Loblaw is opening its PC Insiders program to all 16 million PC Optimum loyalty members. The annual subscription fee earns free pick-up, shipping, and savings on selected President’s Choice items. It’s a significant move, taking on Amazon. 

CanAgPlus held its annual general meeting December 6, 2018, electing four directors to the board that oversees the CanadaGAP program. Stephanie Lariviere becomes chair and Scott Wright becomes vice-chair. 

Canada’s international farm workers contribute significantly to the local economies where they live.  The latest release in the Canadian Horticultural Council’s video series shows just how big and beneficial those contributions can be.

Oleen Smethurst, Costco Wholesale Canada, visits with grape grower John Thwaites, (L) and Mike Ecker, Vineland Growers’ Cooperative at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

It’s not too early to mark 2019 calendars. Canada Agriculture Day is February 12. Oleen Smethurst, assistant vice-president for produce procurement at Costco, is one of the headline speakers. 

The Ontario Potato Board held its annual general meeting on December 5. It represents 130 growers of 34,000 acres. The new 2019 chair is Shawn Brenn, Brenn-B Farms, Waterdown, Ontario. 

High-pressure sodium lights allow winter production of tomatoes at the NatureFresh Farms greenhouses in Delta, Ohio.

NatureFresh Farms, Leamington Ontario will add 32 acres of greenhouse tomatoes to its operations in 2019. The Delta, Ohio location is in its third winter growing season with high-pressure sodium lights. 

Lobbying on The Hill were the following. L-R:  Member of Parliament and 2018 CPMA Produce Champion Bev Shipley; Jason Verkaik (Carron Farms Ltd), Jan VanderHout (Beverly Greenhouses Ltd), Suraiya Gangji (CPMA), Margie Schurko (ABC Customs Brokers), Rob Johnson (Country Grocer).

The annual Fall Harvest event is an important relationship-building program with MPs and senators. This year’s themes were importance of international trade, access to crop protection products, access to labour and need for a national food strategy.