Global virtual town hall

The Produce Marketing Association, based in Newark, Delaware, convened members from 21 countries to discuss the industry’s response to COVID-19. The virtual town hall revealed that bananas, potatoes, carrots and onions are in the highest demand.

U.S. Apple Association: guest workers urgently needed

The U.S. embassy has suspended processing of new H-2A worker applications in Mexico City and its offices across the country. The U.S. Apple Association, one of the founders of the Agriculture Workforce Coalition, is asking for a reversal of that position. 

Canada ratifies USMCA

The Canadian Senate gave Royal Assent to the new United States-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement on March 13, 2020. It was an historic event, overshadowed by the global pandemic of COVID-19. 

Coronavirus not spread through food

The European Food Safety Authority is closely monitoring the global outbreak of coronavirus disease. Ironically, its headquarters are based in Parma, in the north of Italy, part of the lockdown by the Italian government.

Strawberry symposium postponed a year

The International Strawberry Symposium has been postponed until 2021 due to the global coronavirus outbreak. It was slated for Rimini, Italy. 

The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention has now posted its proceedings from the February 19-20, 2020 Niagara Falls conference online. 

A chartered Air Canada flight out of Kingston, Jamaica is confirmed to land at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport on April 1, carrying 288 seasonal agricultural workers. That’s the first of up to four flights expected by April 4. 


CHC honours leaders

Collaborative. Untiring. Tenacious. These are some of the adjectives that Brian Gilroy, president, Canadian Horticultural Council used to describe four award winners at the 98thannual general meeting in Ottawa. 

Vineland appoints new VP, operations

Chris McQueen is the newest member of the senior management team at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. 

Stokes Seeds names new territory manager

Stokes Seeds welcomes aboard Alexandre Bisson as a new Quebec territory manager, based on the south shore region of Montréal. 

OMAFRA leadership changes

Greg Meredith, deputy minister of Ontario agriculture, food and rural affairs will be moving to the ministry of labour, training and skills development effective April 6, 2020. 

Norfolk Fruit Growers Association announces transition

Tom O’Neill has announced he will step down from the role of general manager of the Norfolk Fruit Growers’ Association effective June 30, 2020. He’s served for 36 years, leaving a strong legacy of integrity and innovation.  

In the midst of the COVID-19 virus crisis, the food industry has stepped up to the plate, observes Peter Chapman, retail consultant. Financial institutions? Missing in action. 

Senior policy thinkers at Agri-Food Economics Systems warn that future worker absenteeism due to COVID-19 illness could dent the agrifood supply chain. Think of truckers, logistics providers, anyone on the front lines of producing and moving food. 



  • Kwik Lok unveils sustainable bag closure

    A new Eco-Lok closure offers the same safety, quality and rigidity as former plastic closures with lower carbon footprint.

  • Latest technology at FutureTEC Zone

    United Fresh 2019 offers a glimpse into the future with a TEC Zone featuring 24 top ag tech start-up companies. One of those is Montreal-based Motorleaf, which uses artificial intelligence to automate harvest yield estimates and disease scouting in tomato and pepper greenhouses. 

  • Tiny package, huge benefit for cherry growers

    Hazel Technologies Inc., based in Salinas, California, has developed a small, biodegradable and food-safe insert to extend the shelf life of a carton of fresh fruit. Now the post-harvest sachet is being launched for one of the most challenging fruits to keep fresh – cherries.

  • Photo courtesy of Eugenia Banks
    Potato common scab research unveils surprising results

    Scabby potatoes are unmarketable. However, molecular technology has determined that the most predominant species in Ontario might be one that could be controlled with cultural practices.

Recent News

Ontario sets up portal to attract ag workers

Anticipating a labour crunch, Ontario’s ag ministry has launched an online portal to attract workers to employers in the agri-food sector.

Ontario Food Terminal protocols under COVID-19

One of the critical assets in the food chain is the Ontario Food Terminal. Ken Knox, chair of the board, describes how the crisis team is responding. Look for details in a question-and-answer format with the editor of The Grower. 

Light in the tunnel for re-evaluation program

The current model clearly has some serious deficiencies and that’s led to some poor outcomes for all stakeholders. The future view is looking much brighter writes columnist Chris Duyvelshoff.

What a difference a few days makes

Retail Navigator columnist Peter Chapman reports on the upheaval caused by COVID-19. Grocery store employees say Friday, March 13thwas the busiest day they had ever experienced – more sales than any day leading into Christmas or Easter holidays.

Mexican fruit producers step up to help supply hungry markets

Columnist Owen Roberts was visiting Mexico, just before the World Health Organization announced a world pandemic. He shares in-the-field notes from the berry industry.

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Stefan Larrass brings more than 10 years ...
Bill studied horticulture at the University ...
Chris Duyvelshoff, is OFVGA's crop protection ...
Gordon Stock is OFVGA's senior policy advisor ...
Owen Roberts is a journalist and a columnist ...