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Higher vegetable prices result in 1.3 per cent increase in 2019 national sales

Fruit and vegetable sales were up 1.3 per cent to $2.5 billion in 2019, mainly due to a three per cent increase in the value of vegetables, according to Statistics Canada’s fruit and vegetable production update for 2019.
 
The farm-gate value of vegetables grown in Canada rose for the ninth consecutive year. In contrast, the farm-gate value of fruits edged down 0.5 per cent.
 
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.
 
A decade of higher yields
 
Vegetable and fruit yields have trended upwards over the past decade. In 2019, total vegetable yields were up 1.5 per cent from a year earlier and six per cent above the 10-year average. While fruit yields were down one per cent from a year earlier, they remained 13.1 per cent above the 10-year average.
 
Marked increase in vegetable prices
 
Total farm-gate value of field vegetables rose three per cent to $1.3 billion in 2019, due to higher yields and prices.
 
Despite the cold spring in Eastern Canada, asparagus production was up 14.2 per cent to 10.2 million kilograms. In Ontario, Canada’s largest asparagus-producing province, production increased 13.3 per cent to its highest level on record. Nevertheless, asparagus accounted for 3.4 per cent of the total value of vegetables in 2019, well below the value of carrots (10.3 per cent), dry onions (8.5 per cent), tomatoes (8.4 per cent), total cabbage (6.8 per cent) and total lettuce (6.3 per cent).
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