Minister MacAulay announces new investment to advance Canada's horticulture sector and improve environmental sustainability

News release

October 11, 2023 – Abbotsford, British Columbia – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Canada's horticulture sector produces high-quality fruits and vegetables while keeping our food supply steady and strong. Yesterday, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, travelled to Abbotsford, British Columbia to meet with the BC Federation of Agriculture and visit local food producers.

While in Abbotsford, the Minister highlighted a $9.8 million partnership with the Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) through the AgriScience Program – Clusters Component, a program under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, that will assist Canada's horticulture industry by enhancing research that protects the environment, builds greater resilience, and helps ensure Canadians have access to high-quality products.

The investment will fund research that builds off of previous cluster investments, under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, supporting the development of new varieties, disease management, labour cost-savings, climate resilience, and greener pesticides and energy, with a focus on apples, berries, field vegetables, greenhouse vegetables, and potatoes. The goal of this research is to reduce the reliance on synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, advance innovative technologies, and create new disease control technology.

The Cluster consists of research activities that focus on the AgriScience Program priority areas: Climate change and environment, economic growth and development, and sector resilience and societal changes.

By investing in research and sustainability, the Government of Canada is helping organizations meet the increasing demand for our world-class, grown-in-Canada products. 


"Agriculture creates jobs and a sense of pride in communities right across Canada. The Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada have demonstrated continued leadership over the past 100 years, and we will continue to support Canada's fruit and vegetable growers, while building a sustainable sector for the future."

- The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

"We are incredibly excited to renew our collaboration with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the approval of the Canadian AgriScience Cluster for Horticulture 4. This significant investment of $17.5 million, including AAFC's substantial $9.8 million contribution, will be a catalyst for research spanning five commodity groups. This program will bolster our efforts in areas such as climate change mitigation, economic development, and sector resilience. Cluster 4 is not merely funding; it's a commitment to equipping Canadian farmers with the innovative tools they need to produce world-class fruits and vegetables and ensure our sector's sustainability."

- Marcus Janzen - Vice President, Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada

Quick facts

  • In 2021, the horticulture sector generated farm gate revenues of an estimated $6.7 billion.

  • The AgriScience Program, under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, aims to accelerate innovation by providing funding and support for pre-commercial science activities and research that benefits the agriculture and agri-food sector, and Canadians.

    • The Clusters Component, under the AgriScience Program, supports projects intended to mobilize industry, government and academia through partnerships, and address priority national themes and horizontal issues.
    • The application intake period is closed.
  • Projects and final funding are subject to negotiation of a contribution agreement, and a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement.

  • The FVGC represents growers across the country involved in the production of over 120 different types of crops on over 14,000 farms, with farm cash receipts of $5.7 billion in 2020. They are a not-for-profit, national association, and, since 1922, have advocated on important issues that impact Canada's fresh produce sector, promoting healthy, safe, and sustainable food, ensuring the continued success and growth of their industry.

Associated links


For media:

Annie Cullinan
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
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