This 2009 report provides an economic overview of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food system. It is meant to be a multi-purpose reference document to provide: an introduction to the agriculture and agri-food system; a snapshot of structural changes that are occurring throughout the system in response to various factors; and background data and information to inform public discussions on challenges and opportunities facing the Canadian agriculture and agri-food system. Charts and tables with brief accompanying texts are used to summarize information and to provide base performance indicators. The 2009 report begins with a special feature which describes indicators to benchmark competitiveness of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector at the beginning of Growing Forward. This includes indicators of long run sales growth in domestic and international markets and relative profitability. It also presents some of the key factors determining competitiveness in the sector. It continues by reviewing each segment of the system, going upstream from consumers to food distribution, food and beverage processing, primary agriculture, and input suppliers. It also contains a section that considers the natural resources available in Canada and the environmental impacts of agriculture on those resources. It concludes with a review of government expenditures in support of agriculture, including international comparisons of measures of support.