Sector Highlight:

Natural Health Products

As a port city, fishing has been an important historical source of wealth for Halifax. It seems extremely appropriate that a source of the wealth that the city earns today also originates in the sea—in the form of omega-3 fish oils.

We’re experts at extracting benefits from the natural world around us.

The people who call Halifax home know how to get the most from the landscape—and seascape—around us. Halifax is a major urban centre, but it’s right on the ocean, and closely surrounded by rugged, forested land. Hiking, surfing, cycling, kayaking, and just hanging out at the beach are a few ways we “extract” heart-healthy benefits from the natural world.

Of course, our thriving natural health products industry is another. And though this enterprise takes more innovation, more research, and much more skill than our leisure activities, Haligonians are all over it. Natural health products that have been or are in development in the city include vitamins and minerals, herbal remedies, homeopathic medicines, traditional medicines, probiotics, and other products like amino acids and essential fatty acids.

Given our location it’s no surprise that our natural health innovation is primarily inspired by the ocean. We’ve identified—and extracted—health products from the bounty of the sea, sourced from fish, sea plants, and more. We’re well-regarded as a leader in ocean technologies and marine biotechnology, and experts in heart-healthy supplementation.


DID YOU KNOW: The first processes to separate omega-3 essential fatty acids from fish oil was developed in Halifax, creating a $1 billion global industry.


A world leader in the extraction of omega-3 fish oils and more.

DSM Nutritional Products
A world leading supplier of vitamins, carotenoids and other nutritional solutions focused on animal nutrition and health, human nutrition and health, and personal care and aroma ingredients.

Nature’s Way Canada
An early leader in educating on the effectiveness and safety of herbal medicine, and manufacturers of omega-3 fatty oil supplements sourced from wild, cold water fish.

Acadian Seaplants
With a history of studying and processing marine plants, Acadian Seaplants develops a wide array of seaweed cultivation, marine plant extraction, and product manufacturing processes that are unique in the world.

Our natural health products industry begins with excellence in research.

Halifax is unique in that our hospitals, universities, private enterprise, and government share a collaborative approach to healthcare research. The following organizations are just a few of note.

BioNova - leads, accelerates, and advocates for Nova Scotias growing health and life sciences sector, including natural health products.

Dalhousie University - one of Canada's leading research  institutions  with more than 50 research chairs.

The National Research Council (NRC) - with over 120 scientists, technicians, and support staff, NRC focuses on R&D in marine biosciences, biotechnology, and more.

Perennia Innovation Centre  - a not-for-profit corporation with the mission to help farmers, fishermen and food processors be prosperous and profitable. 

In Halifax, we foster natural health innovation with investment.

Companies in Halifax benefit from the Healthcare Venture Fund (which invests in innovative companies that improve healthcare productivity); Genome Atlantic (which provides up to 50% of project funding through research competitions); and the Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program. These are in addition to other incentives like the Nova Scotia Payroll Rebate, Atlantic Innovation Fund, Industrial Research Assistance Program, Innovation Equity Tax Credit, and more.

Contact Discover Halifax to learn more!

Ready to learn more, or to start planning your event in Halifax?  Contact our sector expert today.

Paul Bailey (he/him)
Sales & Marketing Director - Group Sales (Life Sciences)
Phone: 1.902.334.1846 (Atlantic Time Zone)
Office/Mail: 1809 Barrington Street, Suite 1004, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 3K8