Empire Co. Ltd., Sobey’s parent has purchased Farm Boy’s 26 Ontario locations. They’re hoping to double the size of the Farm Boy business that began as a small produce store in Cornwall, Ont. back in 1981.

The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program has brought workers from Mexico and the Caribbean to Canada for 52 years. One of those success stories is Jamaican Stedley Stephenson. He’s finishing his 38th season, this year picking apples in one of the remaining conventional blocks at the farm of John Ardiel, Clarksburg, Ontario. Thanks to 30,000 workers like him, growers are able to bring hand-harvested produce to market. Photos by Glenn Lowson. 

RELATED NEWS

Brett Schuyler appeals local rules on housing seasonal workers

One farmer’s appeal represents the interests of Ontario’s Norfolk County agricultural sector which is at a competitive disadvantage with nearby growers.

Jane Proctor of CPMA shares her insights on COVID-related food chain issues

Jane Proctor, CPMA, talks with Karen Davidson, editor of The Grower and shares why strong relationships matter in a crisis.

Ron Lemaire CPMA on how the food chain is adapting to the virus crisis in real time

Working with many ag leaders across the country, the Ottawa-based president of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association has been stick handling myriad issues.

RELATED NEWS

New Ontario deputy minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs named

John Kelly, the former executive director of the Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association, becomes the new deputy minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs.   

Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame 2020 inductees named

Jay Bradshaw, former president of Syngenta Canada, is one of the four inductees. The ceremony will be delayed until November 2021. 

United Fresh names best in show virtual exhibit booths

Canadians won two of the six booth awards at the United Fresh LIVE! show. Best Overall Booth was won by greenhouse grower Sunset/Mastronardi Produce Ltd., Kingsville, Ontario. Best FreshMKT Booth was won by Pure Flavor – Pure Hothouse Foods, Inc. Leamington, Ontario. 

Davis Yung champions initiative for frontline workers

Davis Yung, the new chair of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), has hit the ground running, spearheading a new initiative to deliver produce to frontline workers. 500 shopping bags, brimming with produce, recognize their thankless work throughout the pandemic thus far.

Davis Yung to chair 2020-21 CPMA board of directors

Just like the industry itself, Davis Yung brings a dynamic leadership style to the Canadian Produce Marketing Association. Its diverse membership is comprised of every segment of the produce industry supply chain which is responsible for 90 per cent of the fresh fruit and vegetable sales in Canada. 

Harvest at Canada’s largest sweet potato grower, Berlo’s Best Sweet Potatoes, Simcoe, Ontario. Photo by Glenn Lowson.

Sweet potatoes are under water in parts of North Carolina, as a result of hurricane Florence. Only one-quarter of the crop, valued at $350 million U.S. last year, had been harvested. Meanwhile, Canada’s largest grower says the industry will work together to help fulfill market demand. 

The Bosc variety comprises about 30 per cent of the commercial pear production in Ontario.  Watch for them in stores and markets in late September and early October. 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, second from right, with Rick Nicholls, MPP Chatham-Kent Leamington, left; Monte McNaughton, MPP Lambton-Kent-Middlesex and Minister of Infrastructure; and Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture.

Ontario will hold the line on further raises to the minimum wage currently at $14/hour. And a new natural gas program should mean lower heating and fuel costs for fruit and vegetable producers. Premier Doug Ford made the natural gas announcement at the International Plowing Match.

RELATED NEWS

New Ontario deputy minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs named

John Kelly, the former executive director of the Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association, becomes the new deputy minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs.   

Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame 2020 inductees named

Jay Bradshaw, former president of Syngenta Canada, is one of the four inductees. The ceremony will be delayed until November 2021. 

United Fresh names best in show virtual exhibit booths

Canadians won two of the six booth awards at the United Fresh LIVE! show. Best Overall Booth was won by greenhouse grower Sunset/Mastronardi Produce Ltd., Kingsville, Ontario. Best FreshMKT Booth was won by Pure Flavor – Pure Hothouse Foods, Inc. Leamington, Ontario. 

Davis Yung champions initiative for frontline workers

Davis Yung, the new chair of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), has hit the ground running, spearheading a new initiative to deliver produce to frontline workers. 500 shopping bags, brimming with produce, recognize their thankless work throughout the pandemic thus far.

Davis Yung to chair 2020-21 CPMA board of directors

Just like the industry itself, Davis Yung brings a dynamic leadership style to the Canadian Produce Marketing Association. Its diverse membership is comprised of every segment of the produce industry supply chain which is responsible for 90 per cent of the fresh fruit and vegetable sales in Canada. 

The United Fresh Washington Conference, Sept 24-26, will be the epi-centre of U.S. discussions on fresh produce trade, markets and related public policy issues.  Ontario industry representatives will be there to ensure members remain current and competitive in this climate of uncertainty.

RELATED NEWS

United Fresh Convention moves to June 2021

The United Fresh Produce Association and Fresh Produce and Floral Council will hold a joint convention and expo June 24-26, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. 

 

Syngenta Vegetable Seeds offer virtual cucurbit event

The free-to-attend online experience, September 10, aims to connect the vegetable seed industry value chain with exclusive access to Syngenta innovations and experts.

Asia Fruit Logistica goes virtual

Asia Fruit Logistica, originally planned for Singapore, will now be held in a new digital format November 18-20, 2020.

Interpoma goes digital

Interpoma 2020, the international fair dedicated to apples in Bolzano, Italy, will be presented in a digital format November 19 and 20. 

Canada remains top market for U.S. exports

American fruit and vegetable growers sent a total of $3.5 billion of produce to Canada in 2019. Canada represents half of the country’s exports. 

Polymer Logistics’ Canadian profile in reusable containers for transport and merchandising systems just got a boost with the appointment of Eric Biddiscombe.  His long and broad tenure with Loblaw Companies gives him the ‘street creds’ to grow the Canadian arm of the company.

RELATED NEWS

New Ontario deputy minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs named

John Kelly, the former executive director of the Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association, becomes the new deputy minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs.   

Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame 2020 inductees named

Jay Bradshaw, former president of Syngenta Canada, is one of the four inductees. The ceremony will be delayed until November 2021. 

United Fresh names best in show virtual exhibit booths

Canadians won two of the six booth awards at the United Fresh LIVE! show. Best Overall Booth was won by greenhouse grower Sunset/Mastronardi Produce Ltd., Kingsville, Ontario. Best FreshMKT Booth was won by Pure Flavor – Pure Hothouse Foods, Inc. Leamington, Ontario. 

Davis Yung champions initiative for frontline workers

Davis Yung, the new chair of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), has hit the ground running, spearheading a new initiative to deliver produce to frontline workers. 500 shopping bags, brimming with produce, recognize their thankless work throughout the pandemic thus far.

Davis Yung to chair 2020-21 CPMA board of directors

Just like the industry itself, Davis Yung brings a dynamic leadership style to the Canadian Produce Marketing Association. Its diverse membership is comprised of every segment of the produce industry supply chain which is responsible for 90 per cent of the fresh fruit and vegetable sales in Canada. 

The quality and safety of tender fruit at the Vineland Growers’ Cooperative is getting a boost from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, with funding to implement new food safety measures. Member Phil Tregunno was an early adopter this past summer at new packing facilities at Niagara-on-the-Lake. 

RELATED NEWS

Perennia launches orchard tool Iphone app

Michelle Cortens, Nova Scotia tree fruit specialist, and team have launched a new app for orchard management. She’s with Perennia Food & Agriculture based in Kentville. 

SmartFresh technology expanded for tomatoes

Parent company AgroFresh Solutions has expanded post-harvest application of its SmartFresh technology to include tomatoes in Canada.

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.

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Recent News

Rimon insecticide label expanded for some crops

The label for Rimon 10 EC insecticide has been expanded to manage insects on celeriac, parsnip, greenhouse and outdoor ornamentals in Canada. 

United Fresh Convention moves to June 2021

The United Fresh Produce Association and Fresh Produce and Floral Council will hold a joint convention and expo June 24-26, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. 

 

New technology to help grow Quebec vegetable businesses

Two vegetable producers are set to grow with federal investments in innovative technology and processes at their Saint-Patrice-de-Sherrington, Quebec companies. Radishes and onions are in the limelight. 

Syngenta Vegetable Seeds offer virtual cucurbit event

The free-to-attend online experience, September 10, aims to connect the vegetable seed industry value chain with exclusive access to Syngenta innovations and experts.

Surplus food rescue program under way

The Canadian Produce Marketing Association and Second Harvest have been approved for $22 million to support delivery of Canada’s Surplus Food Rescue Program. 

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