Greenhouse sales still rising: StatsCan report

April 28, 2017
Written by
April 28, 2017, Ottawa – Total sales of the greenhouse, nursery and sod industries reached $3.6 billion in 2016.

Greenhouse products accounted for 78.5 per cent of all greenhouse, nursery and sod sales. Greenhouse fruit and vegetable sales were up 3.6 per cent, while flower and plants sales (including resales) increased 0.9 per cent. Ornamental product sales (including greenhouse flowers and plants, nursery products, and sod products) totalled $2.3 billion in 2016.

Total greenhouse flower and plant sales (including resales) totalled $1.5 billion in 2016. Ontario (52.5 per cent), British Columbia (21.3 per cent) and Quebec (10.3 per cent) had the largest shares of total greenhouse flower and plant sales.

Indoor and outdoor potted plants made up the largest share of all flowers and plants produced and sold, accounting for 61.9 per cent of total greenhouse floriculture sales. Ontario was responsible for close to half of potted plant values in 2016.


Several new outdoor potted plant categories were added to reporting this year, for example, potted herb plants (10.7 million pots), potted vegetable plants (7.2 million pots) and calibrachoas (2.6 million pots). Geraniums still accounted for the largest variety, with 16.5 million pots produced.

Cut flowers sales decreased 4.5 per cent to $140 million, with Ontario accounting for nearly 70 per cent of the sales in Canada. Greenhouse vegetable sales totalled $1.3 billion in 2016, or about $175 million higher than the value of field grown vegetables (published in The Daily on February 1, 2017). Sales of greenhouse tomatoes rose 5.9 per cent to $544.5 million, while sales of peppers decreased 1.5 per cent to $419.7 million. Cucumbers had the largest percentage increase, with sales rising 7.4 per cent to $334.2 million. Eggplant sales totalled $7.7 million in 2016.


Total operating expenses for greenhouses rose 3.4 per cent to $2.5 billion in 2016. Labour costs accounted for 29 per cent of total operating expenses. The total number of greenhouse employees decreased 1.6 per cent to 32,829, while payroll expenses increased 1.4 per cent to $713.1 million. Payroll employees made an average of $21,723 in 2016.

Greenhouse crop expenses, electricity, and plant material purchases continued to increase, while total fuel expenses decreased.


Total nursery sales (including resales) decreased 11.6 per cent from 2015 to $635.6 million in 2016. This was mainly due to the fact that operations which exclusively produce tree seedlings for reforestation were excluded from these data in 2016.

Nursery operating expenses declined 8.0 per cent to $559.4 million. Labour costs accounted for 36.2 per cent of total operating expenses. The total number of nursery employees fell 11.3 per cent to 11,663, and labour costs decreased 10.0 per cent to $202.4 million. Average payroll increased 1.4 per cent to $17,355 per employee.

In 2016, total sod sales (including resales) were down 5.0 per cent to $147.4 million, while expenses decreased 5.4 per cent to $115.0 million. Sod farm operations employed 1,585 people in 2016, down 7.1 per cent from 2015. Average payroll reached $25,762 per employee in 2016.

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