Faster access to new plant varieties and processes will help horticulture producers remain innovative and competitive. The Governments of Canada and Ontario will invest $15.6 million in the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (VRIC) to coordinate and deliver commercialization opportunities to the horticulture sector. “Research and innovation are the keys to the competitiveness and profitability of our growers,” said Parliamentary Secretary Pierre Lemieux, on behalf of Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “This investment will translate into new advances which will in turn translate into more economic opportunity for the horticulture sector.”
“Industry-driven research and a focus on commercialization will result in more jobs, a more competitive horticulture industry and a stronger economy,” said Leona Dombrowsky, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. VRIC will work with the agricultural industry, colleges, universities and other research institutions, including Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, to develop the capacity of horticultural producers to grow new, high-value crop varieties, to use more efficient production processes and to find ways to increase the year-round supply of products. “Horticulture producers in this region and across Canada are true leaders in providing the highest quality and innovative food and plants to consumers,” said Member of Parliament Dean Allison (Niagara-West-Glanbrook), who made the announcement with Mr. Lemieux in Vineland, Ontario today. “The Government of Canada supports these efforts through investments in world-class research institutes like Vineland.”
“On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, I thank the federal and provincial governments for their contribution to developing the Centre’s science capabilities,” said VRIC CEO Jim Brandle. “We are committed to horticultural research and innovation that strengthens the competitiveness of Canadian farmers and agri-business through leading edge science and business development. Today’s announcement is another important milestone to reaching that goal.”
This investment in VRIC is one of Ontario’s innovation and science initiatives under Growing Forward, a federal-provincial-territorial agricultural policy that supports the development of a profitable and innovative sector.