Industry Overview

Canola adds billions to Canada's economy

A study released in 2013 shows Canadian-grown canola contributes $19.3 billion to the Canadian economy each year, including more than 249,000 Canadian jobs and $12.5 billion in wages.

Demand for canola continues to grow as the world learns more about its advantages for human health and as a source of high-quality feed and biofuel feedstock.

That's why it's so important to maintain responsible public policies that nurture the growth of this industry.

Canada's most valuable crop

Canola generates one quarter of all farm cash receipts. Acreage continues to increase because of the profitability and resilience of the crop. Newer herbicide-tolerant varieties produce higher yields at a lower cost and with less potential risk to the environment.

43,000 farmer decision-makers grow canola, mostly in the western provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec also grow a substantial amount of the crop. New varieties are pushing the boundaries of where canola is grown. 

Click here for a map of canola growing regions of Canada.

An important value-added industry

Canada's canola processing industry transforms harvested seeds into oil and meal, which are then manufactured into a wide variety of products. Canada's 14 crushing and refining plants (mapped below) have the capacity to crush about 10 million tonnes of canola seed, and produce about 3 million tonnes of canola oil and 4 million tonnes of canola meal annually.

Processingplantslabelled _6-20-16

The main canola products are oil for human consumption and meal for livestock feed. Canola oil is refined to improve its colour, flavour and shelf life and is further processed into a wide range of consumer and commercial food products. Another promising use for canola oil is biodiesel. Other emerging industrial uses include plastics, protein isolates, adhesives and sealants.

Exports fuel the canola industry

Canada exports 90% of its canola as seed, oil or meal to 55 markets around the world, bringing billions of dollars into Canada. The biggest buyer of canola oil and meal is the United States, accounting for about 65% of oil exports and 96% of meal exports in 2014. For raw seed, the most important destinations are China, Japan, Mexico and the United States.

Good trading relationships are the aim of our market access efforts.

Learn more about:

Economic impact
Markets for canola
Industry contacts
Canola and its uses
Growing canola
Canola and bees
Market Access