Industry growth trend impressive in StatsCan report

November 26, 2012
Written by Greenhouse Canada Magazine
Nov. 26, 2012 — According to Statistics Canada figures released earlier this year, Canada’s commercial greenhouse sector continues to grow.

Stats through 2011 show an industry with increased sales, increased production area, and healthy profit margins for many growers.

Once again, sales of greenhouse products grew 2.3 per cent in 2011, making it a stable and growing market in which to do business. The majority of growth came from the fruit and vegetable sector, where Canadian’s appetite for local food helped the sector grow 5.5 per cent in 2011 alone.

While the ornamental flower sector has remained relatively stable since 2008 with sales of over $1.4 billion, the fruit and vegetable sector has grown dramatically from under $800 million to reach $1.1 billion in 2011. That’s an increase in revenue of 38% in just four years.

PROFITABLE AND INVESTING

Canadian growers have expenses under control, but expenses for the total Canadian greenhouse sector still reached $2.1 billion in 2011. While a big portion of that is labour (29 per cent), other areas also capture a significant share: plant materials (18 per cent), energy (14 per cent), and other, including finance and investments in new technology (37 per cent).

Yet according to Stats Can then, the sector still saw a margin of 19 per cent in 2011, putting it in a healthy place from which to invest in future growth and productivity gains.

CONTINUED EXPANSION

The sector was not just selling more and making more in 2011, it was also growing in area. Fruit and vegetable growers added some 7.7 million square feet under glass and poly over 2010, or 6.2 per cent growth. Since 2008, almost 29 million square feet has been added in glass and poly, for 28 per cent growth in four years.

Specialized flower growers stayed level at over 83 million square feet. Since 2008, this sector has also added growing area, increasing the area under glass and poly by 4.6 million square feet, or by 6 per cent.

While the total area is increasing, the number of players has dropped slightly as the sector continues to favour larger, professional growers that invest in efficiency and productivity. The number of specialized fruit, vegetable and flower growers has remained stable at just over 2,600 since 2008, but the number of overall greenhouses dropped 1.9 per cent from 2010 to 3,220.

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