Ontario Tender Fruit Growers
Grant Stream: Prosperous Greenbelt
$400,000 (Greenbelt Foundation)
$150,000 (Greenbelt Fund)
Number of Growers Participating: 169
Total Grower Investment: $5,574,413
Total Trees/Vines Planted: 489,730
Total Fruit Yield: 37 Million Pounds
Economic Impact: $22 Million (Farm-gate sales) annually
The Ontario Tender Fruit Growers partnered with the Greenbelt Foundation in a pilot program to begin revitalization of stone fruit and pear farms in Ontario. This partnership resulted in a total investment of over $1.5 million, 135,000 trees being planted and newer varieties being accessed by farmers. The Greenbelt provided cost-share to farmers to help offset fruit tree costs. Due to the success of this pilot program and the crucial need to increase market share and replace imports across all tree fruit and table grapes, the Ontario Tender Fruit Growers, Ontario Apple Growers and Ontario Fresh Grape Growers then received a $150,000 grant from the Greenbelt Fund to continue to grow the sector together to meet increasing consumer demand for fresh local fruit. This funding provides for approximately 195,000 fruit trees and 5,000 table grape vines to be planted by farmers in 2019.
The partnerships between the Ontario Tender Fruit Growers and the Greenbelt Foundation and Greenbelt Fund led to the planting of nearly half a million tender fruit trees which will yield a $22 million / year economic impact when they begin to bear fruit.
The goal of the Tender Fruit Acreage Revitalization Initiative is to increase acreage in production, per acre yields and overall quality (sweetness, colour, shelf-life) of Niagara tender fruit, specifically peaches, nectarines, pears and plums. Without this domestic capacity, these fruits would have to be imported at added cost to both Greater Golden Horseshoe consumers, as well as to the Ontario economy and environment as a whole.