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  • Stephen Lecce, MPP

Governments Positioning Fruit Farming Sector for Growth

LINCOLN – The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $8 million through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) to help apple, tender fruit, and wine grape producers grow popular varieties of produce.


The initial apple and tender fruit intake of the Growing Future Opportunities Initiative will provide eligible producers with cost-shared funding to purchase new plants that will create new opportunities for their business. The wine grape intake will provide producers with access to the same cost-share funding. The replanted stock will yield varieties of produce that better meet market demand, increase yield hardiness, and improve resistance against pests and diseases.

"Tender fruit, apple, and wine grape producers are a vital part of Canada’s agricultural industry,” said the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “This funding will help the sector stay competitive while providing Canadians with access to locally grown, healthy, and delicious fruit.”

“We’re making sure the agri-food sector in Ontario realizes its incredible potential by ensuring product supply aligns with consumer demand,” said Lisa Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. “This initiative will support our fruit growers as they produce more grape, apple, and tender fruit varieties that are widely sought after both domestically and internationally.”

Under the Growing Future Opportunities Initiative, eligible producers can apply to receive 75 per cent of cost-share funding for plants, with plantings to be completed by the end of 2026. The apple and tender fruit intake of the initiative will open on November 20, 2023. Approved projects are to be completed by December 31, 2026. The wine grape intake is anticipated in the winter of 2024.

Sustainable CAP is a five-year (2023-2028), $3.5-billion investment by federal‐provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the competitiveness and resiliency of the agriculture, agri‐food and agri‐based products sector. This includes $1 billion in federal programs and activities and a $2.5 billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs designed and delivered by the provinces and territories.


Quick Facts

  • Delivered by Agricorp, application information for the Growing Future Opportunities initiative will be available online at the Agricorp website or by calling 1-888-247-4999.

  • The Growing Future Opportunities Initiative will help Ontario reach the goals outlined in the Grow Ontario Strategy, which include increasing the consumption and production of food grown and prepared in the province by 30 per cent by 2032.

  • Building sector capacity and growth through realizing the potential of value-added agri-food and agri-products were among the top priorities set for Sustainable CAP by the federal-provincial-territorial agricultural ministers in The Guelph Statement.


Quotes

"Wine Growers Ontario appreciates Minister Thompson’s continued support of the Ontario grape and wine industry. Today’s announcement will help our industry as we continue to adjust to consumer demands and the influx of heavily subsidized foreign imports."

- Aaron Dobbin President and CEO, Wine Growers Ontario

"Today’s joint announcement by Minister Lisa Thompson, and Minister Lawrence MacAulay, is welcome news for our grape growers across Ontario. It shows their commitment to our farm families and the local economy, which is the backbone of Ontario."

- Matthias Oppenlaender Chair, Grape Growers of Ontario

"The Growing Future Opportunities Initiative will provide much needed support to Ontario’s wine and grape industry, which contributes $3.42 billion annually to the province’s economy. We look forward to partnering with local growers to grow premium VQA grapes that our burgeoning small and medium size wineries will need for future growth."

- Carolyn Hurst Chair, Ontario Craft Wineries

"Ontario Apple Growers thanks the Federal and Provincial Governments for this investment in Ontario’s apple orchards. Growing high quality, nutritious apples for the Canadian market is a long-term commitment and investment. Transitioning orchards to high-density systems helps support our growers with lower cost of production, brings additional efficiency to the farm and increases our competitiveness here at home and in the global marketplace."

- Cathy McKay Chair, Ontario Apple Growers

"The Ontario Tender Fruit Growers has prioritized new variety development for many years and is well positioned for this opportunity. We greatly appreciate this funding to meet market demand, address climate change pressures and reduce reliance on imports to feed Canadians."

- Phil Tregunno Chair, Ontario Tender Fruit Growers

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