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The Chinese Green Onion Project

The Canada China Agriculture and Food Development Exchange Center (CCAgr) has a passion for generating and maintaining strong connections between companies and countries through product advancement and business opportunities. The Chinese Super Green Onion Project, illustrates how promotion of new agri-food products in other countries can be very beneficial to Canadian growers and consumers.            

Chinese super green onionsChinese super green onions prepared

A detailed Canadian market research report and analysis of consumption statistic reports by the CCAgr identified the opportunity for Chinese green onion (CGO) growth in Canada. The report found that: Canada’s multicultural society brings an increased demand for ethnic foods in many communities and because CGOs are difficult to ship from China, this creates an opportunity to introduce CGOs as a viable crop in Ontario.

With over 25 years of experience in Canadian and Chinese agriculture, the agronomists at CCAgr have the knowledge and expertise needed to help grow this vegetable variety.

Canadian Chinese Green Onion Market Research Report

grower of Chinese super green onionsThe following market research report was conducted to discover a link between CGO production and  Canadian consumer consumption habits and demand. Analysis shows there is a prevalent market in Canada for CGOs, and that the growth of these onions in Ontario and other provinces in Canada would be ideal.

The (CGO) is a very popular vegetable not only in Chinese communities, but globally as well. Onion production is the second most significant horticultural crop production in the world after tomatoes in terms of health benefits.

The Chinese green onion can be successfully grown throughout China, where temperatures vary. This bodes well for its success in Ontario.. The CGO can be picked as seedling, grown as white onions, or produced as shoots. The majority of Asian food shops and general retailers have expressed interest in selling the CGO to cater to their multicultural customer base.

Market for CGO in Caucasian Communities in Canada

Chinese super green onionGreen onions are included in: fresh produce that is pre-cut and packaged for fresh toppings used at salad bars, fast food restaurants and for inclusion in pre-mixed and bagged salad greens. One-third of green onions are consumed away from home, with full-service restaurants accounting for about 15 percent.

Considering both farm value and per person domestic consumption, onions are one of the top five vegetables in Canada and the United States. Rapid changes in food popularity and trends in North America since 1970 has encouraged the increased demand for onions through both fast food chains, increased ethnic restaurants and the promotion of in-store salad bars. It is proven that Canadians are loyal to produce grown locally or in their country..


The following graph shows Canadians have increased their vegetable intake over the last eight years.

 canadian vegetable intake

This graph illustrates Canadian vegetable consumption five times daily from the years of 2001-2009. The percentage of males who consumed fruit and vegetables at least five times daily was 31.9% in 2001, 34.5% in 2003, and 35.7% in 2005. There were 36.7% of males who consumed fruits and vegetables at least five times daily in 2007, 37.0% in 2008, and 39.7% in 2009.

The percentage of females who consumed fruit and vegetables at least five times daily was 43.0% in 2001, 48.0% in 2003, and 48.8% in 2005. There were 50.8% of females who consumed fruit and vegetables at least five times daily in 2007, 50.1% in 2008, and 51.4% in 2009.

Source: Pérez, Claudio E. 2002. “Fruit and vegetable consumption.” Vol. 13, no. 3. March. Health Reports. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. p. 23. /studies-etudes/82-003/archive/2002/6103-eng.pdf (2001-04-29)

Costs of Production and Marketing Profit of the CGO in Ontario

Production costs appear in the categories of production materials and labor. This includes seedbed and field soil preparation, seeding, transplanting, irrigation, fertilizing, hilling, pest control, other field management, harvesting and sorting, storage and transportation.

Expense Item

Cost ($/Acre)



Fertilizer and Topsoil




Land Using


Farm Implements
















Other Labor


Unexpected Expense


Total Cost


Expected Yield (Pound/Acre)


Price ($/Acre)


Total Return ($/Acre)


Net Return ($/Acre)



Market for CGO in Asian Communities in Canada

In Ontario alone, there are approximately 2 million Asian people who reside and consume approximately 50 million pounds of the CGO annually. Once the CGO is introduced across Canada, which has five million Asian people, the demand could approximate up to 125 million pounds of CGO annually.

region of birth immigrants to Canada graph

The above graph shows the most prevalent immigrants to Canada in recent years are those of Asian, and Middle Eastern descent. Introducing more diverse foods and growing them locally will help to cater to this market, as well as expand new markets.

Source: Statistics Canada (2007), Censuses of Population, Cat. No. 97-557, p. 9, 1971 to 2006


Investment in this project has been provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP). In Ontario, this program is delivered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council.

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