After one year as chair of OFVGA, grape grower Bill George points to the success of industry engagement with the provincial government in keeping the Ontario Food Terminal at its current Etobicoke location. 

Seedless watermelon is only one of the specialties carried at Howe Family Farm Market near Aylmer, Ontario. Kevin Howe says ground cherries and canary melons also pique the interest of consumers. The on-farm market has been so successful that the family has opened another location south of London Ontario. 

RELATED NEWS

Showing face in the midst of trade wars

Bill George Jr. and his son Will have tasted the promise of Icewine exports to China. With geopolitical tensions in 2019, the risks of diversifying into markets abroad have been amplified. It’s too early to know if the recent U.S-China deal will help or hinder.    

Soil fitness – just do it!

Fourth-generation grower Kyle Horlings is questioning the way things have always been done. Since 2015, he’s taken about 10 acres of carrots and onions out of production every year for restorative cover plantings. His experiments near King, Ontario garnered him the Healthy Soil Award from the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority in November. 

Frequent flyer earns bonus points for good taste

Oleen Smethurst is known for her quest for flavour. As assistant vice-president, general merchandise manager for produce, Costco Canada, she jets all over the world from Berlin to Bogotá, meeting with growers and seed suppliers. While touring southern Ontario in late August 2019, she visited Martin’s Family Fruit Farm near Waterloo, Ontario.

Cold comfort, the new standard in root vegetable storage

Quinton Woods, sales and plant operations, Gwillimdale Farms, oversees the second phase of a storage facility near Bradford, Ontario that will be filled with onions and carrots in the fall of 2019. 

Grading peaches by the pixel

New packing lines are revolutionizing how tree-ripened tender fruit can be speedily handled and shipped to consumers. The largest peach grower in Ontario, the Tregunno family, installed a Spectrim vision system three years ago at the farm near Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Ryan Tregunno stays sharp for 10 weeks as traffic controller in his computer pit above the lines of peaches and nectarines.

RELATED NEWS

Darci Vetter analyzes current state of global trade relations

Darci Vetter, former chief agricultural negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative, has had a front-row seat to trade relations around the world.

Oleen Smethurst, Costco Canada, focuses on flavour

Oleen Smethurst, general merchandise manager for Costco Canada, flies all over the globe from Berlin to Bogotá to taste test fruits and vegetables.

Nick VanBerlo rides the superfood wave with sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are not native to Canada, but for the VanBerlo family near Simcoe, Ontario, sweet potatoes have become second nature. 

The Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association is organizing an Ontario Pavilion Exhibit at the upcoming Canadian Produce Marketing Association convention and trade show. Be part of this event held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, May 12-14, 2020. 

As details are unearthed about the American trade deal with China, growers are learning that processing potatoes could be eligible by February 24, 2020. Last-minute negotiations are anticipated regarding market access protocol. 

RELATED NEWS

E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce declared over

American food safety authorities declared that as of January 15, 2020, the E. coli outbreak connected to romaine lettuce from Salinas, California is now over. A total of 165 people were sickened. No deaths were reported. 

Fruit Logistica Innovation Award nominees

The showcase of 2020 Innovation Award nominees will be a top attraction in Berlin from Feb 5-7.  One of them is a cross between Chinese green cabbage and broccoli with a distinctive purple stalk. 

Tweaks needed for robotic harvesting of apples

Will 2020 be the year for commercializing robotic harvest of apples? Technical obstacles remain for the companies trialling in New Zealand, Europe and the United States. 

Asia Fruit Logistica moves to Singapore

Asia’s premier fresh produce trade show will relocate to Singapore from its traditional home in Hong Kong in September 2020. 

Mexico is #3 in strawberry exports

Mexico is a produce powerhouse. Globally, it’s one of the largest exporters of strawberries, eclipsed only by Spain and the United States.    

 

An arbitrator has dismissed the union’s grievance of an Okanagan man who thought it was unfair that Mission Hill Winery terminated him after accidently putting more than 5,000 litres of wine down the drain. 

Approximately 3,000 seasonal workers from Mexico and the Caribbean began arriving in January to help in Leamington, Ontario and Niagara peninsula greenhouses. That’s the vanguard of what’s expected to be a total of 18,000 seasonal workers in Ontario. 

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FEATURES

  • Kwik Lok unveils sustainable bag closure

    A new Eco-Lok closure offers the same safety, quality and rigidity as former plastic closures with lower carbon footprint.

  • Latest technology at FutureTEC Zone

    United Fresh 2019 offers a glimpse into the future with a TEC Zone featuring 24 top ag tech start-up companies. One of those is Montreal-based Motorleaf, which uses artificial intelligence to automate harvest yield estimates and disease scouting in tomato and pepper greenhouses. 

  • Tiny package, huge benefit for cherry growers

    Hazel Technologies Inc., based in Salinas, California, has developed a small, biodegradable and food-safe insert to extend the shelf life of a carton of fresh fruit. Now the post-harvest sachet is being launched for one of the most challenging fruits to keep fresh – cherries.

  • Photo courtesy of Eugenia Banks
    Potato common scab research unveils surprising results

    Scabby potatoes are unmarketable. However, molecular technology has determined that the most predominant species in Ontario might be one that could be controlled with cultural practices.

Recent News

There’s a lot to like about International Year of Plant Health

The Food and Agriculture Organization wants to promote the idea that protecting plants from pests and diseases is far more cost effective than dealing with full-blown plant health emergencies. 

Being proactive and engaged matters

After one year as chair of OFVGA, grape grower Bill George points to the success of industry engagement with the provincial government in keeping the Ontario Food Terminal at its current Etobicoke location. 

How to tell and sell the origin story

Seedless watermelon is only one of the specialties carried at Howe Family Farm Market near Aylmer, Ontario. Kevin Howe says ground cherries and canary melons also pique the interest of consumers. The on-farm market has been so successful that the family has opened another location south of London Ontario. 

Kevin Howe offers best tips for on-farm markets

Karen Davidson, editor of The Grower, speaks with Kevin Howe, Howe Family Farm Market near Aylmer, Ontario.

Canadian Agricultural Youth Council to be formed

Women and men aged 18 to 30 working within the agriculture and agri-food value chain, are invited to apply to be a member of the new Canadian Agricultural Youth Council. Application deadline is February 14, 2020. 

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Stefan Larrass brings more than 10 years ...
Bill studied horticulture at the University ...
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Jennifer Morris is president of Two Roads ...