Greenhouse Canada

Alberta confirms ornamental production and retail to be ‘essential’

April 13, 2020  By Greenhouse Canada

Alberta has now confirmed that all agricultural businesses, including horticultural production and retail, are considered essential services.

In a letter sent out to horticulture business operators today, Devin Dreeshen, Alberta’s Minister of Agriculture and Forestry states, “The Government of Alberta recognizes all agricultural businesses are essential. Including those that sell food (seed, crops, vegetables, and fruit), ornamental plants, hardware, and growing supplies (soil, fertilizer); including farmers markets, greenhouses, nurseries, and garden centres, are essential services that remain open.”

The province first announced the closure of non-essential services in late March. While food production was explicitly listed, ornamental crops were not. A representative at the ministry told Greenhouse Canada at the time that, “The intent of the essential services list is to provide general guidance to business owners and operators. It is not meant to be exhaustive.” Furthermore, “If a business is not listed here as an essential service, it can still continue to operate if it is not specifically prohibited from offering services in a location accessible to the public, and if the business doesn’t fall under previous business, workplace and facility closures.”


Landscape Alberta and the Alberta Greenhouse Growers Association have since worked with the ministry over the past two weeks to confirm and secure this status for the province’s horticulture sector.­­

The Alberta Greenhouse Growers’ Association stresses that public health directives still need to be in place including increased sanitization, enforced social distancing, and other policies and procedures.

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