FARMS and CanAgTravel have issued clarification on today’s media reports regarding temporary foreign workers. The horticultural sector’s strategy document is before the Prime Minister and Cabinet tonight, March 18th.  

Despite best lobby efforts of agriculture’s leaders, the federal government has announced that seasonal agricultural workers from the Caribbean and Mexico cannot land in Canada effective March 18 at 12:01 am. While 8,000 workers are already in Ontario, another 22,000 were expected over coming months for the 2020 crop year.  

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. 


United Fresh launches LIVE!

A fresh produce virtual platform will replace the in-person event slated for mid-June in San Diego. United Fresh LIVE! Will debut the week of June 15, 2020. 

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. 

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. 

Fred Webber, president of the Dispute Resolution Corporation, introduced a new logo at the Canadian Horticultural Council’s annual banquet in Ottawa. The new tag line?  Trade with confidence. The timing coincides with DRC’s 20th anniversary. 

The Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) has developed an information document to help advise the produce sector on the epidemiology of COVID-19, communicate best practices for handling produce, and provide verified, fact-based advice, to help the industry continue to deliver the highest quality, safest produce to consumers.

L-R: Brian Gilroy, CHC president; Tom O’Neill, Honourary Life Member; Linda Delli Santi, Outstanding Achievement Award; Rebecca Lee, CHC executive director; Tracy Shinners-Carnelley, Doug Connery Award; Shirley Archambault, Honourary Life Member

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. 


Fresh Direct Produce co-founder passes

Kam Chiu Lee, co-founder of Vancouver-based Fresh Direct Produce, has passed due to cancer. 

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.  

:  L-R: Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau, Rebecca Lee, executive director, Canadian Horticultural Council, Brian Gilroy, chair, CHC and Bill Zylmans, BC potato grower.

Ag minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, flanked by Rebecca Lee, executive director, CHC and Brian Gilroy, chair CHC, is thanked by BC potato grower Bill Zylmans for more than $2.3 million to manage costly potato disease. 



  • 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

Greenhouse community coordinates response planning

The Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) is very concerned about the current COVID-19 pandemic and is taking all steps to ensure local communities, workforce and farmers are protected. 

Pyganic insecticide registered for low-growing berries

Pyganic crop protection insecticide controls several insect pests of low-growing berries such as lowbush blueberries. 

BC farmers market operators go online

The British Columbia government has purchased a bulk package of licenses for 70 farmers’ markets to sign up for online produce sales. Local Line, based in Kitchener, Ontario provides the service.  

Vegetable prices expected to increase

Food prices are expected to rise 4% in 2020, with vegetables and bakery leading the way. The update is courtesy of Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph.  

United Fresh launches LIVE!

A fresh produce virtual platform will replace the in-person event slated for mid-June in San Diego. United Fresh LIVE! Will debut the week of June 15, 2020. 

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