Ethno-Cultural Vegetable Value Chain Structure and Supply Characteristics in Ontario.




Aitken, Joel

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University of Guelph


An analysis of the wholesale availability of okra, Chinese long eggplant and Indian round eggplant in the greater Toronto area (GTA). Market observation at the Ontario Food Terminal (OFT) included recording each observation of these products including the price, country of origin and photographs of the product. Interviews were completed with ECV producers, wholesalers and retailers. All three crops are available at the OFT. Locally-produced Indian round eggplant was rarely available, Chinese long eggplant commonly available and okra available but of inferior in quality to imports. The value chain structure in the GTA includes relational networks and market structures. The central role of supermarkets in the market was confirmed, privately-held specifications define ECV quality in the market. Imported supplies of ECV’s have undergone superior post-harvest handling procedures to most Ontario-grown ECV supplies. Ontario-grown ECV’s with proper post-harvest handling met quality standards and received competitive prices.



Ethno-Cultural vegetable, Greater Toronto Area, Ontario Food Terminal, Ontario-grown, Market structures