LINCOLN, Canada – 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 of produce.
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 that will 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.”
“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.”
Under the Growing Future Opportunities Initiative, eligible producers can apply to receive 75 percent of cost-share funding for plants, with plantings to be completed by the end of 2026. The apple and tender fruit intake of the initiative will open on November 20, 2023. Approved projects are to be completed by December 31, 2026. The wine grape intake is anticipated in the winter of 2024.
Sustainable CAP is a five-year (2023-2028), $3.5-billion investment by federal‐provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the competitiveness and resiliency of the agriculture, agri‐food and agri‐based products sector. This includes $1 billion in federal programs and activities and a $2.5 billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 percent provincially/territorially for programs designed and delivered by the provinces and territories.
“The Ontario Tender Fruit Growers has prioritized new variety development for many years and is well positioned for this opportunity. We greatly appreciate this funding to meet market demand, address climate change pressures and reduce reliance on imports to feed Canadians,” said Phil Tregunno, chair, Ontario Tender Fruit Growers.