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Experimental estimates of organic fruit and vegetable production, 2019

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Released: 2020-07-15

Experimental data on fruit and vegetable certified organic cultivated area

Fruit and vegetable certified organic cultivated area was estimated at 17 171 hectares (ha) in 2019, accounting for 7.4% of the entire fruit and vegetable cultivated area (230 619 ha) in Canada. Organic cultivated area was up 15.4% from 2016, when the Census of Agriculture counted 14 526 ha from farms reporting certified organic products for sale.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Fruit and vegetable certified organic cultivated area, 2019
Fruit and vegetable certified organic cultivated area, 2019

Quebec accounted for over four-fifths of total certified organic fruit area and almost three-quarters of certified organic vegetable area nationally in 2019.

Organic certified fruit production

Total certified organic fruit cultivated area in Canada was estimated at 12 934 ha in 2019, with Quebec accounting for the largest share (84.6%), followed by British Columbia (10.6%). Wild blueberries (77.8%) and cranberries (16.4%) accounted for almost all of the certified organic cultivated area in Quebec.

Certified cultivated organic apples totalled 694 ha, mainly concentrated in Quebec (45.5%) and British Colombia (43.7%). Apple certified organic area represented 4.1% of total apple acreage nationally. Although Ontario accounted for over one-third (36.6%) of the conventional apple acreage in Canada, its share of the organic market was 7.0%.

Certified organic grape cultivated area reflected the regional distribution of conventional grapes, with three-quarters of the cultivated area in Ontario (43.5%) and British Columbia (31.7%).

Total farm gate value of certified organic fruits was estimated at $101.2 million in 2019, accounting for 8.6% of the total fruit farm gate value. Quebec contributed $65.1 million (64.3%) of the total organic fruit value, followed by British Columbia at $30.2 million (29.9%) and Ontario at $3.0 million (3.0%).

Organic certified vegetable production

Total certified organic vegetable cultivated area in Canada was estimated at 4 237 ha (excluding potatoes, greenhouse vegetables and seeds), up 3.1% from the 4 105 ha reported in the 2016 Census of Agriculture. Quebec (71.5%) accounted for almost three-quarters of the total certified organic vegetable cultivated area, followed by Ontario (14.8%), British Columbia (5.6%) and Manitoba (5.3%). Certified organic vegetable cultivated area represented 4.2% of total field vegetable cultivated area in Canada.

Sweet corn (717 ha) accounted for the largest total certified organic vegetable cultivated area, followed by green peas (527 ha), beans (412 ha), carrots (354 ha), broccoli (259 ha) and all cabbage (248 ha).

Total certified organic farm gate value of vegetables was estimated at $64.7 million or 5.0% of the total field vegetable farm gate value in 2019. Quebec ($36.8 million) accounted for over half of the total organic vegetable sales, while British Columbia ($9.6 million), Manitoba ($8.2 million) and Ontario ($7.0 million) combined accounted for just over one-third.

Organic production outside of Canada

According to Eurostat, in Europe, 7.5% of total agricultural land was certified organic in 2018. As reported by the United States Department of Agriculture, the United States exported organic products—mainly fruit and vegetables—worth $548 million in 2016, 70% of which was exported to Canada and Mexico.

  Note to readers

The estimates of cultivated area and production for certified organic fruit and vegetable were derived from the Fruit and Vegetable Survey. The Fruit and Vegetable Survey tracks the total cultivated area, harvested area, total production, marketed production and farm gate value of selected fruits and vegetables grown in Canada, including certified organic and conventional farms. Our regular release for the entire estimates was published on February 12, 2020.

Administrative data sources were also used, such as cultivated area collected by the "Conseil des appellations réservées et des termes valorisants," to enhance the data.

Farm-gate value is the value received by producers at the point of first transaction, when ownership first changes hands. This value excludes any separately billed costs such as delivery, storage, marketing and administrative.

The Agriculture and food statistics portal, accessible from the Subjects module of our website, provides users a single point of access to a wide variety of information related to agriculture and food.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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