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Meeting the Challenge: Ontario's Greenhouse Vegetable Industry
Shalin Khosla
Harrow Ontario Canada

The dynamic Ontario greenhouse vegetable industry is 95% family owned with 2/3 of acreage located in the Leamington area in Southwestern Ontario. The produce is shipped to markets in Ontario, Quebec, and the middle and eastern United States. At present, 57% of the industry's total area is devoted to tomatoes, 31% to cucumbers, 11% to peppers and 1% to lettuce, Oriental vegetables and herbs.

DEVELOPMENT TRENDS. The industry has doubled in size over the past five years, with most of this expansion in the tomato sector. Modernization during the 1990s resulted in greater efficiencies and helped Ontario greenhouses compete more favourably against fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers from the field. Changes included the use of double poly gutter vented greenhouses, the introduction of climate control computers, and improvements to packing facilities.

MARKETING. Joint marketing through the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Producers' Marketing Board (OGVPMB) has also been key to industry growth. This agency advertises for the industry as a whole, develops new markets in conjunction with sales staff, and assists in funding research. The OGVPMB advertises through print, radio, television and in-store promotions, in cooperation with Foodland Ontario. The OGVPMB has been proactive and has formulated a strategic plan for the future. Three key points of the plan are high quality product, service and supply.

BENEFITS OF INDUSTRY GROWTH. The growth of the industry has had a positive environmental and economic impact on the local trucking industry. Improvements to packing, loading and unloading facilities have been undertaken to increase efficiencies. The trucks and trailers are used for advertising as they have the Ontario Greenhouse produce logo painted on them. The support industries (such as greenhouse manufacturers, suppliers and contractors, as well as electrical, computer and communication businesses) have benefited from the greenhouse industry growth. The demand for local labour has increased twofold over the past 5 years and continues to increase.

Shalin Khosla

Shalin Khosla has worked for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs since 1991. He provides expertise and advice to Ontario greenhouse vegetable producers. He received his M. Sc. From the University of Guelph's Department of Horticultural Science.

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, OMAFRA Harrow Research Station

Harrow Ontario Canada N0R 1G0
Phone: 519-738-2251 Fax: 519-738-2929 Other Phone:

Phone: Fax: Other Phone:

Last modified: 10/22/1999 03:19:11 PM
Project Profile
Economic Benefits
Keeps Money Local
Converts Industry

Project Description
System / Infrastructure
Business / Service
Marketing / Cultural

Freight / Delivery

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs,
Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Producers' Marketing Board
Denton Huffman, Manager OGVPMB

For more information:
contact Shalin Khosla
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