Ottawa, Ont. – Statistics Canada reports that year-over-year sales of fruits and vegetables by Canadian producers were up 9.2 per cent last year, reaching $1.7 billion in 2012. More than 88 per cent of these sales came from growers in Ontario, Quebec and B.C.
Fruit sales saw the largest increase last year, jumping 13.1 per cent to $872 million. Increased production and sales of cranberries and blueberries accounted for much of the growth in 2012, with cranberry sales rising 42.7 per cent, while blueberry sales grew 21.9 per cent.
Unseasonable weather conditions
However, production fell for some fruits, partly due to unseasonable spring weather in Eastern Canada which affected pollination. Apple production, for example, fell 31.6 per cent, while peach production fell 3.7 per cent.
Meanwhile, sales of vegetables reached $847 million last year, up 5.4 per cent from 2011. Carrots accounted for much of this growth, with $92.5 million in sales, followed by tomatoes ($81.6 million), sweet corn ($72 million) and cabbage ($62.5 million). The growth came despite the fact that total vegetable production area fell 1.9 per cent last year to 100,558 ha.