Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Government of Quebec

Government of Quebec

February 29, 2008 12:36 ET

Government of Canada Invests in The Revitalization of Orchards and Vineyards in Quebec

ST-ANTOINE-DE-TILLY, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Feb. 29, 2008) - The Government of Canada is helping Quebec's orchard and vineyard industries with an investment of up to $5.6 million to help growers adapt to the market and respond to changing consumer preferences. The announcement was made today by Member of Parliament Jacques Gourde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, on behalf of the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board.

"The Government of Canada is delivering real action for tree fruit and grape growers at a time when they are facing new market realities," noted Mr. Gourde. "Implementing changes to an orchard or vineyard is costly because of the time it takes for trees and vines to mature and provide a good return on investment. Funding announced today will help growers begin to transition to more profitable and viable crops so they can better compete in the global marketplace."

Today's federal funding announcement complements $12 million in provincial aid for replanting new varieties of apple trees that are more popular among consumers.

"The Government of Quebec has created this program to help Quebec growers modernize their orchards and increase the variety of fruit grown, while maintaining a high standard of quality," indicated Laurent Lessard, Quebec's Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. "The objectives are therefore to introduce new cultivars and adopt modern, high-quality crop cultivation methods in order to generate positive effects for all areas of the apple industry."

Federal aid of up to $5.6 million will provide for the removal of fruit trees and vines and the development of new strategic commodity plans. The strategic planning component is aimed at assisting industry to plan for the future and be in a position to take advantage of new market opportunities. The federal contribution to this program will end March 31, 2011.

Provincial aid of $12 million runs to March 31, 2012, and provides for the replanting of new varieties of apple trees that will help apple growers improve their productivity and profitability. The replanting of new varieties will also help the industry to better match the supply of apples to consumer demand.

For further information on the Programme de modernisation des vergers d'arbres fruitiers et des vignobles au Québec (Quebec orchards and vineyards transition program), please contact Hugues St-Pierre of the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) (Quebec department of agriculture, fisheries and food) at 1-450-778-6530.

BACKGROUNDER

Canada-Québec Programme de Modernisation des vergers d'arbres fruitiers et des vignobles au Québec (Quebec orchards and vineyards transition program)

The Programme de Modernisation des vergers d'arbres fruitiers et des vignobles au Québec will be delivered by the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ).

The $17.6 million ($5.6 million federal and $12 million provincial) will help the orchard and vineyard industries to adapt their crops as needed, in three stages:

- First, $230,000 will be made available to industry to develop strategic commodity plans that will help the industry, its associations and members improve the long-term profitability of growers' operations.

- In the second stage, the money will fund the removal of existing fruit trees and vines (eligible producers will receive $4,000 per hectare removed). To be eligible for financial aid for the removal of plants, growers must own at least two hectares of fruit trees or vines and remove at least one half hectare.

- Finally, the Government of Quebec will fund the replanting of varieties of apple trees that are more popular among consumers. Farms with apple orchards of two or more hectares that renew at least one half hectare and a maximum of 25 per cent of the total area in apple trees will be eligible for the Program. Government assistance totals $6,600 per hectare for the replanting of dwarf apple trees and $4,000 for semi-dwarf trees.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    Office of Minister Laurent Lessard
    Jack Roy
    Press Secretary
    418-380-2525
    or
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Margaux Stastny
    Press Secretary
    613-759-1059