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Canada invests to support ornamental horticulture sector

The Canadian horticultural industry will be better able to adapt to consumer choices regarding lifestyle, environmental practices and health thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada. Jacques Gourde, Member of Parliament for Lotbinière-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, today announced, on behalf of Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Gerry Ritz, $457,000 in funding for the Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance (COHA) to do a major economic and environmental impact study of the industry.

"Our government firmly supports our agricultural producers by investing in new and emerging market opportunities," Gourde said. "By focusing on job creation and building a stronger economy we will increase the quality, value, and eventually, global competitiveness of Canada’s horticultural industry."

The aim of the project known as Canadian Ornamental Horticulture’s Green Solution for Growing the Sector will be to develop and test a national promotional plan inspired by the comments and impressions of consumers and designed to capitalize on their concerns about lifestyle, environmental practices and health. This plan will contribute to the development of good environmental practices and the establishment of standardized practices as part of a pilot project focused on production costs.

The results of the project will be disseminated to horticultural organizations and businesses across Canada. Access to this information will facilitate the planning of workshops with horticulturalists to develop a model of production costs and good environmental practices aimed at identifying the variables that have the greatest impact on the industry.

COHA, the national voice of Canada’s largest sector in horticulture, is made up of three broad-based organizations: the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, the Fédération interdisciplinaire de l’horticulture ornementale du Québec, and Flowers Canada Growers. These three organizations work together through COHA to coordinate industry action and contribute to effective public policy.

"The financial assistance provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will enable us to develop a business plan to increase our market shares and devise a Canada-wide communication and marketing plan that will keep the Alliance competitive," said COHA Vice-President Paul Jensen.

This investment is part of the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP), which is providing $163 million in funding over five years (2009-2014) to help the agricultural sector seize opportunities, respond to new and emerging issues and pilot solutions to those issues.

The next phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan consists in acting in partnership with other programs and Canadian government initiatives like CAAP to help agricultural producers by focusing on job creation and building a stronger economy. By investing in new and emerging market opportunities, it helps further strengthen the agricultural industry and the Canadian economy for the future.

by S. C.
21 september 2011, World News > America