Canadian Greenhouse Vegetable Growers welcome federal research funds for greenhouse automation

On behalf of greenhouse vegetable growers across the country, the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) would like to thank the federal government for recognizing the significant growth potential of greenhouse farming and establishing a $5 million Automation Cluster under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, to help continue to drive innovation and modernize the greenhouses of tomorrow.

“Our members are early adopters, and operate at the front edge of the technology curve. This federal investment will play a critical role in greenhouse vegetable growers’ competitiveness and ability to respond to market opportunities” mentioned Linda Delli Santi, Chair of the Greenhouse Vegetable Committee at the Canadian Horticultural Council.

Like other fruit and vegetable crops, the greenhouse vegetable sector relies significantly on work done by hand. The Automation Cluster led by Vineland Research and Innovation Centre Inc. will focus on increased automation, artificial intelligence and precision agriculture technologies to help alleviate some of the challenges related to the labour shortages and increasing costs.

About the greenhouse vegetable sector

Canadian greenhouse vegetable, primarily tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce and eggplants are grown on 887 farms across Canada. Growers grow local, fresh produce throughout the year and contribute to meeting Canada’s healthy eating and food security goals. Our growers use innovative technologies and are committed to ensuring high quality, safe and environmentally sustainable food for Canadians and abroad. The greenhouse vegetable sector contributed more than $1.4 billion in farm cash receipts to the Canadian economy and exports totaling more than $964 million in 2017.