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March 28, 2024

Every year brings a unique mix of opportunities and challenges, and 2023 was no exception for the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers (OPVG). The association’s 335 growers achieved a record farmgate value of $162 million with nine crops destined for canning, freezing or pickling at 13 food and beverage processors.


“Through it all, our work is to advocate for growers, promote the sector and ensure the long-term prosperity of this unique industry,” reported Keith Robbins, general manager, OPVG at the March 28, 2024 annual general meeting.  


“There have been labour constraints that we collaborated with industry stakeholders to address,” said Robbins. “We navigated uncertainties with climate change, market fluctuations and supply chain disruptions – and the implications for business risk management. And we continue to be vigilant with compliance to evolving regulations.”


When it comes to key accomplishments for OPVG in 2023, there are four key areas that stand out.


-  grower advocacy work included negotiating prices, terms and conditions on behalf of growers to ensure fair compensation and sustainable practices. OPVG also continued to advocate with all levels of government on specific issues, i.e. seeking changes with PMRA on Ethrel (ethephon) for processing tomatoes and securing support during power outages at the processing plant.


-  OPVG coordinated research initiatives to provide valuable insights to optimize crop yields and quality.


-  OPVG’s marketing and promotion work actively promoted Ontario’s processing vegetables to boost market visibility.


-  OPVG championed environmental stewardship to support eco-friendly practices to address issues such as crop protection regulations and sustainable farming.



Source:  Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers’ 2023 Annual General Report


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Submitted by Karen Davidson on 28 March 2024