In February 2021, Country Fresh, its U.S. subsidiaries and its Canadian entities Sun Rich Fresh Foods filed for bankruptcy. Sun Rich Fresh Foods, based in Brampton, Ontario, cuts and prepares made-to-order fresh fruit.

The changing business landscape – with bankruptcies looming in the restaurant and institutional sectors – may finally persuade the federal government to consider financial protection legislation.  Similar to the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act in the U.S., legislation would protect produce sellers if they’ve sold to a business that goes bankrupt.

British Columbia’s 350 tree fruit growers are facing unprecedented challenges, not the least of which are an increase of minimum wage rates to $15.25 per hour as of June 1 and hurdles in accessing labour for the 2021 season.  A Tree Fruit Stabilization Initiative is underway with the provincial government, with hopes for a draft plan by end of July. 

Canada’s ag minister Marie-Claude Bibeau has announced $1.6 million over two years to fund Agriculture in the Classroom Canada. The initiative launches Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month, now in its 10th year. 

McCain Foods Limited tops up investment to $65 million in national network of indoor vertical farms. GoodLeaf Farms, the first commercial venture in Guelph Ontario, will also set up a vertical farm to serve the grocery and food service networks in eastern Canada and another one in western Canada.

The Ontario government has renewed a three-year agreement for continued research and grants that protect and enhance acres of farmland, forests, wetlands and watersheds. The Greater Golden Horseshoe is expected to be home to 15 million Canadians by 2051. 

In recent years, the mergers of global crop protection companies promised robust R & D pipelines.  But the reality is that fewer products and label extensions will come to horticulture. That’s because there’s a bottleneck of reduced trial capacity at the Pest Management Centre says apple grower Charles Stevens, Newcastle, ON. 

 

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