About Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance

Our Mission

The Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance (COHA) is the unified voice that represents and promotes the sustainable priorities of Canadian Ornamental Horticulture. COHA is a strategic alliance of three broad based organizations: the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, la Fédération Interdisciplinaire de l’Horticulture Ornementale du Québec and Flowers Canada Growers. These three organizations work together through COHA to coordinate industry action, contribute to effective public policy and speak with one voice on issues of concern to the sector as a whole. The partner organizations believe that by acting together they can have greater impact and use resources more effectively than when acting alone.

Our Vision

COHA is the national voice for Canadian ornamental horticultural producers, service providers and stakeholders in the value chain. COHA contributes to effective public policy and coordinated industry action positioning the sector for sustainable and profitable growth and a positive public image. We promote greater use of Canadian ornamental horticultural products and services in Canada and around the world to solve environmental and economic challenges proactively and positively. COHA provides leadership to the sector: by encouraging investment in research and innovation by ensuring the availability of skilled managers, scientists, designers and workers to flourish and grow the sector; and by encouraging the adoption of new technologies increasing productivity and quality. COHA promotes the highest standards of product and service quality and responsible production practices — standards that embrace sound environmental stewardship.

Board of Directors

2016-2017 Board of Directors 

Michael Murray (Murray's Horticultural Services, CNLA)

Vice President
Christian Brunet (Hydralis Inc., FIHOQ)

Secreatry and Treasurer
David Captein (Blue Magic Greenhouses, FCG)

Andrew Kuyvenhoven (Kuyvenhoven Greenhouses Inc., FCG)

Vic Krahn (Lakeshore Tree Farms Ltd., CNLA)

Paul Poisson (Derco Horticulture, FIHOQ)

Luce Daigneault, Executive Director, Fédération Interdisciplinaire de l'Horticulture Ornementale du Québec
Victor Santacruz, Executive Director, Canadian Nursery Landscape Association
Andrew Morse, Executive Director, Flowers Canada Growers

James Farrar, Alliance Director, COHA

Plants Love You

During 2012, COHA surveyed Canadian consumers* and discovered a 96% favourable attitude towards plants among the population surveyed. 87% agreed with the statement that “plants make me feel good” and 89% agreed with the statement that “plants make my neighbourhood / municipality better”.  

It was discovered that consumers already have a positive perception of plants, especially in regards to their beauty. However the documented health, environmental and economic plant benefits are not as well known, with the exception of their ability to improve indoor and outdoor air quality, and ability to reduce stress.

COHA developed the Plants Love You™ slogan as a horticulture industry wide platform to educate Canadians about the importance plants have in their lives.    

*The Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance gratefully acknowledges funding provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program.  

Our Industry

COHA is committed to delivering value to its partners in a collegial, transparent and accountable manner, acting in common interest to achieve shared goals. COHA prioritizes issues according to three principles: the issue is common to all three partners; the issue is national in scope; and the issue is more effectively addressed by COHA than by any of its individual members alone. COHA supports individual partners' causes where practical to the benefit of the Alliance. COHA serves all partners in an equitable manner in both official languages.

Through its partner organizations, COHA represents the Canadian ornamental horticultural sector from coast to coast. While the size and composition of the sector varies in different regions, issues of concern in one region or subsector are often shared by others across the country. COHA adds value as the national voice for such cross-cutting issues.

The Industry across Canada
New stats to come

Ontario is the third-largest producer of greenhouse floricultural products in North America.

The Atlantic provinces account for 3.2 percent of Canadian ornamental sales at farm gate (2007) and, along with Québec, are a major producer of Christmas trees.

The Prairies account for nearly 10 percent of ornamental sales (2007).

Our Sector

Ornamentals: The Largest Sector of Horticulture in Canada


The ornamental horticultural industry plays a vital role in the Canadian economy, offers environmental solutions and benefits the health of Canadians. As the largest sector of horticulture in Canada, ornamental horticulture has a major economic impact and significant potential to develop and expand. It stimulates economic activity and entrepreneurship all along a value chain that includes suppliers, producers, wholesalers and resellers, contractors, retailers and electronic and mail order marketing. Ornamental horticulture also provides significant full-time and seasonal employment to Canadians and generated over $2.2 billion in direct labour income in 2007.

A growth sector and an economic opportunity

- The economic impact of ornamental horticulture in Canada has grown in real terms by 2.1 percent each year (2002-2007).
- In 2007, gross farm gate receipts for the ornamental sector amounted to $2.3 billion, with a compound annual growth rate of 1.7 percent (2002-2007).
- The ornamental horticultural sector has an employment growth rate of six percent (2002-2007).
- For every two jobs generated within the sector, another job is created in the Canadian economy.
- Baby boomers are approaching retirement and are expected to spend between $7.8 billion and $14.4 billion annually on gardening between 2011 and 2021 (national sales for this sector were $6.3 billion in 2007).
- Concern for the environment is growing, leading to an increase in green consumerism. The many environmental benefits of ornamental horticulture means that the sector is naturally well positioned for this trend.

Economic impact of ornamental horticulture in Canada

- Ornamental horticulture generates more than 40%of all horticultural farm cash receipts (@2.1 billion) (Deloitte)
- Consumers spent nearly $6.3 billion at the retail level on ornamental horticultural products and another $1.8 billion on landscaping services (Deloitte)
- The ornamental horticultural sector provided ??? full-time-equivalent jobs in ???. Including jobs generated through indirect employment, the sector provides over 332,700 full-time jobs to Canadians (Deloitte). All this is in addition to high levels of seasonal employment.
- The sector is the second-largest production employer in all of Canadian agriculture (Labour Market Information Research on Recruitment and Retention, February 2, 2009, Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council).
- Ornamental horticulture generated $850 million in end-user taxes (PST and GST) (Deloitte).

With a farmgate of @2.1 billion, the total economic contribution of the sector in Canada is approximately $15 billion (Deloitte).

Our Strategy

 Through its six strategic priorities, COHA is taking action to lead the Canadian ornamental horticultural sector into a new era of sustainable growth, profitability and environmental stewardship.

A 2009 economic and environmental impact assessment commissioned by COHA, The impact of ornamental horticulture on Canada's economy (Deloitte & Touche LLP and affiliated entities), made a number of recommendations for the sector and for COHA. The study highlighted the importance of governmental policies and programs that help the sector capitalize on its significant potential for growth. It suggested ways for the sector to develop markets by responding to key economic and social trends and by raising public awareness of the benefits of ornamentals. It emphasized that innovation is fundamental to the future of the sector; and it outlined steps to enhance environmental stewardship.


- The impact of ornamental horticulture on Canada's economy, Deloitte & Touche LLP and affiliated entities, 2009 COHA is responding to these recommendations with an array of strategic initiatives. Some of the highlights include a collaborative "innovation cluster" to foster research and innovation, a clean water policy that gives growers access to sufficient water at reasonable cost, promotional campaigns to increase sales, and ongoing advocacy for supportive government policies.

The Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Research and Innovation Cluster

COHA's Strategic Priorities

Government Relations
Recognition and respect by government as the voice of Canada's ornamental horticultural sector.

Sector Promotion
Project a positive image of the sector to the Canadian public.

Market Development
Provide market intelligence to our partners to increase sales and market share of the Canadian ornamental horticultural sector.

Research and Innovation
Ensure that publicly funded research is targeted to the sector's highest priority areas and that there is accountability for results that are transferred to and able to be used by the sector.

Human Capital Development
Ensure that sufficient human capital planning is done at all levels of the value chain to meet the needs of the ornamental horticulture sector.

Environmental Stewardship
Ensure that the ornamental horticulture sector uses environmental best practices and is adopting leading-edge measures to reduce the use of non-renewable resources, conserve water and reduce the carbon footprint.

Except where otherwise indicated, all statistics are taken from the impact of ornamental horticulture on Canada's economy, Deloitte & Touche LLP and affiliated entities, 2009. And...

Our Environmental Solutions

Our Environmental Solutions for Canada

The Canadian ornamental horticultural sector offers green solutions for individuals, communities and institutions that want to create better outdoor and indoor environments, contribute to a healthier planet, improve property values and increase personal health. Ornamental horticulture beautifies landscapes, fosters sustainable ecosystems, enhances energy conservation, reduces the carbon footprint, contributes to health, provides employment and creates wealth for Canadians. Some environmental, economic and health benefits of ornamental horticulture are:

- Plants remove carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the atmosphere. In one study, 88 trees planted among 14 homes reduced the area's annual carbon emissions by 42 tonnes.
- Plants improve indoor and outdoor air quality, functioning as atmospheric filters. Two mature trees can produce enough oxygen for a family of four.
- The presence of ornamentals such as trees and rooftop gardens can offset the urban heat island effect.
- Plants naturally filter sewage and wastewater and improve water quality.
- Ornamentals attract birds and other wildlife, contributing to conservation and biodiversity.
- Plants placed strategically around houses and buildings can reduce summer cooling bills by 25 percent and winter heating bills by 50 percent.
- Investment in ornamentals and landscaping can increase property values for homeowners and businesses by 20 percent.
- Gardening is an increasingly popular form of physical recreation among adults.
- The presence of ornamentals can reduce stress, improve productivity and increase quality of life.


- The impact of ornamental horticulture on Canada's economy, Deloitte & Touche LLP and affiliated entities.

Contact Us

Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance (COHA)

James Farrar
Alliance Director
6, 76 Main Street West
Grimsby, ON L3M 1R6
Phone : 905.945.6791
Email : james.farrar@coha-acho.ca

Founding Members

Victor Santacruz
Executive Director
Website : www.cnla-acpp.ca

The Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA) is a national not-for-profit federation of ten provincial landscape and horticulture associations representing over 3,800 members.  Comprised of thousands of locally owned companies that grow, sell, design, install, and maintain plants and other landscape features, our members represent the country’s $14.48 billion green industry. CNLA works to develop programs, undertake initiatives, and form alliances in order to achieve sustainable prosperity for members and stakeholders.
To learn more, visit www.cnla-acpp.ca.

Luce Daigneault
Executive Director
Website : www.fihoq.qc.ca

FIHOQ, Fédération Interdisciplinaire de l'Horticulture Ornementale du Québec, is a federation composed of twelve professional associations involved in every sector of the Québec ornamental horticultural industry, including production (nursery, greenhouse and sod growers), retail (garden centres, florists and allied suppliers) and services (landscape architects, landscapers, arborists, irrigation professionals, golf superintendents and greenspace maintenance companies). As such, it is the official "voice" of the Québec industry, representing the interests of over 2,000 member companies and professionals. FIHOQ's mission is to lead, represent and promote the Québec ornamental horticultural industry, thereby ensuring its development.

Dean Shoemaker
Executive Director
Website : www.flowerscanadagrowers.com

Flowers Canada Growers Inc., (FCG) represents 390 greenhouse floriculture growers and industry partners across Canada. The greenhouse floriculture industry includes producers of cut flowers, potted plants, bedding plants and propagation materials. FCG identifies challenges to the industry and addresses these challenges proactively by communicating with government and implementing solutions that benefit both the industry and the Canadian economy.