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More acreage makes for a challenging greenhouse cucumber marketAdditional acreage is just one of the challenges currently faced by some Canadian greenhouse cucumber growers. “We’re all struggling a little bit with supply right now,” says Niels Klapwijk of Leamington, Ontario-based Nature Fresh Farms. “There’s quite a big increase in acreage —not only in Ontario but also in Quebec and some in Alberta too, along with Mexico. The whole cucumber commodity is up in acreage.”
In turn, Klapwijk notes Guatemala and Honduras also currently have product.
Prices turning downwards
And while Nature Fresh sees regular demand from Ontario and across Canada for product, prices in turn have dropped as well. “Pricing isn’t good enough right now,” says Klapwijk. “It’s much lower than last year and growers are struggling to meet their costs. Cap and Trade costs brought on by the Ontario government, along with rising labour costs, do not help the situation either. All around it’s just a slow, poor market at the moment.”
That said, Klapwijk senses a turnaround may be possible. “In produce, what goes down must come up at some point,” he says. “It’s gone a bit better over the past few weeks. Demand seems to have perked up a bit with warmer weather and better days. My expectations are that I don’t think it’s going to be worse. There will also be some acreage coming out of production in Western Canada. This should also help lower the volume pressure and bring pricing up.
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