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Ont. hothouse growers approve checkoff

Flowers Canada (Ontario) has been officially approved as the checkoff-funded representative group for the province’s flower and potted plant growers.

The province granted the designation, effective Sept. 11, after a January vote by greenhouse floriculture growers in Ontario, overseen by the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission. The growers will now pay a mandatory license fee to fund the organization.

“Our greenhouse floriculture growers supported this designation because they know that when we work together it gives them a competitive advantage in a global marketplace,” Agriculture Minister Leona Dombrowsky said in a provincial press release Monday.

Greenhouse floriculture growers of cut flowers, potted plants, annual
bedding plants and propagative plant material will “reap the benefits from
organizing under one voice” to improve production and marketing of their
products in Ontario, the province said.

To that end, greenhouse floriculture growers with 20,000 square feet or more of those specific products will pay a mandatory checkoff fee, worth two cents per square foot of greenhouse floriculture production, up to a maximum annual fee of $13,000.

The province has about 350 greenhouse floriculture producers, with about 34 million square feet of total greenhouse space. Growers with 20,000 square feet or more have until Nov. 1 to pay their fees for this year, with fees due on or before July 1 in subsequent years, the province said.

“This designation is important to the greenhouse floriculture industry in Ontario, and the support we have received from growers will go a long way in enabling Flowers Canada (Ontario) Inc. to address the many challenges facing our
industry,” Andy Kuyvenhoven, president of Flowers Canada (Ontario), said in the province’s release.

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