Lloyd Herridge of Herridge's Farm Fresh Market in Mississauga is recognized as a 2019 local food champion by the Ontario ag ministry. The announcement launches Ontario’s Local Food Week, which runs June 3 to 10, 2019.

The question of how much of a Canadian product actually needs to be from Canada in order to be called “Product of Canada” is being asked by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Apple juice is one such example.

Ontario’s local craft cider industry has experienced a seven-fold increase over the last five years. That’s just one reason to celebrate the first Ontario Craft Cider Month, June 1 - 30, 2019.

The number of strawberry and raspberry producers in Quebec is declining because of increased minimum wages coupled with unfavourable weather conditions and tough competition from Mexico and California.

Jealous Fruits, headquartered at Winfield, British Columbia, is expanding its packing facility to handle increased volumes from 740 acres. Beyond expansion at home, the largest vertically integrated cherry producer in Canada, will be busy shipping into the newly opened Japanese market.

President Trump has promised American farmers up to $16 billion through USDA programs – an amount estimated to equal the impact of “unjustified retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods” according to a recent USDA news release. This is the second package in as many years.

Hot weather this spring has led to a snowpack of less than 50 per cent of normal for mid-May for the number one apple-producing state. That’s a development worth watching for all Canadian growers experiencing a spring of variable weather.

A few farmers’ markets will open Victoria Day weekend offering local produce to shoppers. What’s available this early in the season? Asparagus with rhubarb, green onions and radishes soon to follow. Also look for greenhouse-grown produce such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce and strawberries.

Canada’s agri-food system could soon face multiple threats as the rules-based structures of international trade comes under fire from escalating bilateral U.S.-China conflict. At the same time, a deadly swine disease is occurring at a mass scale, demanding integrity in the international trade system to respond and mitigate the supply gap. The stakes for Canadian agri-food are substantial.

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