Farm to table has become increasingly important to consumers over the years, as people grow more interested in understanding where their food comes from. While it may seem like fresh produce and local meats are the only things you can track down, there is another product you may not know about – canola oil.
With local Canadian farmers producing 20 million metric tonnes of canola oil each year1, you can be certain that the canola oil you’re grabbing off grocery store shelves was made here in Canada.
The lifecycle and process for making canola oil is a strenuous one, but one that supports numerous Canadian communities, both directly and indirectly. Those most directly impacted in the production of canola oil are local farmers, as nearly 97% of Canadian farms are family-owned and operated2. These farmers account for the 21.2 million acres of canola grown in Canada3 – that’s more than the size of New Brunswick and P.E.I combined!
However, canola farming doesn’t only support Canadian farmers. The crop is a driver of Canada’s economic engine, providing revenue, employment, and investments that help Canadians work, live, and thrive. Annually, canola helps create approximately 207,000 full-time equivalent jobs4, a large portion of which are off the farm in more heavily populated urban areas.
Supporting Canadian farmers
Today, 43,000 Canadian farmers grow canola1. The highly profitable crop not only helps provide these farmers with a good living, but it also directly supports the communities they call home. Through donations to local grocery stores, farm-supply stores, minor hockey teams and more, farm families play a large role in enhancing the social fabric of rural communities across Western Canada.
Canola off the farm
While it’s obvious that farmers rely on canola to make a living, what you may not know is that the crop is imperative to the success of various other industries too. As one of Canada’s most valuable crops, canola creates 144,000 paid jobs and supports an additional 63,000 family members (beyond the growers themselves), via canola farming operations5.
From the development of the seed to canola products available today, canola directly supports:
- Truck drivers
- Scientists and researchers
- Seed developers
- Grain terminal employees
- Marketing managers
- Crush plant workers
- Seed technicians
- Processors and exporters
- Administrators and more
With canola production continuing to increase within Canada, the job opportunities that stem from the crop will only continue to grow as well.
Processing canola also plays an important role in supporting the communities where canola is grown. Canola generates employment for plant operators and engineers, and the services of many trade professionals who keep plants running. As wages are spent, this creates more jobs beyond the crop itself. When you add it all up, the 780 jobs at processing plants turn into 7,670 jobs that are spread across Canadian communities, delivering an economic impact of nearly $6 billion annually6.
Are you supporting Canadian canola?
Canola provides a strong and stable source of revenue, employment, and prosperity to everyone in the canola value chain and surrounding rural and urban communities.
Whether it’s a desire to buy local or simply knowing where your food comes from, you can’t go wrong when you purchase canola oil and other canola products. It means you are supporting Canadian farmers and numerous other individuals who work within the canola industry, who in return can support their families and communities, all thanks to a beautiful yellow flower and your support.
- Canola Council of Canada. About Canola. www.canolacouncil.org
- The Real Dirt on Farming. Farming in Canada. www.realdirtonfarming.ca
- Statistics Canada. Economic Impact of Canola. www150.statcan.gc.ca
- Canola Council of Canada. Economic Impact of Canola. www.canolacouncil.org
- Canola Council of Canada. Social Sustainability. www.canolacouncil.org
- Canola Council of Canada. The Economic Impact of Canola on the Canadian Economy: 2020 Update. www.canolacouncil.org