Canada to fund C$500,000 to collect, analyze, distribute market intelligence on country's horticulture sector; Quebecois Horticulture Counsel to use funding also to explore feasibility of expansion elsewhere

OTTAWA, Ontario , August 26, 2011 (press release) – Producers in Canada's horticulture sector will be better equipped to respond to changes in export markets and fluctuations in competitor prices and stocks thanks to an investment by the Government of Canada. On behalf of the Hon. Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture, Jacques Gourde, MP for Lotbinière-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, today announced $500,000 in funding for the Conseil québécois de l'horticulture (CQH) to collect, analyze and disseminate market intelligence.

"This investment will increase the quality, the value and, ultimately, the global competitiveness of Canada's horticulture sector," said Mr. Gourde. "The Government of Canada is firmly committed to helping the horticulture sector achieve maximum profitability and excellence in the market."

This project will provide access to commercial and competitive intelligence that is relevant to the horticulture sector, to make Canada's horticulture value chain more efficient. Canadian industry will now be able to monitor rapidly changing key market intelligence (prices, stocks, weather and acreage) in real time through reports available on the Web, by email, by fax, on smart phones and through the Infohort information collection system. Users of Infohort will be able to dynamically generate custom reports.

The CQH plans to use the funding to validate its technology and determine the feasibility of expanding elsewhere in Canada. The goal of this project is to maximize market income and support agro-industry innovation and development. The sectors involved will therefore become more competitive in local, regional, national and international markets.

"Thanks to the financial assistance from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, producers of horticulture crops will have access to all kinds of strategic intelligence needed to stay competitive. The CQH's Observatoire horticole will publish more than 600 intelligence reports a year," said CQH president André Mousseau.

The investment is part of the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP), a five-year, $163 million program running from 2009 to 2014 whose purpose is to help the Canadian agriculture industry seize opportunities, respond to new and emerging issues and test solutions to those issues.

The next phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan will involve helping farmers by focusing on creating jobs and strengthening the economy, in partnership with other Government of Canada programs and initiatives, such as CAAP. By investing in new and emerging market opportunities, it will make the agriculture industry and the Canadian economy even stronger.

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