Nova Scotia ornamental industry cites decreased sales
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Nova Scotia ornamental industry cites decreased sales

Growers say labor costs and an increase in demand for vegetables are cutting into the ornamental market.

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Greenhouse-grown flower and potted plant sales are wilting in Nova Scotia.

The total sales and resales of flowers and plants grown in Nova Scotia greenhouses are down by 25.5 per cent over the last three years, an analysis of Statistics Canada data reveals.

Greenhouse farmers are competing with the big-box stores including Walmart, Sobeys and Canadian Tire. These giants sell a diverse collection of greenhouse products at low prices, and they provide a high-quality customer service, said Daina Budde, the owner of Waterville’s Glad Gardens Greenhouses.

“I suspect that I hire five times the amount of people per plant, and they’re qualified people. I have to pay them real money. I can’t pay the minimum wage,” said Budde.

“You can’t hire a kid and have them water everything. You’ll end up with dead plants.” She can’t compete with big-box pricing. “We just simply can’t,” Budde said. “If you won’t buy it, we won’t grow it.”

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