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.
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