NIAGARA FALLS, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 11, 2012) - The Canadian floriculture industry will be able to cultivate new international market opportunities with an investment from the Harper Government. Dean Allison, Member of Parliament (Niagara West-Glanbrook), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced today that Flowers Canada Growers (FCG) will receive an investment to help boost sales in global markets.
"Our government remains focused on the economy, and we know that a strong flower industry helps create jobs and growth in the Niagara area," said MP Allison. "These investments will give our growers the resources they need to get into new markets and increase demand for their top-quality products."
A first investment of more than $137,000 through the AgriMarketing Program will allow FCG to develop new and existing markets, in particular the United States (U.S.), for Canadian producers and boost sales internationally. Activities planned include updating an export procedures manual, promoting the use of Canadian online auction systems to U.S. buyers, conducting a market research study, and undertaking an outgoing U.S. market development trade mission. These activities will help FCG differentiate the high quality of their products from others and effectively promote them abroad.
An additional investment of $100,000 is provided through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP) to research potential new pest control practices for growers and to reduce the risks associated with pesticide applications and residues to farmers, the public, and the environment. The demand for safe and effective pesticides is increasing, and this project will help growers ensure flower exports are disease- and pest-free to avoid costly shipping delays and quarantine issues.
A third investment of $145,000 through the Agricultural Innovation Program (AIP) will research the potential for biological pest control (biocontrol) in the Canadian flower sector and assess new product development opportunities. Research into alternatives to traditional pesticides could reduce costs for Canadian growers, open new business opportunities in biocontrol production, and open further export markets to Canadian products. Increasing the use of biocontrol also reduces exposure to pesticides for consumers and agricultural workers.
"Branding Canada's agriculture is a commitment by government and industry to both excellence and quality," said Dean Shoemaker, Executive Director of Flowers Canada (Ontario) and Flowers Canada Growers Inc., the national counterpart. "These funds will go a long way in support of the floriculture industry being able to undertake promotional activities which enhance the marketing capacity and competiveness of the horticulture sector in the global market."
FCG represents greenhouse growers across Canada, as well as distributors and importers/exporters dealing with cut flowers, potted plants, bedding plants, cut greens, and specialty supplies and services. This industry brings in approximately $1.5 billion in farm-gate sales and helps to sustain more than 20,000 full- and part-time jobs in Canada, generating over a $160 million in exports.
AIP funding is conditional on the signing of a contribution agreement.
Federal, provincial, and territorial ministers of agriculture have identified innovation and market development as a priority under the Growing Forward 2 policy framework, and this announcement is another example of what is being done to enhance competitiveness and long-term growth in Canadian agriculture. In addition to generous multi-year funding for risk management programs, Growing Forward 2 also includes more than $3 billion in strategic initiatives for innovation, competitiveness, and market development.
To find out more about the AgriMarketing Program or the Canada Brand international strategy, visit www.agr.gc.ca/agrimarketing or www.marquecanadabrand.agr.gc.ca. For more information on CAAP, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/caap. In Ontario, the regional component of CAAP is delivered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC). For more information on the AIP, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/aip.