In the May issue of The Grower, columnist Owen Roberts put forward a perspective that’s not often heard in the mainstream media. And that’s the view that  foreign workers are professionals. CBC Radio contacted him for a series of cross-Canada interviews on April 28.   

RELATED NEWS

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. 

Virtual New Product Showcase awards announced

The Virtual New Product Showcase honours four product categories: the organic product award, packaging innovation award, best snackable product and best new product award. The Little Potato Company’s Easy Sides won best new product. 

New chair for Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission

Pork and chicken producer Amy Cronin has been appointed chair of the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission for a two-year term. 

As of April 27, 40 cases of COVID-19 have been identified amongst workers at a Kent Bridge, Ontario greenhouse, says the local chief medical officer. The foreign workers have been living in the Chatham-Kent area for at least four months and up to 18 months. 

BASF and the Canadian Agriculture Safety Association are launching an online farm safety resource for children. More than ever, with school closures keeping children at home on the farm, it’s important to be aware of the dangers. Drownings and machine runovers/rollovers are the leading causes of farm-related injuries in children. 

AgScape, the organization that brings ag in the classroom to Ontario schools, is holding its virtual annual general meeting from April 27 to May 13. 

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.

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.

Dr Chris Trobacher at NutriAg talks foliar and soil-applied nutrition in potatoes

Nutrients and micro-nutrients have a huge role to play in keeping potato plants healthy through the season. A strong plant is in a better position to ward off diseases and pests, and stand up to extreme  weather conditions.

Dr. Mary Ruth McDonald forecasts the future of IPM

The state of Integrated Pest Management keeps evolving with new equipment and techniques for identifying diseases and pests.

The Canada-Caribbean Institute founded by Brock University and the University of West Indies will be holding a webinar on April 30 to discuss issues pertinent to seasonal workers during COVID-19.  

RELATED NEWS

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. 

Virtual New Product Showcase awards announced

The Virtual New Product Showcase honours four product categories: the organic product award, packaging innovation award, best snackable product and best new product award. The Little Potato Company’s Easy Sides won best new product. 

New chair for Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission

Pork and chicken producer Amy Cronin has been appointed chair of the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission for a two-year term. 

The Agri-Food Open for E-Business initiative will help food producers, farmers’ markets, retailers, garden centres, greenhouses, nurseries, and agricultural associations develop online business. 

A new Nielsen survey of consumers from more than 70 countries shows that 79 per cent of Canadians and 71 per cent of Americans expect the spread and intensity of local COVID-19 impact in their country to increase. The survey was conducted in March 2020. 

The Schuyler family near Simcoe, Ontario is in the midst of gathering the workers required for two shifts a day that require 60 workers each in July. Since this photo was taken in May 2019, Ray Vogel (L) has retired and Ryan Schuyler is part of the management team searching for solutions. Photos by Glenn Lowson.

Sour cherry trees will be in blossom in May, immune to the world pandemic of COVID-19 virus. Although an uplifting sight, the outstanding question is how they will be harvested in two months. This cover story quotes several horticultural industry leaders on what’s happening now and potential paths forward. 

RELATED NEWS

Green light for berry bright future

The Greenbelt Foundation has identified that vertical farming as well as several fruits and vegetables are ripe for expansion in Ontario’s $2.2 billion horticultural sector. They are garlic, eggplant, sweet potatoes, fresh grapes, pears and strawberries. Jeff Tigchelaar, Jordan, Ontario is one berry grower enjoying robust sales at the Ontario Food Terminal.

Fewer hands, less food

Last July, this display of plenty from Oxford County grower John Den Boer was captured at the Ontario Food Terminal. As the summer of COVID-19 unfolds, the variety and volume of fruits and vegetables may not be in such grand array because growers do not have timely access to enough seasonal ag workers for essential planting and harvesting. The legal case of Brett Schuyler signifies the height of the hurdles faced by growers across Canada. 

Canadian food system is up to the test

Seasonal agricultural workers such as Jamaican Willy Green are crucial to the 2020 growing season. The federal government is providing exemptions to the travel ban however logistics are still to be announced. 

The future of IPM: something old, something new

Dr. Mary Ruth McDonald has mentored dozens of students as professor of plant agriculture, University of Guelph. Equally at home in the field, she’s working with Master’s student Alexandra Dacey, documenting carrot weevil found in carrot trials at the Muck Crops Research Station in Bradford, Ontario. 

How to tell and sell the origin story

Seedless watermelon is only one of the specialties carried at Howe Family Farm Market near Aylmer, Ontario. Kevin Howe says ground cherries and canary melons also pique the interest of consumers. The on-farm market has been so successful that the family has opened another location south of London Ontario. 

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FEATURES

  • 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. 

  • Virtual New Product Showcase awards announced

    The Virtual New Product Showcase honours four product categories: the organic product award, packaging innovation award, best snackable product and best new product award. The Little Potato Company’s Easy Sides won best new product. 

Recent News

Unique wine-making region to be recognized on Vancouver Island

The Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island is now recognized as a sub-geographical indication to help consumers identify the origins of BC wines.  

COVID-19 outbreak at Scotlynn Group declared over

The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit has declared the COVID-19 outbreak over at the Scotlynn Group, Vittoria, Ontario. All workers have completed the self-isolation period and are back to work. 

AALP class 18 extended four to six months

The Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program is pushing back delivery of its seminars into winter 2021 to offer a robust experience in a safe manner.  

Governments increase support for eligible farmers experiencing labour challenges

The Canadian and Ontario governments are enhancing AgriInsurance coverage for the 2020 growing season to include labour shortages due to COVID-19. Ontario is the first to provide this coverage. 

Vineland seeks new directors

The Vineland Research and Innovation Centre is seeking individuals to join the Board of Directors and inviting nominations for membership.  

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