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Mar 7

Ontario Fruit and Vegetables

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What We're Working on For You

This new regular newsletter is to keep you, our members, informed about what the key issues and files are that OFVGA is currently tackling on behalf of growers.

Top Three IssuesEdible Horticulture Support Program (EHSP)The provincial government will not be proceeding with the second installment of the Edible Horticulture Support Program. The program was a two-year commitment originally announced by the previous government, with an initial payment of $30 million distributed to growers in 2018. OMAFRA is communicating directly with all affected growers.

Latest status: OFVGA appreciates legislative efforts by the provincial government to create a better business climate for growers, such as repealing cap-and-trade and holding minimum wage at $14 per hour until 2020, and will continue to work with government to look for additional ways to support the competitiveness of the sector.Self-Directed Risk Management (SDRM)OFVGA has been meeting with officials from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the Minister’s Office to discuss the Self-Directed Risk Management (SDRM) program and how it is working for growers. A follow up meeting is planned in the coming weeks. Latest status: OFVGA’s goal is to ensure the program continues to operate effectively and is meeting the needs of fruit and vegetable growers.

 

Canadian Horticultural Council annual meetingOFVGA representatives are attending the annual meeting of the Canadian Horticultural Council in Halifax this week. CHC works on behalf of growers on issues of national scope, including trade, labour and crop protection. Latest status: Delegates will be debating 22 resolutions at the CHC AGM, of which nine have been submitted by Ontario. 

Other Files We are Keeping an Eye On Canadian Agricultural Partnership fundingNew Canadian Agricultural Partnership funding program intakes have been announced by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs for both producers and organizations and collaborations. Producers may apply for cost-share project funding through the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association between March 22, 2019 and May 6, 2019. Organizations and collaborations (which may involve groups of producers) can submit project applications to the Agricultural Adaptation Council from March 4, 2019 to April 5, 2019.

OFVGA annual general meeting The OFVGA annual meeting and banquet were held February 19, 2019 in Niagara Falls. Staff will now be reviewing resolutions passed at the AGM and taking steps to address them. An AGM survey is also being distributed to all participants – we welcome your feedback on what we can do to keep the event inviting and engaging.  Please complete the SURVEY or send your comments via email to dhutton@ofvga.org.

PACA-style trust to protect fruit and vegetable growers The OFVGA board has sent a resolution to the Canadian Horticultural Council annual meeting to encourage CHC and the Canadian Produce Marketing Association to focus efforts on the issue of implementing a PACA-like trust in Canada. In the U.S., the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) licenses buyers of produce to ensure that those who sell produce receive payment for their products. It also established legislation that protects produce sellers when buyers fail to pay. Fruit and vegetable farmers from across Canada are asking for the establishment of a made-in-Canada PACA-trust style program that extends the same benefits to the Canadian produce industry as in the U.S.  Don't miss out.....

Ontario growers: What to Expect in an Integrity Audit WEBINAR

Webinar: March 19, 2019; 12:00 – 1:00 PM EST Speakers: Janet Krayden, Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council Carrie Raymond-Gardner, Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Services Tara Cosgrove, Integrity Services Branch, EDSC/Service CanadaWhat to expect if you’re inspectedTop 5 reasons for audit non-complianceTips and best practices for being preparedLive Q & A with Integrity BranchEmployers will get information and tips to help successfully manage the new Integrity Inspection (audit) process. The session also includes an update on changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker program in recent months. There will be an opportunity for employers to ask questions and share their perspectives about the Integrity Inspection process during the Q & A section of the webinar. RSVP Deadline: March 15, 2019 This webinar is organized by the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) and funded in part through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). REGISTER HERE

NEWSMAKERSPest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) industry liaison Terri Stewart has left the agency to join CropLife Canada as their new director of science and regulatory affairs.Mary Robinson is the new President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture; Ontario’s Keith Currie has assumed a Vice President role with CFA.Marie-Claude Bibeau is Canada’s new minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. Her predecessor, Lawrence MacAuley, is now minister of veterans’ affairs and associate minister of defence.Grape grower Bill George is the new Chair of the OFVGA, moving up from the Vice Chair position he held previously to take over from past Chair Jan VanderHout. Apple Grower Charles Stevens is the new OFVGA Vice Chair. 

 

NEWS RELEASES AND SUBMISSIONS Agricultural labour advocate honoured with Industry Award of Merit - Longtime horticultural labour issues advisor Ken Linington is the winner of this year’s Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) Industry Award of Merit. Read more: https://www.ofvga.org/article/agricultural-labour-advocate-honoured-with-industry-award-of-merit

New chair, vice chair for Ontario’s fruit and vegetable growers - Grape grower Bill George Jr. was elected as the new Chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) at the organization’s 160th annual general after serving two years in the Vice Chair position. He takes over the role from greenhouse grower Jan VanderHout, who became Chair in 2017. Apple grower Charles Stevens is the new OFVGA Vice Chair. Read more: https://www.ofvga.org/article/new-chair-vice-chair-for-ontario-s-fruit-and-vegetable-growers

Events we have or are Attending March 1: F.A.R.M.S. annual general meeting, Delhi ON March 5-7:  Canadian Horticultural Council annual general meeting, Halifax NS March 19-20: Minor Use Priority Setting meetings, Gatineau QC March 27-28: Muck Vegetable Growers’ Conference, Bradford ON April 2-4: Canadian Produce Marketing Association trade show, Montreal QC April 10: OFVGA Queen’s Park Reception, Toronto ON For more information on any items in this newsletter, please contact Gordon Stock, Senior Policy and Government Relations Advisor, at gstock@ofvga.org or 519-763-6160, ext. 125.

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