Fruit & Vegetable: Bringing organic indoors with Erieview Acres
by Stephanie Brunet and Kelly Carmichael, OCO
Despite these significant figures, according to the Organic Federation of Canada, only six per cent of greenhouses in Canada were certified organic as of 2019.
The Canadian greenhouse vegetable sector is the largest and fastest growing sector of Canadian horticulture. According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ontario accounted for 69 per cent of greenhouse growers in the country in 2020. Ontario is home to more than 3,300 acres of greenhouses, giving the province one of the highest concentrations of greenhouses in North America, and employing more than 13,000 workers. In the Organic Council of Ontario’s (OCO) preliminary findings of the Labour Needs Assessment project, 30 per cent of conventional farms and 69 per cent of organic farms in the greenhouse, nursery and floriculture sector have paid employees.
Despite these significant figures, according to the Organic Federation of Canada (OFC), only six per cent of greenhouses in Canada were certified organic as of 2019. Why do so few greenhouse growers choose to grow organic? The idea of transitioning to organic may be intimidating due to the strict requirements for certified organic greenhouses, laid out in the Canadian Organic Standards (COS).
Yet transitioning to certified organic may in fact be easier than many greenhouse growers think. And, with a rising demand for organic produce worldwide, transitioning to organic could have a number of benefits. One certified organic greenhouse that demonstrates these benefits is Erieview Acres in Kingsville, Ont.