Statistical Overview of the Canadian Greenhouse Vegetable Industry, 2015

Alternative Formats

Overview

Canada's greenhouse industry produces tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, peppers and other greenhouse vegetables. Of these commodities, tomatoes are the main greenhouse vegetable crop grown in Canada.

The total harvested area of greenhouse vegetables in Canada was over 14 million square metres in 2015, which was up 3% from the previous year. There has been a steady increase in the harvested area of greenhouse vegetables in Canada over the last five years.

Ontario continued to lead the greenhouse vegetable sector in 2015, representing 69% of the total harvested area in Canada, followed by British Columbia and Quebec with 20% and 7%, respectively. Moreover, Ontario also produced 71% of Canada's greenhouse vegetables, with British Columbia (22%) and Quebec (4%) ranked second and third. The total production of greenhouse vegetables in Canada was over 600,000 metric tonnes.

The farm gate value (FGV)Footnote 1 of Canada's greenhouse vegetables in 2015 was around $1.3 billion, which was 4% higher than in 2014 and 7% higher than in 2013. Tomatoes accounted for 40% ($517 million) of the total greenhouse vegetable FGV, followed by peppers and cucumbers, which accounted for 33% ($426 million) and 24% ($308 million), respectively.

Canadian greenhouse vegetable farms use both seasonal and permanent employees. Seasonal employees are employees who work less than eight months during the year, while permanent employees work more than eight months during the year. The total number of employees of specialized greenhouse operations has been relatively stable over the past five years. In 2015, 10,515 people were employed in the greenhouse vegetable sector: 5,514 permanent employees and 5,000 seasonal employees. Ontario itself accounted for 61% of the total number of greenhouse operation employees in Canada.

The value of greenhouse vegetable exports is the highest of all fresh produce (fruits, vegetables and potatoes) in Canada, accounting for 41% of all fresh produce exports. The total value of Canada's greenhouse vegetable exports has fluctuated over the past five years. Except for a 2% drop in 2012 compared to 2011, Canada experienced 43% growth from $579 million in 2012 to a five-year high of $826 million in 2015. Peppers accounted for 40% of the total value of exports, followed by tomatoes with 38%. The United States has been Canada's main export destinations for greenhouse vegetables for the past five years. In 2015, the value of exports to the United States accounted for 99.7% of all Canadian greenhouse vegetable exports.

In 2015, Canada imported $370 million of greenhouse vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and lettuce). The top two greenhouse vegetable import sources were Mexico, accounting for $315 million and the United States, accounting for $33 million. Tomatoes (53%) are the largest imported commodity, followed by peppers (35%), cucumbers (12%) and lettuce (0.2%).

1. Production

1.1. Number of greenhouse vegetable farms[1] by province

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Atlantic provinces 45 50 50 45 40
Quebec 245 240 235 195 190
Ontario 235 235 230 230 228
Prairie provinces 80 85 85 80 75
British Columbia 130 135 135 130 125
Canada 735 745 735 680 658

Note:

  • 1. Number of farms represents the number of specialized greenhouse vegetable and fruit operations and includes all other types of enclosed protection used for growing plants, such as rigid insulation, mine shafts, barns and shelters.

Due to confidentiality reasons, provincial breakdowns for Atlantic and Prairie provinces are not shown.

Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0047)

1.2. Harvested area of greenhouse vegetables by province (square metres)

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Newfoundland and Labrador 1,509 2,522 3,018 3,235 2,330
Prince Edward Island 242 x 1,236 1,398 x
Nova Scotia 52,850 51,554 63,959 67,577 72,898
New Brunswick x x x x 2,934
Quebec 650,696 813,802 974,967 909,517 932,767
Ontario 8,260,638 8,946,414 9,536,949 9,648,343 9,973,043
Manitoba 7,786 6,778 6,595 835 5,245
Saskatchewan 9,289 4,575 15,250 12,978 11,445
Alberta 506,093 520,013 541,095 530,301 506,884
British Columbia 2,805,537 2,890,257 2,953,999 3,014,961 2,844,344
Canada 12,616,282 13,342,785 14,159,519 14,234,970 14,393,898

x: Too unreliable to be published or suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act.

Source: Statistics Canada. (CANSIM Table 001-0006)

1.3. Harvested area of greenhouse vegetables by province – percent share, 2015

Description of this image follows.

Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0006)

Description of above image

Harvested area of greenhouse vegetables by province – percent share

  • Ontario: 69%
  • British Columbia: 20%
  • Quebec: 7%
  • Others: 4%

1.4. Harvested area of greenhouse vegetables by commodity (square metres)

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Tomatoes 5,321,281 5,313,632 5,626,969 5,540,991 5,530,341
Peppers 3,887,737 4,546,257 4,887,414 4,951,039 4,940,123
Cucumbers 3,089,805 3,273,983 3,462,182 3,544,037 3,710,078
Lettuce 317,459 208,913 182,954 198,903 213,356
Total 12,616,282 13,342,785 14,159,519 14,234,970 14,393,898

Source: Statistics Canada. (CANSIM Table 001-0006)

1.5. Harvested area of greenhouse vegetables by commodity – percent share, 2015

Description of this image follows.

Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0006)

Description of above image

Harvested area of greenhouse vegetables by commodity – percent share

  • Tomatoes: 38%
  • Peppers: 34%
  • Cucumbers: 26%
  • Lettuce: 2%

1.6. Greenhouse vegetable[1] production by province (metric tonnes)

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Newfoundland and Labrador 7 9 16 25 7
Prince Edward Island 0 x x 66 x
Nova Scotia 347 1,943 2,763 2,668 2,714
New Brunswick x x 27 24 24
Quebec[2] 22,468 22,777 21,764 20,495 2,432
Ontario 348,487 385,363 408,398 420,341 415,558
Manitoba 190 162 178 24 152
Saskatchewan 92 86 210 162 154
Alberta 21,025 23,115 20,769 22,357 20,866
British Columbia 112,095 115,073 130,325 124,256 119,789
Canada 509,126 551,714 585,617 590,986 581,677

Notes:

  • 1. Does not include lettuce.
  • 2. Data for greenhouse tomatoes in 2015 are not included because they are too unreliable to be published.

x: Too unreliable to be published or suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act.

Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0006)

1.7. Greenhouse vegetable production by province – percent share, 2015

Description of this image follows.

Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0006)

Description of above image

Greenhouse vegetable production by province – percent share

  • Ontario: 71%
  • British Columbia: 21%
  • Others: 8%

1.8. Greenhouse vegetable production by commodity (metric tonnes)

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Tomatoes 266,481 272,992 282,809 280,332 266,845
Cucumbers 152,453 166,731 174,534 180,360 180,194
Peppers 90,192 111,991 128,274 130,294 134,638
Lettuce[1] 15,643 15,304 17,467 18,387 20,699
Total 524,769 567,018 603,084 609,373 602,376

Note:

  • 1. Lettuce production has been converted using Statistics Canada's conversion rate: 1 dozen heads of lettuce is equivalent to 15 pounds (where 1 pound = 0.4536 kg).

Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0006)

1.9. Farm gate value of greenhouse vegetables by province (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Newfoundland and Labrador 19 22 83 83 50
Prince Edward Island 6 x 15 211 x
Nova Scotia 1,039 4,699 7,302 7,503 7,118
New Brunswick x x 111 90 101
Quebec[1] 71,981 80,913 86,011 86,678 36,420
Ontario 687,296 678,383 767,501 803,226 820,299
Manitoba 724 651 703 87 609
Saskatchewan 847 398 1,194 873 979
Alberta 42,379 50,545 52,275 52,114 50,897
British Columbia 259,239 231,049 299,792 290,743 302,543
Canada 1,095,624 1,055,981 1,222,150 1,249,671 1,287,236

Note:

  • 1. Data for greenhouse tomatoes in 2015 are not included because they are too unreliable to be published.

x: Too unreliable to be published or suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act

Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0006)

1.10. Farm gate value of greenhouse vegetables by commodity (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Tomatoes 484,934 437,649 516,656 507,098 516,928
Peppers 299,612 313,357 377,329 398,699 426,118
Cucumbers 284,522 281,791 299,170 312,127 308,199
Lettuce 26,555 23,184 28,994 31,748 35,991
Total 1,095,624 1,055,981 1,222,150 1,249,671 1,287,236

Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0006)

2. Labour

2.1. Total number of employees of specialized greenhouse vegetable operations

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Atlantic provinces Seasonal employees[1] 105 125 140 96 93
Permanent employees[2] 60 70 73 52 58
Total employees 165 195 213 148 152
Quebec Seasonal employees[1] 655 890 596 496 467
Permanent employees[2] 910 1,055 720 698 800
Total employees 1,565 1,945 1,316 1,194 1,267
Ontario Seasonal employees[1] 3,475 3,856 3,564 3,708 3,380
Permanent employees[2] 2,790 2,765 2,610 2,977 3,006
Total employees 6,265 6,621 6,174 6,685 6,386
Prairie provinces Seasonal employees[1] 240 190 104 96 120
Permanent employees[2] 360 470 438 399 385
Total employees 600 660 542 495 505
British Columbia Seasonal employees[1] 1,025 1,180 1,156 1,058 940
Permanent employees[2] 1,330 1,360 1,180 1,387 1,265
Total employees 2,355 2,540 2,336 2,445 2,205
Canada Seasonal employees[1] 5,500 6,241 5,560 5,454 5,000
Permanent employees[2] 5,450 5,720 5,021 5,513 5,514
Total employees 10,950 11,961 10,581 10,967 10,515

Notes:

  • 1. Seasonal employees who worked less than 8 months during the year.
  • 2. Permanent employees who worked more than 8 months during the year.

Due to confidentiality reasons, provincial breakdowns for Atlantic and Prairie provinces are not shown.

Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0055)

3. Trade

3.1. Canadian greenhouse vegetable trade balance (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Exports 590,438 578,802 724,057 730,092 827,500
Imports 234,721 222,591 259,074 309,934 369,896
Trade Balance
(Exports - Imports)
355,717 356,211 464,983 420,158 457,604

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)

3.2. Exports

3.2.1. Canada's greenhouse vegetable exports by commodity (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Tomatoes 292,709 265,396 315,472 297,925 311,310
Peppers 185,036 204,582 248,240 269,723 329,947
Cucumbers and gherkins 112,693 108,824 160,346 162,443 186,242
Total 590,438 578,802 724,057 730,092 827,500

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)

3.2.2. Canada's greenhouse vegetable exports by commodity (metric tonnes)

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Tomatoes 135,967 131,845 126,869 133,944 125,327
Peppers 54,528 65,377 73,858 76,684 82,317
Cucumbers and gherkins 56,737 60,241 77,938 77,477 93,631
Total 247,233 257,463 278,666 288,105 301,275

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)

3.2.3. Canada's greenhouse vegetable exports by province (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Prince Edward Island 0 4 0 3 0
Nova Scotia 20 19 13 9 3
New Brunswick 0 0 1 2 3
Quebec 3,184 3,446 5,267 3,233 5,766
Ontario 447,577 448,388 583,889 579,985 654,262
Manitoba 5 1 0 0 0
Alberta 703 546 187 278 378
British Columbia 138,949 126,389 134,699 146,581 167,087
Total 590,438 578,802 724,057 730,092 827,500

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)

3.2.4. Canada's greenhouse vegetable exports by province (metric tonnes)

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Prince Edward Island 0 1 0 1 0
Nova Scotia 5 6 4 3 1
New Brunswick 0 0 0 1 1
Quebec 2,561 3,025 3,786 2,416 4,370
Ontario 186,028 197,008 217,267 232,563 247,821
Manitoba 8 0 0 0 0
Alberta 552 657 115 227 206
British Columbia 58,077 56,764 57,494 52,895 48,876
Total 247,233 257,463 278,666 288,105 301,275

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)

3.2.5. Greenhouse vegetable destinations by commodity – value (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
United States Peppers 184,973 204,535 248,221 269,675 329,693
Tomatoes 292,094 264,822 314,052 297,079 309,363
Cucumbers and gherkins 112,675 108,823 160,337 162,322 186,202
Total 589,742 578,181 722,610 729,077 825,258
Japan Tomatoes 583 561 1,265 632 1,539
Cucumbers and gherkins 7 0 0 2 17
Total 590 561 1,265 635 1,556
Hong Kong Peppers 0 0 0 6 174
Tomatoes 1 2 6 47 136
Cucumbers and gherkins 0 0 0 6 6
Total 1 2 6 58 316
Taiwan Tomatoes 19 2 137 161 261
Cucumbers and gherkins 10 0 0 4 0
Peppers 0 1 0 0 0
Total 28 2 137 165 261
Germany Peppers 58 38 0 25 67
Total 58 38 0 25 67
Other countries Cucumbers and gherkins 1 1 8 109 17
Peppers 6 8 19 17 12
Tomatoes 12 9 12 7 12
Total 19 18 40 132 41
Total Peppers 185,036 204,582 248,240 269,723 329,947
Tomatoes 292,709 265,396 315,472 297,925 311,310
Cucumbers and gherkins 112,693 108,824 160,346 162,443 186,242
Total 590,438 578,802 724,057 730,092 827,500

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)

3.2.6. Greenhouse vegetable destinations by commodity – volume (metric tonnes)

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
United States Peppers 54,499 65,357 73,853 76,667 82,243
Tomatoes 135,808 131,647 126,423 133,691 124,689
Cucumbers and gherkins 56,732 60,241 77,935 77,432 93,615
Total 247,039 257,245 278,210 287,790 300,547
Japan Tomatoes 150 194 397 183 505
Cucumbers and gherkins 3 0 0 1 6
Total 153 194 397 184 511
Hong Kong Peppers 0 0 0 2 52
Tomatoes 0 1 2 14 45
Cucumbers and gherkins 0 0 0 2 2
Total 0 1 2 18 99
Taiwan Tomatoes 5 1 44 53 84
Cucumbers and gherkins 2 0 0 1 0
Peppers 0 0 0 0 0
Total 7 1 44 54 84
Germany Peppers 28 17 0 11 20
Total 28 17 0 11 20
Other countries Cucumbers and gherkins 0 0 3 41 7
Peppers 2 2 5 4 3
Tomatoes 4 3 4 2 4
Total 6 5 12 47 13
Total Peppers 54,528 65,377 73,858 76,684 82,317
Tomatoes 135,967 131,845 126,869 133,944 125,327
Cucumbers and gherkins 56,737 60,241 77,938 77,477 93,631
Total 247,233 257,463 278,666 288,105 301,275

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)

3.3. Imports

3.3.1. Canada's greenhouse vegetable imports by commodity (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Tomatoes 132,775 123,064 138,271 159,233 194,993
Peppers 75,034 77,577 91,886 108,055 129,741
Cucumbers and gherkins 26,469 21,598 28,076 41,971 44,368
Lettuce 443 353 841 674 793
Total 234,721 222,591 259,074 309,934 369,896

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)

3.3.2. Canada's greenhouse vegetable imports by commodity (metric tonnes)

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Tomatoes 58,311 57,006 64,215 64,192 70,723
Peppers 27,490 30,764 35,074 37,998 38,086
Cucumbers and gherkins 16,121 15,696 18,936 27,157 25,068
Lettuce 273 258 418 247 284
Total 102,195 103,724 118,643 129,593 134,161

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)

3.3.3. Greenhouse vegetable import sources – value (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Mexico Tomatoes 115,521 104,166 122,513 143,632 174,917
Peppers 59,335 68,908 84,192 95,804 105,933
Cucumbers and gherkins 18,294 17,664 22,702 33,664 33,762
Lettuce 7 2 2 11 5
Total 193,156 190,740 229,410 273,111 314,618
United States Tomatoes 13,362 17,177 13,987 14,932 19,577
Cucumbers and gherkins 6,327 3,047 3,434 6,423 8,134
Peppers 1,106 980 1,504 2,423 4,776
Lettuce 412 307 800 630 762
Total 21,207 21,511 19,724 24,408 33,249
Spain Peppers 5,917 2,851 3,442 5,674 14,807
Cucumbers and gherkins 1,008 433 1,720 903 2,114
Tomatoes 0 0 0 0 23
Lettuce 0 0 1 0 0
Total 6,924 3,284 5,162 6,578 16,943
Israel Peppers 3,423 1,158 699 1,229 1,633
Tomatoes 6 98 0 3 13
Lettuce 0 0 0 0 0
Cucumbers and gherkins 0 0 0 0 0
Total 3,430 1,255 699 1,232 1,646
Guatemala Peppers 27 55 181 267 667
Tomatoes 1,184 757 1,312 445 146
Lettuce 0 0 0 0 0
Cucumbers and gherkins 0 101 3 0 0
Total 1,212 914 1,495 713 813
Other countries Tomatoes 2,701 866 459 221 317
Peppers 5,226 3,625 1,868 2,657 1,925
Cucumbers and gherkins 840 352 218 981 357
Lettuce 25 44 38 33 26
Total 8,792 4,887 2,584 3,892 2,626
Total Tomatoes 132,775 123,064 138,271 159,233 194,993
Peppers 75,034 77,577 91,886 108,055 129,741
Cucumbers and gherkins 26,469 21,598 28,076 41,971 44,368
Lettuce 443 353 841 674 793
Total 234,721 222,591 259,074 309,934 369,896

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)

3.3.4. Greenhouse vegetable import sources – volume (metric tonnes)

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Mexico Tomatoes 51,529 48,551 56,937 57,867 63,069
Peppers 22,311 27,656 32,565 33,811 31,909
Cucumbers and gherkins 12,252 13,528 16,071 23,326 20,588
Lettuce 2 2 1 4 1
Total 86,095 89,736 105,574 115,008 115,567
United States Tomatoes 5,511 7,848 6,415 6,062 7,400
Cucumbers and gherkins 3,038 1,684 1,592 2,897 3,151
Peppers 468 416 559 921 1,317
Lettuce 251 229 394 237 278
Total 9,267 10,177 8,960 10,118 12,146
Spain Peppers 1,807 977 1,077 1,565 3,722
Cucumbers and gherkins 451 261 1,162 434 1,149
Tomatoes 0 0 0 0 14
Lettuce 0 0 0 0 0
Total 2,258 1,238 2,240 2,000 4,885
Israel Peppers 1,218 430 190 405 421
Tomatoes 1 19 0 0 3
Lettuce 0 0 0 0 0
Cucumbers and gherkins 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1,220 450 190 406 424
Guatemala Peppers 5 17 40 59 107
Tomatoes 435 230 650 180 59
Lettuce 0 0 0 0 0
Cucumbers and gherkins 0 39 3 0 0
Total 441 286 693 239 166
Other countries Tomatoes 834 357 213 82 179
Peppers 1,681 1,268 642 1,235 610
Cucumbers and gherkins 380 184 108 499 179
Lettuce 20 28 22 6 4
Total 2,914 1,838 986 1,822 973
Total Tomatoes 58,311 57,006 64,215 64,192 70,723
Peppers 27,490 30,764 35,074 37,998 38,086
Cucumbers and gherkins 16,121 15,696 18,936 27,157 25,068
Lettuce 273 258 418 247 284
Total 102,195 103,724 118,643 129,593 134,161

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)

4. Key Resources

  • Statistics Canada. CANSIM Table 001-0006
  • Statistics Canada. CANSIM Table 001-0047
  • Statistics Canada. CANSIM Table 001-0055
  • Statistics Canada. CATSNET

Alternative Formats

Help with Alternative Formats

Statistical Overview of the Canadian Greenhouse Vegetable Industry, 2015 (PDF version, 815 KB)

Date modified: