Niagara growers invest in the future through Vineland Research

    ST. CATHARINES, ON, Feb. 20 /CNW/ - The Niagara Peninsula Fruit and
Vegetable Growers Association ("NPF&VGA") and Vineland Research and Innovation
Centre ("Vineland") are pleased to announce a substantial financial commitment
by the NPF&VGA to support the market-driven research to be undertaken by
Vineland to ensure continued industry growth.
    In 2007, the NPF&VGA was one of the first industry stakeholder groups to
commit to investing in the new Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. That
commitment was realized today when Tom Wiley, President of NPF&VGA, presented
the first cheque for $10,000.00 to Dr. Jim Brandle, CEO of Vineland, at the
2008 Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention held at Brock University, St
    "Our members understand the tremendous importance of market-driven
research for the future of the horticulture industry in this region", said
Mr. Wiley. "By investing in the renewal of the Vineland Research and
Innovation Centre, we are investing in outcomes that will help us adapt to
industry pressures and meet consumer demands in an increasingly globally
competitive environment."
    The Ontario horticulture industry is facing increased pressure from
environmental considerations, new pests, consumer demands and globalization.
Local horticultural research is more important now than ever before.
    In accepting the NPF&VGA investment, Dr. Brandle acknowledged the
importance of industry support, as well as government investments, to
achieving the Vineland vision of serving as a research and innovation hub for
the horticulture and ornamentals industry.
    "We are extremely pleased and proud to accept the support of the
NPF&VGA," said Dr. Brandle. "Success in the future will not be driven by
brilliant science alone, but rather by brilliant science working hand in hand
with market delivery. This cheque and financial commitment clearly demonstrate
the recognition that the growers of Niagara have placed on the value of the
research being conducted by Vineland to continue to drive industry growth,
ensure economic health and support job creation for the sector."

    About Niagara Peninsula Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association

    The Niagara Peninsula Fruit and Growers' Association ("NPF&VGA")
represents approximately 1200 growers located in the Niagara Peninsula on
significant regional issues. It was the Niagara Peninsula United Fruit
Growers' Association, the parent organization of the NPF&VGA that originally
petitioned the provincial government on March, 1905 to assist in the
establishment of a facility where field research could be conducted in order
to enhance the viability of Niagara farmers. The NPF&VGA strives to improve
producers' competitive ability by furbishing educational forums highlighting
the latest production technology and information.

    About Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

    Located in the Niagara Region, the Vineland Research and Innovation
Centre is a not-for-profit corporation. It is currently in the process of
significant renewal and revitalization as result of a Federal and Provincial
government, and industry led initiative in 2007 to create a world-class
research institution and international hub for horticulture and ornamentals
research, innovation and commercialization. Created in 1906 through a gift by
M.F. Rittenhouse, the Vineland Research Station has contributed to the
emergence of a competitive horticulture industry in one of Canada's most
unique geographic regions. It is accredited with the development and release
of over 150 new varieties of fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants, as well
as numerous production techniques and post-harvest technologies.

    About the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention

    The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention is Canada's premier
horticultural event, held at Brock University on February 20 and 21, 2008. The
convention features sessions covering a broad range of horticultural topics
presented by speakers from the Niagara Region, Ontario, as well as from across
the country and around the world. Participants can experience educational
sessions covering a wide variety of grower issues, a trade show featuring 150
exhibitors including industry suppliers, government agencies and service
providers, as well as social events, such as the Taste of Niagara Food & Wine

For further information:

For further information: Niagara Peninsula Fruit and Vegetable Growers
Association, Tom Wiley, President, (905) 562-6628,;
Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, Bob Kalbfleisch, Special Advisor,
Policy and Communications, (519) 572-1112,

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Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

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