TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 16, 2013) - Canadian horticulture growers are working to expand into new markets abroad with the support of the Harper Government. Member of Parliament Ted Opitz (Etobicoke Centre), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced today an investment to help the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association increase international demand for Canada's hardy and diverse horticulture exports. The announcement was made today at Canada Blooms, the largest flower and garden festival in the country.
"Our government remains focused on the economy, and a strong horticulture industry will help to fuel that growth," said MP Opitz. "Our strategic investments in market development will help ensure that Canadian growers stay competitive in the global marketplace."
This investment of $53,000 will help the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association further explore potential growth markets, such as Germany, Russia, and China. It will also be used to build on the work done at previous international shows, increasing the recognition and reputation of the Canadian horticulture sector.
"We know there is strong demand in emerging and growing markets for the attributes for which Canadian-grown nursery product is already well-recognized-namely quality, environmental friendliness, and, above all, winter hardiness," said Rita Weerdenburg, Growers Manager of the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association. "This investment by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada allows us to further explore the potential of those valuable markets, thus strengthening the viability of this important sector of agriculture across Canada."
Horticulture accounts for 15 per cent of Canada's total farm cash receipts, which translates to more than $6 billion per year. The ornamental horticulture sector makes up approximately 30 per cent of that industry, which employs around 110,000 people.
Through the AgriMarketing Program under Growing Forward, the Government of Canada is investing $88 million to help industry implement long-term international strategies, including international market development, industry-to-industry trade advocacy, and consumer awareness and branding activities.
This announcement is another example of what is being done to enhance competitiveness for Canadian agricultural exports. Under the Harper Government, Canada has achieved six new free trade agreements that have opened the doors of diverse international markets to Canadian agricultural products. The Government of Canada has also identified market development as a priority under Growing Forward 2.
To find out more about the AgriMarketing Program, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/agrimarketing.