Export Orientation11






"Exports divided by shipments. Source: Ref. 1.

"Exports divided by shipments. Source: Ref. 1.

(SMEs), both Canadian and foreign owned. Although some Canadian food sector firms are relatively large, in general, Canadian firms are smaller and less diversified than many of their major U.S. competitors.

In 1996, the food and beverage processing sector was structured as follows:

• A core of 12 very large firms (annual sales of over $1 billion) represent about 35% of shipments; 8 of them are Canadian owned.

• Fifty-five large firms (annual sales between $100 million and $1 billion) produce about 25% of shipments; about 44% of them are foreign owned.

• Approximately 2000 SMEs (annual sales under $100 million) account for the remaining 40% of shipments—about three-quarters of these firms had sales of less than $10 million annually. Based on other sources of information, this number is underestimated and could reach an estimated 4000 SMEs.

A number of the large and medium-sized firms are publicly listed companies, while the small enterprises tend to be privately owned. Most foreign-owned firms are privately held by their parent corporations. Cooperatives, which account for about 20% of the value of shipments, play an important role in the Canadian food and beverage processing sector. Aside from their core role in marketing and providing inputs and services to farmers, cooperatives operate mostly in the dairy and poultry subsectors.

The market share of foreign-controlled firms has increased since 1989, to about 40%. These firms tend to be significantly larger and produce higher value-added prod ucts than domestic firms. MNE-dominated subsectors include beef, fruits and vegetables, prepared flour mixes and breakfast cereals, biscuits, confectionery, and breweries. Subsectors dominated largely by domestically controlled firms include pork, poultry, and bakery.

To strengthen and maintain competitiveness in the international market, industrialized nations have placed technological capacity high on their political and industrial agendas. Scientific research increasingly underpins the economic vitality of nations by providing the foundation for industrial renewal and growth.

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