Skip to content


Agriculture & Agri-Food is one of the main pillars of Peterborough’s economy due to its climate, land base, experienced operators, research capability, and skills that make it a leader in the production of agri-food products.  The region continues to focus on implementing new on farm diversification initiatives.

Connect with us today

Gabi Dragomir

Gabi Dragomir

Rural Economic Development Officer

Cell: 705-872-6224

Closeup of local fruit and vegetables
$115M GDP
Within Peterborough’s agriculture sector in 2020 based on 2012 dollars. The sector is forecasted to grow to $140M in GDP by 2026 (note: does not include the agri-food sector)
Source: metroeconomics
Spending by Peterborough’s agriculture sector on supplies in services in 2017. Over 2/3 of the sector’s supply chain purchases were sourced in-region.
Source: EMSI Analyst
In gross farm receipts in 2020, up 22% from 2011.
Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Agriculture 2016, Projections by OMAFRA

Peterborough is part of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food system

A key driver of Canada’s economy.

Generated by Canada’s agriculture and agri-food system in 2018, accounting for 7.4% of GDP, and providing one in eight jobs in Canada.

Agriculture in Ontario

Ontario’s speciality in genomics-based innovations and technologies advance Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food sector. 

Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food sector is large and highly diverse. At $37.6B, Ontario accounts for 24% of Canada’s agricultural exports at $14.8B.
Within Ontario there are 49,600 farms which cover a total of 4.88 million hectares.
Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food sector is large and highly diverse. At $37.6B, it accounts for approximately one third of the total GDP generated by the sector in Canada.
The sector generates 1 in 8 jobs in Ontario employing 807,000 people.
Ontario is home to more than half of Canada’s Class 1 Farmland.
OMAFRA defines soils in this class to have no significant limitations in use for crops.

Sustainable Community

  • Peterborough & the Kawarthas is a community committed to sustainability and is one of only a few Ontario communities with a Sustainability scorecard.
  • Recognized by UNESCO as a Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development We are part of the Peterborough-Kawarthas-Haliburton region which has been designated a Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development by the United Nations University as endorsed by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). One of 8 RCEs in all of Canada.
  • Peterborough continues to focus on implementing new on farm diversification initiatives.    
  • Trent Aurora Research Greenhouse Microenvironment Laboratory – The most comprehensive research facility of its kind among Canadian universities focused on predicting the future impact of climate change.  
  • In 2016, Peterborough reported 88 farms using renewable energy producing systems, and Peterborough ranked 4th within the Central Ontario Region for use of renewable energy producing systems.

Woodleigh Farms

Woodleigh Farms is an example of sustainable and innovative agriculture with a passive solar greenhouse, and regenerative agriculture and precision agriculture practices

Entomo Farms

Entomo Farms is a local family-run company that makes cricket-based foods for individuals interested in high-quality, sustainable protein.  

Homegrown Goodness

As of 2016, there were over 900 farms operating in the region – with farms growing everything from grain and oilseeds, to livestock, to fresh produce and everything in-between.

  • Peterborough ranked 18th in Ontario and 5th in Central Ontario for the number of farms selling directly to consumers in 2016 (Census of Agriculture 2016).
  • In peak season, there are eight farmers’ markets that operate throughout Peterborough & the Kawarthas.
    Notably, the region has a vibrant food scene filled with fresh ideas and even fresher ingredients. The agriculture sector is well-supported by chefs at restaurants from the heart of downtown to lakeside cottage resorts and everywhere in between.
  • There are over 300 diverse dining establishments in Peterborough & the Kawarthas. The chefs that work and live here artfully offer up food that embraces local ingredients with global flairs, often choosing to locate here because of the amazing access to passionate producers and great local products.

Engaged Educational Institutions

Peterborough has established agriculture and agri-food research,  innovation  and talent capacity with direct access to graduates and programming at Trent University and Fleming College .

Trent University

Through The School of the Environment Trent University has launched a Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems program. Through this program, undergraduate students are learning about the ethics, economics and environment of sustainable food and farming in our community and throughout the globe.

In September 2021 Trent University launched a new Small-Scale Farming Specialization that allows students to get a deeper understanding of sustainable, regenerative farming practices with more than 240 hours’ of hands-on farming experience.

Agricultural & Environmental Research Facilities: 

  • Trent Community Research Centre
  • Water Quality Centre 
  • Trent Aurora Research Greenhouse
  • Microenvironment Laboratory – The most comprehensive research facility of its kind among Canadian universities, focused on predicting the future impact of climate change. 
Kawartha Choice logo on an image of a person holding a tray of vegetables

Kawartha Choice FarmFresh: more than one way to support the local food system!

  • KCFF is an economic development program delivered in partnership between the Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development and City of Kawartha Lakes.
  • KCFF is a well-established brand and website used by its members – farmers, producers, restaurants, farmers’ markets and retailers- to help consumers find local foods, farm products and experiences. 
  • KCFF is a hub for members to network, engage in joint activities and discussions, help each other, and share information.


As of 2020, there are a total of 2185 people in Peterborough with a post-secondary qualification in agriculture, natural resources, and conservation.

Report covers for the Peterborough & the Kawarthas Culinary Tourism Strategy and the Agri-tourism report

Peterborough & the Kawarthas Culinary Tourism Strategy

Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism (a division of PKED) champions the region’s agricultural assets with a focus on developing Culinary Tourism and Agri-tourism. Culinary efforts work to grow food tourism by leveraging the history, heritage, and culture behind the food and drink that makes our destination unique. Agri-tourism experiences bring together the tourism and agricultural sectors, along with the unique processes, people, and places involved.

To learn more about the Culinary Strategy and how your business can get involved contact:

Jaimie Eastabrook

Jaimie Eastabrook

Tourism Development Officer