A group of 18 agri-food industry leaders met with the Ontario ag minister and parliamentary assistant Randy Pettapiece on March 7 to discuss growing the agri-food sector. However, other than a tweeted photo, the government has not released the names of the members.

Ontario’s sweet and hard cider competitions at the recent Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention were hotly contested with some well-known entrants and some new names. Larissa Osborne, market and production analyst for Ontario Apple Growers, serves samples. 

Ontario’s fresh grape market is short but sweet. As David Hipple, board chair, reports, the 2018 season produced excellent quality and a crop with gross farmgate value of $4.4 million.

Terri Stewart, director, science and regulatory affairs, for chemistry, CropLife Canada

CropLife Canada, the organization that represents crop protection manufacturers, has hired Terri Stewart for the role of director, science and regulatory affairs for chemistry. She brings significant expertise, leaving a 16-year career with the Pest Management Regulatory Agency.

The Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Convention hosts a student poster competition every year. This year’s winner, Leah Blechschmidt, addressed the abundance and diversity of native bees in Ontario apple orchards. 

British Columbia’s2019 budget of the agriculture ministry will increase by 5.4 per cent from 2018. Most of the increase is to fund the Grow-Feed-Buy BC initiatives, including ‘regional food hubs’ and enhancement of the Buy BC program.