Building on a report released in 2020, the Greenbelt Foundation is announcing new research on opportunities to expand Ontario’s fruit and vegetable sector to increase local production of apples, snap beans, and two kinds of cabbage. Expanding production of these crops could add $35 million to farmgate revenues, on top of the $100 million opportunity outlined in the 2020 report.
Plant The Seeds: Opportunities to Grow Southern Ontario's Fruit and Vegetable Sector report outlines how the region—of which the Greenbelt contributes 750,000 acres of highly productive farmland—could provide an even greater contribution to the province’s rural economy by helping it rely less on imported fruits and vegetables and expand production of nine crops including the four mentioned above plus those covered by the 2020 report: fresh grapes, strawberries, pears, garlic, and sweet potatoes, as well as vertical farming.
Outlined in this new version of the report is an opportunity to increase the market share of Ontario-grown fresh apples from an average of 74.5 per cent of annual consumption up to 83 per cent; fresh snap beans from 45 per cent to close to 50 per cent of annual consumption; “Chinese” cabbage from an average of 50 per cent of annual consumption to almost 68 per cent; and regular cabbage from an average of 78.5 per cent of annual consumption to up to 90 per cent. Altogether, these expansion opportunities would contribute $34.4 million to Ontario’s rural economies in farmgate revenue.
The full report, a summary report, and farmer profiles can be viewed at this link: https://www.greenbelt.ca/planting_seeds
Source: Greenbelt Foundation June 15, 2021 news release