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Local Food Week is celebrated June 1- 7 in Ontario (#loveONTfood). While it’s a perfect time to shine the spotlight on first-of-season produce such as asparagus, strawberries and rhubarb, it’s a tad early for the bulk of produce still to come. Not to worry. The Canadian supply chain from growers to retailers already have ambitious plans for more local food than ever. Factors such as the CanadaGAP food safety program and consumer demand are buoying that optimism. Photos (counter-clockwise) by Denis Cahill, Glenn Lowson and Foodland Ontario.

Local produce: hot demand for cool products

Asparagus, strawberries, rhubarb -- get ready for your close-up. Locally grown produce is hot, but the challenge is keeping it cool. With consumer demand on the upswing, growers are realizing that the cold chain is an important component to delivering improved quality, lower shrinkage and longer shelf life to … [read more]

Aerosol pheromones take off in targeting oriental fruit moth

 Oriental fruit moths are going to be flying solo this summer if growers install an aerosol pheromone dispenser in their orchards. The new technology will disrupt the mating behaviour of this most damaging of orchard pests. Left unchecked, these moths would lay eggs which hatch into larvae that feed internally … [read more]

Engaging policy makers should never be done in isolation

 As an organization, the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association spends a lot of time and effort on policies delivered by all three levels of government, with the ultimate goal of impacting the ability of … [read more]

Golf greens, not farm land, valued by urban Canada

 I always liked former Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Joe Clark’s aw-shucks, down-home, out-west style. As politicians go, it seemed sincere, reassuring and approachable. Unfortunately for him, it didn’t sell back in the late 1970s and early … [read more]

As much as 40 per cent of all food produced is wasted

BRUCE KELLY  As this month’s issue of The Grower is focused on packaging, it seems relevant to talk about food waste. It’s not a new topic but is one that is under greater scrutiny. Government policy … [read more]

Regional suppliers have opportunities

 It can be a challenge to be a regional supplier. You do not have the presence of the large national players, it is tough to get the face time you need to develop a relationship … [read more]

Colour-coded bags benefit entire supply chain

 About 10 years ago, Norfolk County potato grower Steve Fett had a bright idea: colour coding potato bags. The idea germinated when he visited a retailer warehouse. At that time, all the conventional potatoes … [read more]

Greenhouse grower launches first compostable container

  Red Sun Farms is about to launch its first compostable, fully recyclable, pint container for organic grape tomatoes on July 1. It’s fitting that on Canada Day, the container is made from 100 per cent … [read more]

A positive meeting-in Ottawa!

 In early May I had the opportunity to attend meetings in Ottawa that were organized by CropLife Canada. Billed as ‘Spring Dialogue Days,’ they annually ‘meet and greet’ with federal staff of Agriculture and Agri-Food … [read more]

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