Reasons to Work in Canada's Food and Beverage Industry

The food and beverage processing industry is the Great White North's largest manufacturing industry in terms of GDP, as well as total employment. It is also the largest buyer of Canada's raw agricultural products. With such a vast and thriving sector comes the need for a solid workforce to keep the wheels turning. Yet, due to Canada's sizeable retiring population, there is a significant skills shortage of workers in this sector. So if you work in this area and are searching for greener pastures, Canada needs you! You'll find a variety of vacancies, from food processing jobs to food harvester and food and beverage server positions. In this article, we take a look at the reasons you should work in Canada's Food And Beverage Industry.

Reasons to Work in Canada's Food And Beverage Industry

Many Canadian Provinces are in Need of Workers


Below are the provinces with the most opportunities in Canada's Food And Beverage Industry

  • Nova Scotia: Food Counter Attendants, Kitchen Helpers and Related Support Occupations Farm Workers, Food Servers, Food Service Manager
  • Ontario: Butchers, Meat Cutters and Fishmongers, Food Counter Attendants, Kitchen Helpers and Related Support Occupations, Farm Workers, Food Servers
  • British Columbia: Food Counter Attendants, Kitchen Helpers and Related Support Occupations, Farm Workers, Food Servers, Food Service Manager
  • Nunavut: Food Servers
  • Saskatchewan: Farm Workers
  • Manitoba: Butchers, Meat Cutters and Fishmongers, Food Counter Attendants, Kitchen Helpers and Related Support Occupations, Farm Workers
  • Prince Edward Island: Farm Workers
  • New Brunswick: Food Counter Attendants, Kitchen Helpers and Related Support Occupations Food Counter Attendants, Kitchen Helpers and Related Support Occupations, Farm Workers
  • Quebec: Butchers, Meat Cutters and Fishmongers, Food Counter Attendants, Kitchen Helpers and Related Support Occupations
  • Alberta: Food Counter Attendants, Kitchen Helpers and Related Support Occupations

There are Different Pathways to Canadian Permanent Residency

Once you have a valid job offer and are sure you are eligible to immigrate to Canada, you can begin your immigration application. Here are some options to apply to.

Agri-food Immigration Pilot

Launched in June 2020, The Agri-food Immigration Pilot is a three year program that will invite 2,750 foreign workers who have job offers or are working in Canada every year to apply for permanent residency. The applications are processed on a first-come-first-serve basis, so move quickly to avoid disappointment. It was formed by the Canadian Atlantic provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. The pilot aims to address critical labour shortages in these four beautiful provinces by offering applicants permanent residency. In general, you must:

  • Have work experience in a job that requires a high school education and/or specific on-the-job training
  • Must have completed high school
  • Score a minimum of 4 on a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) test to show you can communicate effectively in English or French
  • Prove that you can support yourself and your family when you come to Canada

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is a community-driven program. It was put in place to spread the benefits of economic immigration to smaller communities by creating a path to Canadian permanent residency for skilled foreigners wanting to work and live in a participating community. Because the pilot is community-driven, it's the communities that will:

  • Assess candidates
  • Make recommendations for permanent residency to IRCC
  • Put newcomers in touch with settlement services and mentoring opportunities with community members

Participating communities

  • North Bay, Ontario
  • Sudbury, Ontario
  • Timmins, Ontario
  • Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
  • Thunder Bay, Ontario
  • Brandon, Manitoba
  • Altona/Rhineland, Manitoba
  • Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
  • Claresholm, Alberta
  • Vernon, British Columbia
  • West Kootenay (Trail, Castlegar, Rossland, Nelson), British Columbia

The Express Entry System

The Express Entry system is Canada's fastest immigration channel for processing skilled worker applications for PR. It is a points-based system that ranks candidates according to several factors. The highest-ranking applicants receive Invitations to Apply (ITA).

The criteria for Express Entry include age, work experience, education, language ability, Provincial nomination, ties to Canada and Spouse profile. Learn more about the Express Entry here.

An Abundance of jobs in Canada's Food And Beverage Industry


All it takes is a quick online search to see that there are hundreds of thousands of jobs in Canada. The key is finding the right position in the right province that will most benefit your goal of becoming a permanent resident in Canada. The two most important things to applying to become a permanent resident are a valid job offer in an occupation Canada needs filled and being eligible to apply for permanent residency. You could get a job in a Canada food factory, restaurant or butchery. There really is something for every type of food and beverage industry worker. Let's take a look at the positions available in the industry.

Jobs in Canada's Food And Beverage Industry

Food Processing Jobs

  • Machine operator: No specific training is required for these positions as on-the-job training is often provided. However, previous experience can be helpful. Wages vary depending on the level of expertise required to operate the machinery but traditionally are between $13-$22 an hour.
  • Food production labourer: From sausage wrappers to mushroom sorters, jobs in various food manufacturing facilities still require a lot of human capital. Wages are around $17 an hour.
  • Equipment cleaner: Hygiene is essential, especially in countries like Canada with strict health codes and regular visits from health inspectors. Equipment cleaners make around $15 an hour.
  • Food processing supervisor: Identifying, evaluating and controlling hazards during the food production process requires accountability, and wages reflect that. Supervisors in food production earn an average of $33 an hour.
  • Quality control/assurance officer: Maintaining and ensuring standards are adhered to is vital, especially in the food industry, as mistakes can damage companies' reputations. QA officers typically earn around $24 an hour.

Jobs for Butchers

  • Industrial Butcher - Depending on experience, you can earn between $18 and $30 an hour as an industrial butcher in Canada. This is one of the most in-demand occupations at the moment. Industrial butchery is a difficult and respected profession, and not enough Canadians are entering. This is why the IRCC specifically targets foreign workers from this occupation for permanent residency.
  • Retail Butcher - The more glamorous division of the profession, wrapping meats and interfacing with customers is the order of the day. Wages may range from $16 to $20 an hour depending on experience and responsibilities.

Farm Workers and Supervisor Jobs

Though not strictly under the food processing sector, these occupations have been included in the Agri-Food Pilot. So they are also worth considering if you are interested in obtaining permanent residency in Canada.
  • Farm and livestock supervisor - only a high school qualification is necessary. However, experience is the key to earning a good wage in this occupation. Your hourly earning potential will be between $18 and $28 an hour, depending on your level of experience and ability. A wholesome and rewarding career as a farm supervisor could be waiting for you in the countryside. Bring your experience or start from the bottom as a general worker.
  • General Farm Worker - this can also take on the role of harvester. If you secure a job offer as a harvester the key is to get a permanent job, as many offers are seasonal. A good permanent position will pay between $12 and $21 an hour. No qualifications are required, but as you grow and cultivate crops, qualifications will mean better wages and one step closer to becoming a supervisor.

Chefs and Cooks

This group consists of different levels of chefs who plan and supervise food preparation and cooking activities, as well as cooks who prepare and cook meals and different delicacies. They can be employed in restaurants, hotels, hospitals and health care or special care institutions, clubs, businesses and cruise liners. You will need a cook or chef's qualification and management training if you are an executive chef.

Food Service Manager

Businesses in the food industry need operations management staff to see to operations running. As a food service manager, you will also have to manage stock, customer relations, quality control and budgets.

Food and Beverage Servers

Canada has a vibrant food scene, so it has a variety of great restaurants. It is therefore obvious that this requires a consistent stream of staff. There are many jobs for waiters or food servers, not only in restaurants, but also in tourism and other sectors.

Food Counter Attendants, Kitchen Helpers and Related Support Occupations

There is a huge demand for workers in this grouping. Positions include counter attendants, food preparation staff, kitchen aids, food service assistants and dishwashing staff. These jobs can be found in restaurants, cafes, hotels, fast food chains, cafeterias, healthcare centers and other operations.

Ready to Start Your Journey to Canada?

Now that you know your options for working in Canada's Food And Beverage Industry, it's time to prepare for your application process. With plenty of food and beverage service and food processing jobs in the country, don't wait a moment longer. Canada needs your skills!

How We Can Help You

There are over 100 various immigration pathways and visa options for foreigners looking to work, travel or study in Canada. With all of these immigration and visa options to choose from, the process can become quite overwhelming and confusing. But it doesn't have to be. Using our accredited Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) will improve your chances of success in the visa application process and expert advice on which program is best for your specific needs.


What Kind of Work Permit Will I Need to Work in Canada?

There are two kinds of work permits that the Canadian government issues: Open Work Permits and Employer Specific Permits.

  • Open Work Permit – Candidates can work for any employer in Canada - should they meet all requirements.
  • Employer Specific Work Permit– Candidates can only be employed by one Canadian employer who provides a valid offer of employment, supported by an LMIA. This will have to be for a set period in a set location.

What Are the Work Permit Requirements for Food Service Workers?

Migration to Canada is possible for some food service workers, but only if you meet the requirements. These include:

  • Education
  • Work experience in a related position
  • English or French language Proficiency
  • No Criminal record
  • Proof of sufficient funds

How Much Work Experience do I Need to Apply to the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot?

You will need experience of at least one year (at least 1,560 hours) in the past three years.