October 31, 2023 By Government of Ontario
The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $8 million through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) to help apple, tender fruit and wine grape producers grow popular varieties.
The initial apple and tender fruit intake of the Growing Future Opportunities Initiative will provide eligible producers with cost-shared funding to purchase new plants to create new opportunities for their business. The wine grape intake will provide producers with access to the same cost-share funding. The replanted stock will yield varieties of produce that better meet market demand, increase yield hardiness and improve resistance against pests and diseases.
“Tender fruit, apple, and wine grape producers are a vital part of Canada’s agricultural industry,” said Lawrence MacAulay, federal minister of agriculture and agri-food. “This funding will help the sector stay competitive while providing Canadians with access to locally grown, healthy and delicious fruit.”
“Growing high quality, nutritious apples for the Canadian market is a long-term commitment and investment,” said Cathy McKay, chair of the Ontario Apple Growers. “Transitioning orchards to high-density systems helps support our growers with lower cost of production, brings additional efficiency to the farm and increases our competitiveness here at home and in the global marketplace.”
Under the Growing Future Opportunities Initiative, eligible producers can apply to receive 75 per cent of cost-share funding for plants, with approved projects to be completed by Dec. 31, 2026. The apple and tender fruit intake of the initiative will open on Nov. 20. The wine grape intake is anticipated in the winter of 2024.
“We’re making sure the agri-food sector in Ontario realizes its incredible potential by ensuring product supply aligns with consumer demand,” said Lisa Thompson, Ontario minister of agriculture, food, and rural affairs. “This initiative will support our fruit growers as they produce more grape, apple, and tender fruit varieties that are widely sought after both domestically and internationally.”
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