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Ontario boosting ‘locally grown’ promotion


November 25, 2014
By Dave Harrison

Nov. 25, 2014, Beamsville, Ont. — Ontario is providing support to encourage more Ontarians to choose locally grown flowers and plants for home décor, gardening and celebrations.

Flowers Canada (Ontario) will receive $772,500 from the Rural Economic Development Program to build on its established Rural Marketing Strategy. The strategy aims to:

• Engage and educate consumers about Ontario grown flowers and plants.

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• Increase demand for locally grown flowers.

• Encourage innovation and growth throughout all parts of the floriculture industry.

The province’s floriculture industry includes the production of fresh cut flowers, bedding plants like impatiens and geraniums for gardening, potted plants like poinsettias and propagation material consisting of rooted cuttings and seedlings used by greenhouses to grow large flowering plants.

Supporting locally grown plants and flowers is part of the government’s economic plan for Ontario.

“This investment will help increase awareness and demand for locally grown Ontario flowers and plants,” said Jeff Leal, minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs. “Through support from the Rural Economic Development program, our government is strengthening the economy and creating jobs across the province.”

Ontario has increased its annual commitment to the Rural Economic Development (RED) program by $10 million to $14.5 million to help rural Ontario generate investment and create jobs.

“The sector is poised to meet the Premier’s Challenge to agriculture and to partner with the province to grow markets and create more jobs in rural Ontario,” said FCO executive director Dean Shoemaker. “To accomplish these goals it is important that government and the sector work closely together to meet both the opportunities and challenges.”

QUICK FACTS

• Ontario’s floriculture sector generates $736 million in farm gate sales to the provincial economy and employs over 7,500 people.

• Ontario accounts for approximately 50 per cent of Canada’s annual poinsettia production, with 4.2 million plants sold and an estimated value of $12.6 million.

• Ontario is the third largest producer of greenhouse floricultural products in North America, behind California ($1.02 billion US) and Florida ($922 million US).

• The Ontario greenhouse flower industry is now the seventh largest agricultural sector based on farm cash receipts.


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