April 18, 2013, Ottawa — Sales of greenhouse, nursery and sod products in Canada topped some $3.3 billion last year, according to StatsCanada.
The 2012 sales represented a 2.2 per cent decline from 2011. This reduction was partly the result of a 4.5 per cent decrease in greenhouse vegetable and fruit sales, which accounted for one-third of all greenhouse, nursery and sod sales.
• Sales of tomatoes declined 9.4 per cent to $439 million.
• Cucumber sales were down 2.1 per cent to $278 million.
• Sales of peppers, however, increased 0.3 per cent to $300 million.
Sales and resales of greenhouse flowers and plants fell 1.7 per cent to $1.4 billion. This decline was mainly the result of a 26.9 per cent reduction in cutting plant sales and an 18.6 per cent reduction in sales of vegetable bedding plants for transplanting.
Floriculture represented 56.1 per cent of total greenhouse product sales in 2012.
The reduction in greenhouse sales was accompanied by a 2.0 per cent decrease in total operating expenses. Fuel expenses fell 15.8 per cent to $192 million, while labour costs were stable at $616 million.
The total number of seasonal and permanent greenhouse workers decreased 0.3 per cent to 35,996. Labour cost accounted for 29.9 per cent of total operating expenses.
NURSERY SALES DECLINE SLIGHTLY
On the nursery side, sales of nursery products declined 1.9 per cent to $694 million. Total area fell 5.4 per cent to 21,149 hectares.
Costs for nursery operations decreased 6.9 per cent to $603 million, of which labour accounted for 40 per cent of total nursery operation costs. Nurseries employed 15,470 people in 2012, some 71.2 per cent of whom were seasonal employees.
SOD SALES INCREASED
Total sod area declined 5.1 per cent to 23,712 hectares, while sod grown to be sold during the year rose 11.1 per cent. Sod sales and resales increased 8.1 per cent to $159 million.
Greenhouse sales down in 2012, says StatsCan
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