Assessing the economic impact of Ontario's greenhouse sector

 Greenhouse vegetable and flower production is a leading sector in Ontario horticulture and agriculture.

With 3,200 acres in agricultural production, Ontario’s diversified greenhouse sector contributes $2.3 billion to the province’s economy. Not only do Ontario’s greenhouse crops generate an estimated $1.5 billion in annual farm gate sales, but the sector also has exports valued at $920 million, and employs over 20,000 workers, making it a vital source of economic activity in Ontario’s rural communities.

To get an accurate assessment of the sector’s total economic footprint, The Ontario Greenhouse Alliance, which represents the Ontario greenhouse sector on behalf of its two member organizations Flowers Canada (Ontario) and Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers, accessed funding through Growing Forward 2 (GF2) to conduct a thorough economic impact study.

The report, completed by consulting firm MNP, provides updated information on the competitive position of the Ontario greenhouse sector and current analysis of its size and economic impact.

This important work includes a currency sensitivity analysis of the sector’s market position relative to its main trading partner (United States) and main competitor (Mexico), and an analysis of employment at the marketer and wholesaler level.

Labour and energy are two leading costs of production in greenhouse agriculture, making it important for the sector to understand its competitive position with respect to other greenhouse growing regions.

While growers are already taking innovative steps to boost productivity and use energy more efficiently, the report will help the sector continue to be proactive in adopting new technologies.

Growing Forward 2 is a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists with the delivery of GF2 programming in Ontario.