Floriculture Sector and Vineland Research and Innovation Centre Partner to Establish Biocontrol Research Program



    GUELPH, ON and VINELAND, ON, June 3 /CNW/ - To address the most important
strategic priority need of the sector, floriculture producers in Ontario make
a four-year $200,000 commitment to partner with Vineland Research and
Innovation Centre establishing a biocontrol research program.
    One of the major challenges faced by the floriculture sector is the pest
complex which infests some of the 1,500 different types of crops grown in the
50 million square feet of greenhouse production in Ontario. Modern pest
control practices involve the use of biological control organisms in place of
pesticides and floriculture producers are committed to the use of biocontrol
agents.
    "This is the first of future ongoing commitments made by growers in order
to support research at Vineland which will contribute to the creation of a
world-leading research facility in the third-largest floriculture production
centre in North America," said Andrew Kuyvenhoven, president of Flowers Canada
(Ontario). "We thank both the governments of Canada and Ontario for their
commitment to the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre and their support of
this important research."
    Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, with the cooperation of Flowers
Canada (Ontario), will establish a team of scientists to undertake research
into thrip and whitefly control in particular, which are two of the most
problematical insect pests for producers.
    The producer Association already supports research in partnership with
AAFC and the University of Guelph and will continue to build on these
investments through the Vineland commitment. Successful research programs
depend on partnerships and shared expertise which will develop further from
the Vineland lead in this project.
    "We appreciate this substantial commitment from Flowers Canada (Ontario)
on behalf of the floriculture sector in Ontario. Vineland provides
industry-driven horticulture research and is pleased to offer our expertise
through one of our three core research capabilities, Horticulture Production
Systems, which within its mandate addresses pest management and biocontrols,"
said Dr. Jim Brandle, CEO, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. "This
research will be of major consequence to the floriculture industry, which
already contributes significantly to the economy in Ontario, most of which is
right here on our doorstep."

    About Flowers Canada (Ontario)

    Flowers Canada (Ontario) represents floriculture greenhouse producers and
industry partners across Canada. We are a grower community that proactively
addresses common challenges to our sector in agriculture. Our mandate is to
identify these challenges, clearly communicate them to government and whenever
possible implement solutions that benefit both our industry and the Canadian
economy. The floriculture sector contributes 46% of the farm gate sales
generated by all of agriculture in the Niagara region, and $747 million in
farm gate sales in Ontario. The total contribution to the economy of Ontario
is $2.7 billion.

    About Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

    Vineland Research and Innovation Centre is an independent, not-for-profit
organization established as a world-class centre for horticultural science and
innovation. In its capacity to foster and enable relationships with industry,
academia and government, Vineland works to deliver premium horticultural
products and production innovations. Vineland brings a global perspective to
the horticulture industry and offers a broad range of lasting benefits both
locally and internationally. Vineland's research priorities align with
industry needs and its outcomes focus on the growth of the entire horticulture
industry.




For further information:

For further information: Dr. Irwin Smith, Executive Director, Flowers
Canada (Ontario), (519) 836-5495, ext. 222, irwin@fco.on.ca; Darlene Webb,
Director, Public Relations and Communications, Vineland Research and
Innovation Centre, (905) 562-0320 x766, darlene.webb@vinelandresearch.com

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Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

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