Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has announced more than $175,000 of funding to the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) which provides services to Canadian buyers and sellers of fresh fruits and vegetables. The announcement was made on the opening day of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention.
The DRC, which acts as a third party financial dispute resolution body for the fruit and vegetable industry, received an investment of $118,795 to deliver an outreach and education initiative on the impending Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) and Regulations. An additional $58,807 was provided under the same program to support the industry to initiate work toward updating the Canadian grade standards for fresh fruits and vegetables in order to reflect current market and consumer preferences.
Under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations, which are set to be published in 2018, the Dispute Resolution Corporation will be permitted to act as an independent, third-party dispute resolution body and ensure the adherence of fresh fruit and vegetable buyers to a unified set of trading rules and govern against slow, partial and/or no pay by buyers with strict penalties for buyer non-payment.
"We are very pleased the Government of Canada has provided support to the fruit and vegetable sector for the DRC’s role in the trade and commerce portion of the SFCA as well as modernization of the Grade Standards Compendium for fresh fruit and vegetables,” said Fred Webber, president and CEO of DRC.
“The playing field will be truly leveled when everyone knows the rights and responsibilities associated with the proposed regulatory requirement for a DRC membership. Furthermore, the grade standards play an essential role in evaluating and resolving grade and condition disputes fairly and efficiently.”
Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada February 21, 2018 news release.