Ontario’s fruit specialist, Erica Pate, is hosting a Zoom meeting to discuss different approaches for pick-your-own operations this season. Sign up for June 2.

Shopping patterns have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers are buying different amounts of different products at different times in different places. Columnist Peter Chapman’s advice? Explore each difference to understand the impact on your products and your markets.

Borealis, an Austrian-based company, is producing mono-resin laminate bags.

Columnist Owen Roberts explores the world of food packaging in a new report by Value Chain Management International called Less food loss, less packaging waste. Some tough choices lie ahead for the industry for getting commodities not just out of the fields, but in front of consumers too.

Photo by Krystle VanRoboys

Growers this year are facing a plethora of additional costs and challenges to maintain compliance with new layers of regulations and ensure the health and safety of their workers writes Bill George. 

Photo by Glenn Lowson

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. 

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.

Coping with changing rules of engagement

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. 

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. 

RELATED NEWS

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

Nature Fresh Farms hires director of marketing

Seasoned advertising veteran Stephanie Swatkow is the new director of marketing for greenhouse grower Nature Fresh Farms. 

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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

Testing of workers for COVID-19 to roll out in Ontario

The Ontario government is proactively organizing more COVID-19 testing of seasonal workers. The Niagara and Norfolk regions are priorities in July. It’s a particularly busy time with yellow plum harvest to start July 15 and peaches a week later. 

Brock online cider course sells out

Brock University has transitioned its popular cider and perry production foundation course to an online format. 

Temporary closure of Canadian Visa Application Centre in Mexico City

The Canadian Visa Application Centre in Mexico has temporarily ceased operations and quarantined all staff due to COVID-19. The Western Agricultural Labour Initiative notified its members July 3.

Canlead Solutions launched

Canlead Solutions is an administrative business service provider focused on supporting the Canadian agriculture and food sector. The non-profit organization shares space with the Agricultural Adaptation Council in Guelph, Ontario, but is governed by a separate board. 

Pylon miticide-insecticide has an expanded label for greenhouse use

PMRA has granted label expansion of Pylon miticide-insecticide for chili and onion thrips in greenhouse ornamentals. The product also suppresses pests in greenhouse fruiting crops/cucumbers. 

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Bill studied horticulture at the University ...
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