Canadian Horticultural Council Expressions of Interest for Canadian AgriScience Cluster

The Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) is an Ottawa-based voluntary, not-for-profit, national association that represents fruit and vegetable growers across Canada involved in the production of over 120 different types of crops on over 14,237 farms, with farm cash receipts of $5.4 billion in 2019.

Since 1922, CHC has advocated on important issues that impact Canada’s horticultural sector, promoting healthy, safe and sustainable food, and ensuring the continued success and growth of our industry.

CHC is actively preparing for the opportunity to establish a fourth Canadian AgriScience Cluster for Horticulture under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) next agricultural policy framework for 2023-2028.

AgriScience Clusters are intended to mobilize industry, government and academia through partnerships, and address priority themes and horizontal issues that are national in scope.

In recent months, CHC has consulted with industry members through our commodity Working Groups to update National Research and Innovation Priorities.

At this time, we are seeking Expressions of Interest from Canadian researchers who would like the opportunity to participate in the Canadian AgriScience Cluster for Horticulture 4 in the following Research and Innovation priority areas (including but not limited to) for the apple industry:

 

Priority Areas

Strategic Outcomes

Investment Priorities for Research

Maximizing Quality & Minimizing Losses

Outcome/Attained Goal: Crop maturity management and postharvest storage conditions and treatments lead to larger percentage of high quality fruit reaching market, and therefore higher returns for growers.

  • Postharvest research (storage regimes, disorders and diseases, quality, etc.)
  • Optimal harvest management – including assessing quality at harvest time (especially during extreme weather conditions, e.g. drought, heat, wind, etc.)
  • Development of new techniques, alternative control methods, products, and practices for pest management/crop protection (i.e. sudden apple decline)

Technology, Mechanization, Automation and Efficiencies

Outcome/Attained Goal: Increased production and postharvest efficiencies through the use of the latest technologies and precision agriculture.

  • Development of new techniques, alternative control methods, products and practices for pest management/crop protection
  • weather risk mitigation
  • water use
  • Labour efficiencies
  • Modelling (crop production and quality, pest degree day models, data analytics, pathology, etc.)
  • Remote sensing, software development and robotics
  • Orchard design
  • Development of optimized spraying strategies and equipment

Sustainable Practices

 

Outcome/Attained Goal: Sustainable cropping practices (crop load management, pest management, training systems, carbon capture, irrigation, fertigation, soil management, nutrition) are optimized according to variety and agro-climatic conditions.

  • lower environmental impact
  • herbicide alternatives
  • Integrated Fruit Production (IFP)
  • Organics
  • area wide practices (monitoring and control)
  • Soil health
  • Irrigation
  • Climate change adaptation i.e. greenhouse gas emissions & carbon sequestration
  • Development of new techniques, alternative control methods, products and practices for pest management/crop protection
  • Clean plant program

Variety & Rootstock Development & Evaluation

Outcome/Attained Goal: New varieties and rootstocks are selected according to their performance in the different Canadian apple producing regions. We will have achieved greater market share, domestically and internationally, through new variety breeding and evaluation, scion and rootstock evaluation in all Canadian apple producing regions.

  • rootstock evaluation
  • scion regional adaptation and evaluation
  • genomics
  • variety breeding and evaluation, including disease resistant cultivars
  • consumer preference studies

Enabling Strategy: Knowledge Translation & Transfer

Outcome/Attained Goal: An adequate portion of research project budgets is dedicated to KTT, to ensure faster technology uptake, greater awareness of the results of our research and innovation investments and reduced duplication of efforts.

 

  • Webinars
  • Grower meetings and conventions
  • Newsletters & magazines
  • Develop an online presence and repository to share current projects (Cluster and other programs) in each province with a short summary with links to the results (in both languages)

Broad Marketing Strategy

Outcome/Attained Goal: Consumer preferences are identified and marketers & retailers are informed of the preferences.

  • economic impact study of Canadian apples
  • economic study on launch and distribution of new varieties, club varieties
  • evaluation of market structure and supply chain challenges

 

In addition to the above noted strategic priorities, there is support for the creation of a National Promotional Research Agency (NPRA). It is felt that the benefits to the sector of the creation of such an agency would include better coordination, collaboration and funding on research initiatives. 

Please complete the Expressions of Interest Form and return it to CHC by end of business January 30, 2022, via email to: cluster4prep@hortcouncil.ca with the subject line: APPLE – EOI – YOUR NAME. You may contact ors@sfu.ca to obtain the Expressions of Interest Form directly.  

All Expressions of Interest will be reviewed by the CHC’s Apple Working Group in early February 2022. Activities selected to move forward to the Request for Proposal stage will be contacted in late February-early March. It is important to note that funding will be pending AAFC’s announcement of the next AgriScience Cluster program, expected in late 2022. There is no guarantee of funding at this point. In the interests of improved coordination, collaboration and funding efficiency, CHC reserves the right to share LOIs with other research funders and/or Clusters.

If you require any assistance in preparing your EOI or have any questions regarding the Cluster application process, please do not hesitate to contact me at aargentino@hortcouncil.ca

Upcoming Deadlines

External
Internal
January 30, 2023January 30, 2023 *
January 27, 2023 Jan. 27, 2023 January 27, 2023 16:00:00 January 27, 2023 16:00:00 America/Vancouver Application Deadline: Canadian Horticultural Council Expressions of Interest for Canadian AgriScience Cluster The Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) is an Ottawa-based voluntary, not-for-profit, national association that represents fruit and vegetable growers across Canada involved in the production of over 120 different types of crops on over 14,237 farms, with farm cash receipts of $5.4 billion in 2019.CHC is currently accepted Expressions of Interest from Canadian researchers who would like the opportunity to participate in the Canadian AgriScience Cluster for Horticulture 4. EOIs are due to CHC by January 30, 2022 and EOI forms can be emailed to cluster4prep@hortcouncil.ca. .
* NOTE: This deadline is an estimate based on previous years, but a confirmed deadline has not yet been published. We will update the deadline when it has been confirmed.

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