About Growers Canada
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Growers Canada is a committee of the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association dedicated to addressing issues and priorities of concern to the wholesale nursery sector.  The committee is composed of a chair and one grower member from each province, usually the chairs of the respective provincial growers’ groups.  It is the responsibility of the committee members to provide communications and liaison to their provincial members.  The chair of Growers Canada holds a position on the CNLA Board of Directors.

Growers Canada Committee

John Byland, Bylands Nurseries (BC) Chair

BC:  Len Smit, Kato’s Nurseries Ltd.

AB:  Cody Brown,  Tree to Tree Nurseries Ltd.

SK:  Vic Krahn, Lakeshore Tree Farms

MB:  Michel Touchette, Jeffries Nurseries Ltd.

ON:  Mark Ostrowski, Laurel Farms

QC:  Mario Cramerstetter, Cramer Nurseries Ltd.

NB:  Bob Osborne, Cornhill Nurseries Ltd.

NS:  Andrew Palmer, Blomindon Nurseries Ltd.

NL:  Lorna Hogan, Murray’s Landscape Services

Staff support is provided to Growers Canada by their growers’ manager, Rita Weerdenburg.  (rita@cnla-acpp.ca)

The activities and initiatives of Growers Canada are very diverse and fluctuating, as priorities continually shift to best meet the current needs of the sector.  The following are some of the current projects being addressed by this sector group.


Plant Health and Regulatory Issues

As is the case for all agricultural and horticultural commodities, Canada’s wholesale nursery growers are particularly vulnerable to CFIA regulations, as Agency seeks to control the spread of harmful pests as mandated by Canada’s Plant Health Act. CNLA’s mandate is not to provide pest control but rather to mitigate the implications of CFIA regulations through improved industry-government communications. 


Financial Matters and BRM Programs

As primary agricultural producers, the wholesale nursery sector is eligible to participate in a number of financial and business risk management programs made available to all agricultural producers by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).  As nursery production practices tend to be far more complex than other, more traditional types of farming, CNLA continues to work with AAFC to ensure the sector’s access to many of these important programs. 


IPM / Minor Use

It is evident that Canadian wholesale nurseries must have access to modern pest control products and technologies to remain competitive and respond to environmental issues and consumer sensitivity to the use of pesticides.  The CNLA’s IPM and Minor Use Coordinator works with industry and various Federal and Provincial agencies to facilitate the registration of pest control products and promote the concepts of integrated pest management and pesticide risk reduction.  This also includes pursuing emergency use registrations to help growers manage exotic and quarantine pests.  


Nursery Certification Programs

The CNLA continues to work cooperatively with the Canadian Nursery Certification Institute (CNCI) in the development and administration of nursery certification programs including Clean Plants and P. ramorum certification.  Visit the Clean Plants website to learn everything you need to know about nursery certification in Canada.  To go directly to a list of Clean Plants certified nurseries, click here


Grower of the Year Award

CNLA growers joined the National Awards of Excellence program in 2010 with the launch of its Grower of the Year Award.  This awards program, open to all growers across Canada, is modeled after the international grower of the year award announced one year earlier by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH).  The winner of the national award is automatically entered into the international program, with the top five entrants receiving airfare and hotel expenses to travel to the awards ceremony.  


Export Market Development

With funding support from AAFC through their AgriMarketing program, beginning in 2009, CNLA have taken some important first steps in helping their grower members to access off-continent markets.  Their most important initiative to date has been participation at the International Plant Fair (IPM) held annually in Essen, Germany.  This is the most important international trade show of interest to the nursery and floriculture sectors and attracts over 50,000 visitors per year from around the world.  Interest in Canadian products, known for their hardiness and quality, continues to increase. 


Ornamental Breeding Research

In 2009, CNLA signed an agreement with AAFC to take over their ornamentals’ breeding program from Morden Station, Manitoba and St. Jean, Quebec.  This agreement resulted in CNLA acquiring many valuable genetics from former projects, including trees, flowering shrubs and perennials.  The most valuable by far was the rose breeding program, which had previously resulted in the introduction of the hardy Explorer and Parkland series of roses.  In an exciting new partnership with Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, the introduction of exciting new varieties of roses is sure to capture the interest of both the domestic and international marketplaces.  


Canadian Standards for Nursery Stock

The Canadian Standards for Nursery Stock establishes a minimum standard of quality for the production of woody ornamentals and herbaceous perennials.  Nursery stock specifiers, including landscape architects and designers, developers and municipalities and other government agencies, make reference to these standards in the development of tenders and contract specifications.

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