Carbon Tax Hits Greenhouse Industry Hard

Jan VanderHout of Beverly Greenhouses. Photo credit: Glenn Lowson

How easily could your farm business absorb an added $120,000 bill? That’s approximately what Jan Vanderhout, co-owner of Beverly Greenhouses, says the new Ontario carbon tax will cost him this year, or just over $6,000 per acre of greenhouse space.

Vanderhout, a third-generation greenhouse grower and the chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA), says he’s not against doing his part to move environmental initiatives forward, but this tax misses the mark.

“Energy use is our second biggest line item,” Vanderhout says, adding that his greenhouse is already trying to be as efficient as possible. The issue, he says, is that this carbon tax doesn’t seem to have a transparent plan for getting the money raised back into initiatives that actually reduce energy use for Ontario businesses.

Will this added cost of doing business cause some businesses to move provinces or even countries? Listen below for Vanderhout’s thoughts.

Bonus: Take a tour of Beverly Greenhouses’ cucumber production in this video!

 

Lyndsey Smith

Lyndsey Smith is a field editor for RealAgriculture. A self-proclaimed agnerd, Lyndsey is passionate about all things farming but is especially thrilled by agronomy and livestock production.

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2 Comments

J.Garlough

I am glad Jan focuses on the transparency of what is being done with the carbon tax and not the cost. $120,000 would be a lot for a small farm, but Beverly Greenhouses sounds like a multi-million dollar operation who now face eating the cost of a 2% increase in energy cost or passing that cost on to their customer by charging less than one cent more for each cucumber or less than 12 cents more for each case of vegetables they ship out.

I have often heard farmers who reference Ohio and mention their cheap energy costs, however, I have never heard those same farmers show concern for the high rates of air pollution in Ohio or the high rates of air pollution-related deaths in Ohio. There are some real benefits to farming in Ontario which should be celebrated and I’m glad that Jan is happy to be a “positive, genuine contributor to our society” and I am glad they are willing to stick around to produce healthy food & clean air here. (reference: http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2016/08/cleveland_ranks_among_nations.html )

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Rural Grubby

Coal is not the enemy that so many believe it to be. Castigating this very affordable, abundant and efficient form of elect. generation into the category of evil fossil fuels does nothing to address our energy issues especially when the emission problems are very well addressed through using the proper scrubbers. The Liberal gov’t likes to promote that Ontario managed to remove coal by using cleaner forms of energy, but in reality they simply expanded the use of NG. A form of FF with fewer emissions. Carbon/C02 emissions are the not the enemy and suggesting that many deaths are the result of this essential gas, is a sign that you have succumbed to one of the biggest hoaxes every perpetuated. I would suggest you read Dr. Ross McKictrick’s work on coal generation in Ontario. https://www.fraserinstitute.org/studies/did-the-coal-phase-out-reduce-ontario-air-pollution and to understand what C02 is all about follow Patrick Moore https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=patrick+moore+on+global+warming+hoax&view=detail&mid=4F020DB5456ED2E94B544F020DB5456ED2E94B54&FORM=VIRE

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