The Greenbelt Foundation has announced a generous $280,000 grant to the Ontario tender fruit sector to plant 75,000 tender fruit trees and 10,000 grapevines.
The announcement builds on a previous grant of $400,000 between 2015-2017, which supported the planting of 156,000 trees and vines.
“The Niagara Tender Fruit and Grape Area is one of Canada’s most productive growing regions, owing to a unique climate and close proximity to the country’s largest market,” explains Edward McDonnell, CEO, Greenbelt Foundation. According to a Greenbelt Foundation research report: Dollars and Sense: Opportunities to Strengthen Southern Ontario’s Food System, over $53 million worth of tender fruit is imported to Canada each year, more of which could be produced in this region. With today’s investment, the Greenbelt Foundation is supporting our farmers in proactively mitigating challenges associated with climate change, enabling them to produce more of the high-quality fruit the region is known for.”
“Consumer and retail demand for locally-grown tender fruit continues to grow,” explains Phil Tregunno, chair, Ontario Tender Fruit Growers. “Our replant program is immensely popular among growers, who are contributing 70 per cent of overall costs, underscoring their commitment to the program. We are grateful to the Greenbelt Foundation for their ongoing support of our growers and the industry as a whole, which makes an important contribution to Ontario’s rural economy.”
This project is also being completed in partnership with Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, University of Guelph, and Tender Fruit and Table Grape Growers. Program guidelines and applications forms will follow in the coming weeks for 2022/2023 plantings.
Source: Greenbelt Foundation September 23, 2021 news release