Ethno-cultural Vegetables in Ontario: Understanding the Value Chain

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Nawaratne, Yasantha
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University of Guelph

This thesis attempts to understand the value chain of ethno-cultural vegetables (ECV) in Ontario to develop recommendations to benefit farmers and other stakeholders. This research has used a mixed method approach. At present ECV demand is huge and much of it is imported which involves long food miles. Growing ECV locally has multiple benefits to the society and environment. Two types of major value chains with many variations can be identified due to a range of socio-cultural, economic and physical factors. Small and large scale farmers were involved in local ECV production. The Ontario Food Terminal and other importers play a significant role in ECV supply. Supermarkets and ethnic grocery stores were important in ECV marketing. Local producers have the opportunity to supply fresh ECV which requires knowledge about production under local conditions, raising consumer awareness, educating all the stakeholders of the ECV value chain regarding benefits and market potentials.

Ethno-cultural Vegetables, value chain