Ontario's Government for the People is supporting the province's greenhouse sector by encouraging innovation that takes steps to increase the supply of Canadian food in North American markets.
Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced that the government has worked with the Ontario Greenhouse Alliance to change the way that $8 million in existing funding will be delivered in order to maximize value and innovation in the sector. The streamlined program will result in additional innovative projects occurring in the greenhouse sector.
"Ontario greenhouse vegetables and ornamentals are available across North America and operations are growing to meet increasing demand for high-quality products in other markets," said Hardeman. "We are working with our partners to make sure we deliver maximum value for our investments. We're also focused on helping greenhouse farmers strengthen their operations so they can be more competitive, and continue to contribute to the success of our agri-food sector."
Ontario has taken steps to reduce the burden for greenhouse businesses. These include clear actions to reduce electricity costs, end the cap and trade carbon tax, getting incentives to extend natural gas to more of rural Ontario and keeping the minimum wage rate at $14 per hour.
“Greenhouse agriculture is a driver for growth and jobs. We are very pleased to be working as a partner with Minister Hardeman to get support for the greenhouse farmers. This funding will help the sector to continue implementing advanced technology, to be more effective as a sector and to benefit consumers”, Jan VanderHout, Chair of The Ontario Greenhouse Alliance (TOGA), said.
“In partnership with the government, greenhouse growers in Ontario will be better positioned to reach their growth goals as a sector. Working together, we can develop sustainable solutions that enhance our productivity and provide consumers with fresh products year-round”, Jan Van Zanten, President, Flowers Canada (Ontario), added.
“We are pleased to have the support of the government and look forward to continue working collaboratively to ensure the competitiveness of Ontario’s greenhouse sector”, George Gilvesy, Chair of the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers, commented.
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