The announcement was made by Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal during a tour of Link Greenhouses in Bowmanville. New provincial support will help Ontario’s greenhouse sector maintain its leadership position in Canada while also growing its export markets. (Click on images for more information.)
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The Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative will help the sector create, adopt and invest in innovative new technologies to reduce production costs, increase productivity and improve produce quality, enabling operations to expand their businesses, attract new investment and create good jobs. Ontario will also continue to provide the greenhouse sector with supports to foster jobs and economic prosperity in the province.
GREENHOUSE COMPETITIVENESS AND INNOVATION INITIATIVE
The province is providing $19 million to support the Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative.
“Ontario’s greenhouse sector is a vital part of our province's growing agri-food sector, and a national leader in greenhouse production, technology and exports,” said Leal.
“Our government recognizes that innovation is key to encouraging continued investment, fostering competiveness, creating jobs and expanding economic opportunities across Ontario. This important investment will allow Ontario's greenhouse sector to continue to expand, enhancing economic growth and creating good jobs right here in Ontario.”
Supporting growth and competitiveness in Ontario's agri-food industry is part of the province’s plan to create jobs, grow the economy and help people in their everyday lives, said Leal.
“Ontario's greenhouse sector is a major contributor to the provincial economy,” said Jan VanderHout, chair of The Ontario Greenhouse Alliance (TOGA).
“We appreciate the Government of Ontario's support and recognition of the need to invest in our future as well as work with our members on challenges facing Ontario's greenhouse sector. This funding will support the continued growth of our sector and its capacity to create jobs, drive exports and provide a reliable supply of locally grown greenhouse products for Ontario consumers.”
Ontario’s greenhouse sector is growing by about 150 acres per year. There are 2,876 acres of greenhouses across the province, representing almost half the Canadian total.
The greenhouse sector is an important part of the provincial economy, contributing nearly 10 per cent of the province’s agri-food sector jobs and GDP.
Last year Ontario's greenhouse sector and related value chain supported over 81,000 jobs and $3.2 billion in GDP.
“We are very optimistic with the prospects of continuing our work with the Government of Ontario to determine how we ensure a vibrant and sustainable future for our province's greenhouse sector," said George Gilvesy, chair of the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers.
GREENHOUSES THE FOCUS OF 2016 INTER-MINISTERIAL ROUNDTABLE
Ontario's agri-food sector contributes more than $36.4 billion towards the province's GDP and supports nearly 800,000 jobs. In March 2016, the Ontario government hosted an Ontario Greenhouse Sector Inter-Ministerial Roundtable on Competitiveness with government and industry to collectively discuss opportunities that support greenhouse sector growth.