Greenhouse, sod and nursery industries, 2014
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The greenhouse, nursery and sod industry continued its steady expansion, which began in 1990. In 2014, sales increased 2.2% from 2013 to nearly $3.6 billion. Greenhouse products accounted for 76.3% of all greenhouse, nursery and sod sales. Flower and plant sales grew 2.7% compared with 1.8% for vegetable and fruit product sales.
Sales of cucumbers grew 5.8% to $326 million and pepper sales rose 2.3% to $408.5 million. Tomato sales decreased 1.3% to $520 million and the tomato area declined 1.1% to 5.6 million square metres. Total greenhouse vegetable area increased 1.2% to 14.6 million square metres in 2014.
Sales and resales of greenhouse flowers and plants reached $1.4 billion in 2014. With $711 million in sales, indoor and outdoor potted plants represented 58.2% of floriculture sales. Ornamental bedding plants accounted for 15.6% of flower and plant sales and cut flowers 12.3%.
Greenhouse sales growth came with a 5.4% increase in total operating expenses. Fuel expenses rose 17.8% to $231 million. This situation was mainly explained by the cold and long winter conditions in 2013/2014. Plant material purchases were up 4.5% to $460 million, while labour costs grew 4.0% to $661 million. Labour cost accounted for 29.3% of total operating expenses. The total number of greenhouse workers declined 1.5% to 33,094 employees.
Nursery product sales and resales rose 1.6% to $691 million. In 2014, nursery operation expenses grew 1.2% to $602 million, while labour costs decreased by 0.8% to $226 million. Nurseries employed 13,513 people in 2014, down 5.0% from 2013. The number of permanent nursery employees fell by 6.5%, while seasonal employees declined by 4.3%. Seasonal employees represented about three-quarter of all nursery employees.
In 2014, sod sales and resales rose 2.1% to $161 million, while expenses fell 0.3% to $135 million.
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