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April 17, 2024

Budget 2024 unfortunately overlooks several significant measures that could have greatly supported the fruit and vegetable sector, such as a carbon tax exemption, financial protection against market volatilities, and the establishment of a Grocery Code of Conduct. Similarly, no funding was allocated for greenhouse agriculture or the Sustainable Agriculture Strategy, both essential for climate adaptation and sustainability.


FVGC is particularly concerned about the rising costs affecting both growers and consumers. That’s the assessment of the Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) president Marcus Janzen.


“Our goal is clear: to ensure all Canadians have access to affordable, high-quality, Canadian-grown produce,” said Janzen. “Despite the omissions in the current budget, we continue to push for policy changes that will ensure the long-term viability of the fruit and vegetable sector and contribute to food security for all Canadians.”


The organization is cautiously optimistic about several initiatives, such as the extension of the Advance Payments Program's interest-free limit to $250,000 and the introduction of the New Canada Carbon Rebate for Small Businesses.


For its part, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) was pleased to see the inclusion of certain key supports, such as:


_A federal investment of $1 billion over five years to establish a national school food program;


_Federal funding under the new Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund to accelerate construction and upgrades of municipal waste infrastructure, which is critical to an effective transition to a circular economy;


_Significant investments in innovation and AI adoption to help foster the growth of critical sectors including agriculture; and


_Funding of $39 million for Health Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to maintain the pesticides regulatory system and support sustainable pesticide management.


The fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain contributes nearly $15 billion to Canada’s GDP, and supports more than 185,000 jobs in rural and urban communities across the country. We also provide Canadian families with safe and nutritious food that is crucial to supporting their health and well-being,” said CPMA president Ron Lemaire. “We urge the government to further build on the efforts in Budget 2024 to make food a federal priority across federal departments, strengthen Canada’s food security and support a growing, resilient and sustainable fresh produce sector.”



Source: CPMA, CFA, FVGC April 17, 2024 news releases

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Submitted by Karen Davidson on 17 April 2024