage manufacturing industry is poised to face a significant labor shortage in the coming years, according to a recent report by Food Processing Skills Canada. The industry, which employed approximately 300,000 workers in 2022, is projected to increase its workforce to 325,000 by 2030, signifying a 9% growth. However, with a considerable number of workers expected to retire, the industry will witness an additional 25,000 job openings, raising concerns about meeting the growing demand.

Demands and Challenges:

The report highlights a total demand for 66,800 new workers from 2023 to 2030 to replace the aging workforce, especially in the latter years of the decade. Considering both industry growth and the aging workforce, the sector needs to hire 92,500 workers during this period, equivalent to 31% of the 2022 workforce. Currently grappling with a labor shortage of 50,000 workers, the industry is expected to experience an average annual employment growth rate of 1% until 2030.

Jennefer Griffith, Executive Director of Food Processing Skills Canada, emphasizes that the industry must hire 142,000 new people, nearly 50% of the current workforce, between 2023 and 2030. This underscores the urgent need for proactive measures to address the impending labor shortage.

Industry Response and Recommendations:

Purcell, VP of Operations at Champlain Seafood and board director for Food Processing Skills Canada, urges industry stakeholders to focus on growing the workforce. Recognizing Canada's position as a global leader in safe food production, Purcell calls for the country to also lead in workforce development.

Strategies for food and beverage manufacturing recruitment to address the labor shortage:

1. Increase pay and benefits.

2. Improve scheduling, including flexible work schedules.

3. Enhance training and skill development.

4. Consider hiring skilled workers internationally

As the Canadian food and beverage manufacturing industry faces a significant labor shortage, it is crucial for stakeholders to collaboratively implement solutions. The industry's leadership, resources, and research capabilities can position Canada as a global leader not only in safe food production but also in workforce development. By addressing challenges and implementing strategic measures, the industry can navigate the impending labor shortage and sustain its growth.

Be prepared for the demand in the industry and contact us for the best solutions for your business.