Some local greenhouse vegetable growers are throwing out or donating thousands of dollars' worth of perfectly good produce because of an abundance of produce on the market.
Eastern Ontario and west Quebec suffered a drought this summer, but elsewhere in Canada, as well as in the southern U.S. and Mexico, the conditions were perfect to grow produce.
Bob Mitchell, owner of SunTech Tomatoes in Manotick, said he's composted $300,000 in tomatoes this year, and has donated another $270,000 in tomatoes to the Shepherd's of Good Hope and Ottawa's food banks.
"My game is food quality. We pour everything we can into these tomatoes. We don't put them out of here as cheap as some people can because we put too much into them. And then to throw them out wanders towards heartbreaking," he said.
Price of some produce down 10 to 40 per cent this year
"It's all part of farming. You take the risk."
The Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers said the price of tomatoes and cucumbers is down 10 to 40 per cent this year on average.
Pierre Abboud, owner of Sole Produce, said he's dropped the price of his baby cucumbers from 20 to 40 per cent this year to stay afloat.
"It's been a struggle, a very uphill battle. Costs high, everything higher and higher, but the return is much lower than anticipated," Abboud said.
"If we continue like this, god knows what's going to happen, if were're going to be able to operate again next year."