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Canadian farmers are growing more certified organic vegetables

In 2020, certified organic fruit and vegetable farmers grew and sold more produce, despite adverse weather conditions and labor shortages amid the pandemic. Nevertheless, certified organic production accounted for 6.4% of the total fruit and vegetables sold nationally in 2020.

Certified organic fruit and vegetable cultivated area increased 8.2% to 19 506 hectares in 2020. However, adverse weather conditions for some fruit farmers contributed to a 4.3% decrease to $161.5 million in the farm-gate value of certified organic fruits and vegetables. Canadian organic farmers also faced labor shortages and marketing challenges in 2020 as a result of the pandemic.

Total certified organic fruit cultivated area in Canada rose 8.4% from a year earlier, to 14 435 hectares in 2020. Fruit bearing area was up 9.8% to 8 995 hectares. Quebec accounted for the largest share of cultivated area (83.7%), followed by British Columbia (9.3%) and Ontario (5.6%). Wild blueberries (78.6%) and cranberries (16.3%) accounted for almost all the certified organic cultivated area in Quebec.

The farm-gate value of certified organic fruit fell 7.7% to $100 million, partially attributable to a 27.4% drop in certified organic cranberry farm-gate value to $35.7 million.

Conversely, the farm-gate value increased for certified organic apples (+19.7% to $21.9 million), certified organic wild blueberries (+16.6% to $13.2 million) and certified organic strawberries (+12.9% to $2.2 million). As mentioned in the February release, wild blueberry and apple production rose in 2020.

Source: statcan.gc.ca


Photo source: Dreamstime.com


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