Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, and the Member of Parliament from Niagara Centre, Vance Badawey, announced that the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre is receiving a $920,000 federal investment to develop new disease-resistant apple and greenhouse tomato varieties that will contribute to the long-term growth and profitability of these two sectors.

The projects announced help achieve the federal government’s goal of strengthening the Canadian agricultural sector through key investments in discovery science and innovation.

These projects build on work carried out by AAFC scientists, who will continue to play a crucial role in developing new breeding lines.

Greenhouse tomatoes bring in $516 million annually at the farm gate, as well as $311 million in exports (2015). Funding for the two projects comes from the Growing Forward 2, AgriInnovation Program (Research and Development Stream).

"Our Government is committed to helping farmers stay on the cutting-edge of the market with superior varieties of crops. These innovative new varieties of apples and tomatoes being developed by the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre will help drive the sector forward as a leader in job creation and innovation," said Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

"This investment demonstrates our government's support for, and commitment to, Canada and Niagara’s agricultural innovation leaders who are working hard to keep our country's economy and businesses growing today and tomorrow," said MP Vance Badawey (Niagara Centre).

"With this investment, our apple and tomato growers are benefiting from research on disease-resistant varieties. Our goal is always to increase industry competitiveness while meeting consumer preferences for locally-grown crops," said Chief Executive Officer, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, Jim Brandle.