April 23, 2015, Ottawa – The greenhouse, nursery and sod industry in Canada is continuing its steady expansion pace that began in 1990.
In 2014, sales increased 2.2 per cent from 2013 to nearly $3.6 billion. Greenhouse products accounted for 76.3 per cent of all greenhouse, nursery and sod sales.
Flower and plant sales grew 2.7 per cent compared with 1.8 per cent for vegetable and fruit product sales.
Sales of cucumbers grew 5.8 per cent to $326 million and pepper sales rose 2.3 per cent to $408.5 million. Tomato sales decreased 1.3 per cent to $520 million and the tomato area declined 1.1 per cent to 5.6 million square metres.
Total greenhouse vegetable area increased 1.2 per cent to 14.6 million square metres in 2014.
Sales and resales of greenhouse flowers and plants reached $1.4 billion in 2014. With $711 million in sales, indoor and outdoor potted plants represented 58.2 per cent of floriculture sales.
Ornamental bedding plants accounted for 15.6 per cent of flower and plant sales and cut flowers 12.3 per cent.
Greenhouse sales growth came with a 5.4 per cent increase in total operating expenses. Fuel expenses rose 17.8 per cent to $231 million. This situation was mainly explained by the cold and long winter conditions in 2013/2014.
Plant material purchases were up 4.5 per cent to $460 million, while labour costs grew 4.0 per cent to $661 million.
Labour cost accounted for 29.3 per cent of total operating expenses. The total number of greenhouse workers declined 1.5 per cent to 33,094 employees.
Nursery product sales and resales rose 1.6 per cent to $691 million. In 2014, nursery operation expenses grew 1.2 per cent to $602 million, while labour costs decreased by 0.8 per cent to $226 million.
Nurseries employed 13,513 people in 2014, down 5.0 per cent from 2013. The number of permanent nursery employees fell by 6.5 per cent, while seasonal employees declined by 4.3 per cent. Seasonal employees represented about three-quarter of all nursery employees.
In 2014, sod sales and resales rose 2.1 per cent to $161 million, while expenses fell 0.3 per cent to $135 million.
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