OMAFRA Business Consultants Can Help You Grow Your Food Processing Business

Thinking about starting or expanding a food or beverage business in Ontario? The Business Development team is here to help you find the best opportunities that Ontario can offer. Our business consultants support food processing, and bioproducts businesses.

Staff Profile: Athar Shah, OMAFRA Business Consultant

Athar is one of the ministry’s business development consultants who always goes the extra mile to service the client. He manages the Ontario bakery, milling, cereal, ingredients and edible oils and fats sector. With over 20 years of experience in Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) in sales and production, Athar enjoys sharing his first hand knowledge, experience and expertise to advise sector clients – particularly in areas of costing, product development, market research, product life cycle, launch architect and exports.

Prior to joining OMAFRA in 2008, Athar worked in the private sector in Dubai, UAE for multi-national food processors in senior sales, marketing and management roles. Athar brings his insights into potential foreign investment attraction markets.

We asked Athar a few questions about the work he does to support Ontario clients and business owners.

What initiatives and projects are you currently working on?

In addition to my sector, I am temporarily responsible for the meat and protein sector as well. I am currently reviewing applications for the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund and the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness program.

How do clients benefit from working with you?

In my role I manage the sectors within Ontario/Canada by connecting clients with opportunities (retail, food service and co-packing), help to find better sourcing of raw materials and packaging and provide information on inter-provincial trade. Many clients have benefited from my advice when setting up or expanding production facilities.  Some small clients also benefited from how to cost their product. I enjoy sharing knowledge, experience and expertise.  

What trends are you seeing?

Plant based meat is on the rise. Consumers are preferring more local/regional products compared to Global.  Cleaner labels and quality products. 

How do people contact you?

People can reach me via email athar.shah@ontario.ca
or phone (519) 546 9237

Athar Haidar Shah, MBA | LinkedIn

Learn more now about Ontario’s food and beverage industry. Find the contact for your sector or your area on our ministry website.

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