Statistics Canada - Statistique Canada

Advanced technology in the Canadian food industry


The food-processing industry benefits from a wide a range of new advanced technologies. Technological advances include computer-based information and control systems, as well as sophisticated processing and packaging methods that enhance product quality, improve food safety and reduce costs. Continuous quality improvement and benchmarking are examples of related business practices.

This study examines the use of advanced technologies in the food-processing industry. It focuses not just on the incidence and intensity of use of these new technologies but also on the way technology relates to overall firm strategy. It also examines how technology use is affected by selected industry structural characteristics and how the adoption of technologies affects the performance of firms. It considers as well how the environment influences technological change. The nature and structure of the industry are shown to condition the competitive environment, the business strategies that are pursued, product characteristics and the role of technology.

Firms make strategic choices in light of technological opportunities and the risks and opportunities provided by their competitive environments. They implement strategies through appropriate business practices and activities, including the development of core competencies in the areas of marketing, production and human resources, as well as technology. Firms that differ in size and nationality choose to pursue different technological strategies. This study focuses on how these differences are reflected in the different use of technology for large and small establishments, for foreign and domestic plants and for plants in different industries.

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