Horticulture Value Chain Roundtable
A Brief History
The horticulture sector of Canadian agriculture and agri-food is a thriving industry that is rapidly expanding. In 2008, the sector generated $5.78 billion in farm cash receipts. Fruits and vegetables (including potatoes) accounted for the bulk of Canada's trade in horticultural products, representing 84% of the total value of exports and 96% of the total value of imports of horticultural products. (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 2010)
Horticultural production is concentrated largely in the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec. The ornamental sector (floriculture, nursery, Christmas trees, and sod) accounts for the largest share of horticultural farm cash receipts followed by field-grown and greenhouse vegetables, potatoes, fruits, maple syrup, and honey. (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 2010)
As a means of collaborating with sector stakeholders, AAFC established the Horticulture Value Chain Roundtable (HVCRT) to discuss challenges, opportunities, and plans of action through issue-based working groups.
The HVCRT seeks to fulfill its mandate and vision:
To provide a unique forum for representatives of all points in the horticulture value chain and government to engage in a constructive, solutions-oriented dialogue on strategic issues. This dialogue will foster collaborative industry relationships and industry-government action to secure an enduring competitive advantage, for Canada, both domestically and internationally.
The Horticulture Value Chain Roundtable (HVCRT) held its inaugural meeting in April 2004 and identified the following four priorities as immediate challenges and long-term opportunities for the sector:
- Increased recognition by government of the contribution of horticulture to the Canadian economy
- Harmonization of regulations and standards between Canada and the United States
- Enhanced competitiveness at all points in the horticulture value chain through strategic alliances
- Development of a marketing strategy to secure increased shares for Canadian horticultural products in both domestic and international markets
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