On May 30, fresh produce industry representatives from the Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) and the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) met with parliamentarians and government officials at Farm to Plate 2023 held in Ottawa.
Farm to Plate is an FVGC and CPMA joint advocacy event held annually that focuses on connecting the produce industry with key decision-makers to discuss critical issues impacting the fruit and vegetable sector.
During the event, 30 industry members from across the country highlighted several key areas that impact the environmental, social and economic sustainability of the fresh produce sector. They urged the Government to make agriculture and access to food a federal priority, support an effective sustainable agriculture strategy, and implement national agricultural labour and supply chain strategies to address labour shortages and supply chain challenges.
The produce industry also called upon Parliamentarians to vote in favour of Bill C-280, the Financial Protection for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Farmers Act, which passed Second Reading in the House of Commons and has been referred to the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-food.
"We are pleased with the opportunity to connect with our elected leaders to discuss our industry’s priorities,” said Colin Chapdelaine, CPMA chair. “The produce industry plays an integral role in the Canadian economy and food supply chain. Our recommendations for the fresh fruit and vegetable sector aim to strengthen our supply chain, ensure food security, and support sustainable food production.”
"Sustainability is the foundation of our industry's future, and the Canadian fresh fruit and vegetable sector has been at the forefront of implementing sustainable practices,” said FVGC president, Jan VanderHout. “By working together with government officials, we can develop strategies that promote an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable fresh produce industry in Canada."
Event participants met with 34 Parliamentarians and government officials, including the newly appointed Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Stefanie Beck, the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, the Honourable Rob Black, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, the office of the Leader of the Official Opposition, and many other Ministerial offices, Agriculture Committee members, senior bureaucrats and officials.
Source: Fruit & Vegetable Growers of Canada May 31, 2023 news release