Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

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From the editor: May 2015

April 23, 2015  ByMarg Land


 

Welcome to Fruit and Vegetable Magazine’s new look, just in time for spring.

There’s nothing like a new haircut and spiffy, fresh wardrobe to boost one’s spirits. It’s a new year and a new growing season, plus a new design.

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Don’t worry – some of Fruit and Vegetable Magazine’s old standards are still here. We’ll still be covering the latest and greatest in production research and innovation from coast to coast with a sprinkling of industry news and new products. It will just come wrapped in a fresh, shiny new package.

There will also be some new departments to enjoy. By the Numbers features the latest agricultural statistics involving fruit and vegetable production in Canada and the world presented in easily digestible, info-graphic nuggets. Growth Trends offers brief news items featuring the latest research developments aimed at helping growers with production and marketing issues. And I’m very happy to welcome Cathy Bartolic, executive director of the Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association (OFFMA), to Fruit and Vegetable Magazine. Cathy will be penning the magazine’s new column, Marketing Matters, located on the inside back page.

With all this discussion of new ideas and revamped vision, it’s easy to become enthusiastic and optimistic about the future. And so we should be, given the latest information highlighted in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Overview of the Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food System 2015, released in mid-April.

According to the report, the Canadian agriculture and agri-food system (AAFS) is a complex and integrated supply chain that generated $106.9 billion in 2013, accounting for 6.7 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Employment in most industries in the AAFS continued on an upward trend. In 2013, the AAFS provided one in eight jobs in Canada, employing more than 2.2 million people. The foodservice industry was the largest employer in the AAFS, accounting for 5.3 per cent of all Canadian jobs.

Canada was the world’s fifth-largest exporter of agriculture and agri-food products after the European Union (E.U.), the U.S., Brazil, and China in 2013. Canadian export sales grew by 5.5 per cent in 2013 to $46 billion, maintaining its 3.5 per cent share of the total value of world agriculture and agri-food exports. The U.S. remains Canada’s most important agriculture and agri-food export destination, accounting for 50.8 per cent of total Canadian exports, followed by China, Japan, the E.U., and Mexico.

With import sales of $34.3 billion in 2013 – an increase of six per cent over the previous year – Canada remained the world’s sixth-largest importer, accounting for 2.9 per cent of the total value of world agriculture and agri-food imports.

With numbers like that, it’s hard to remain pessimistic about the future, although the AAFC report did state that agriculture producers continue to see rising operating costs. These increased by more than 40 per cent over the 2003 to 2013 period. The operating expenses contributing the most to the increase were commercial seed (107 per cent), fertilizer and lime (90 per cent), machinery fuel (80 per cent), and custom work (74 per cent).

 

 

 


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