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Abstract

Bioproducts are often presented as one of the potential saviours of Canadian agriculture, offering non-food applications for agricultural products. However, relatively little is known about the sector or the characteristics of the firms. This paper presents an analysis of the Canadian bioproducts sector based on the first survey of bioproduct firms in Canada. The survey was performed by Statistics Canada in 2004 using 2003 firm results. The paper analyzes the responses to the bioproducts survey on two important dimensions, by region and firm size. The results indicate that for most of Canada's 232 bioproducts firms, bioproducts are just one part of the business activities, accounting for less than one third of employees and slightly more than one quarter of total firm revenue. Bioproduct activities provide both market and environmental benefits. The major challenges to the industry are financing and regulation. However, the relative importance of bioproducts, benefits and strategies and the focus and success of firms vary dramatically by region and by firm size.

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