Tapping into a new food or food ingredient market takes years of research, market development and buy-in of an entire value chain. It helps, of course, if there’s a ready market for the product, and you’ve got land that needs a new cropping option.
That’s the current situation with hazelnuts in Ontario — work into how well the trees survive and thrive here has established a good base of what works and what doesn’t, and there’s a lucrative, waiting market for the tree nut. Now, Elliot Currie, of the University of Guelph, says perhaps what was once tobacco land could see trees by the few hundred per acre.
In the interview below, Bernard Tobin asks Currie about what farmers need to know about growing hazelnuts, what kind of timeline to expect before they can turn a profit, what kind of money there is to be made, and, perhaps most importantly, what parts of the value chain have yet to materialize. (Check out the Ontario Hazelnut Association here).
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