Ornamental sector big and blooming

April 27, 2009
Written by
The ornamental sector contributes $14.6 billion to Canada's economy. That's one of the findings from a national study released yesterday by the Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance (COHA).

But the best is yet to come.

The study's authors state that "Canada's ornamental horticulture sector has... significant potential to develop and expand." As Baby boomers retire, they are expected to increase their spending on gardening to levels between $7.8 billion and $14.4 billion annually between 2011 and 2021. And that's not only good news for Canada's economy, on account of 110,750 full-time equivalent jobs which the sector provides now and which are set to grow over the next decade, but it's great news for Canada's environment.

"The Canadian ornamental horticultural sector offers green solutions for individuals, communities and institutions that want to create better outdoor and indoor environments, contribute to a healthier planet, improve property values and increase personal health," says Vic Krahn, chairman of COHA and owner of Lakeshore Tree Farms in Saskatchewan. Krahn noted that the study documents how ornamental horticulture beautifies landscapes, fosters sustainable ecosystems, enhances energy conservation, reduces the carbon footprint, contributes to health, provides employment and creates wealth for Canadians. Ornamentals are the only products of Canadian agriculture on which GST and provincial sales taxes are collected, contributing an estimated $850 million per year to governments' budgets.

This landmark national study was funded through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada under the Advancing Agriculture and Agri-Food program. "Without the support of the program, we could not have completed this ground-breaking research and documented just how important our sector is now and how it will grow over the next decade," stated Chris Andrews, senior staff resource for COHA. Deloitte was the consulting firm chosen through a competitive bidding process to complete the study.

More information on the importance of the ornamentals sector to Canada's economy and its role in improving the environment can be obtained from COHA's new website at www.coha-acho.ca.

Questions or comments? Email greenhouse@annexweb.com

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