Photo by Krystle VanRoboys

A “Growing Stronger” project is launching between the University of Guelph’s Arrell Food Institute and the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute to shape future research and discussion in the post-COVID era.  

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. 


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. 



  • Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame 2020 inductees named

    Jay Bradshaw, former president of Syngenta Canada, is one of the four inductees. The ceremony will be delayed until November 2021. 

  • 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. 

Recent News

National standards to be developed for housing agriworkers

Recognizing that COVID-19 will be an issue for months to come, the federal government has announced $58.6 million to strengthen the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. That includes plans to establish a national housing standard in consultation with provinces and stakeholders. 

EarthFresh launches potato line in compostable paper bags

EarthFresh’s paper revolution offers retailers a full potato product line in 100% compostable paper packaging. 

OFA launches Always in Season toolkit

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture is lauding the provincial and federal government’s support of a completed project:  Always in Season – a Practitioner’s Guide to Local Food.  

Farmers being blamed unfairly for COVID-19 spread among workers

Broccoli grower Ken Forth has gone public expressing the private feelings of many growers who are working hard to protect their employees this season. He’s the president of Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Services, the non-profit organization that administers the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program.  

BC blueberry plant faces COVID-19 outbreak

Fifteen workers have tested positive at Fraser Valley Packers Inc, based in Abbotsford, BC. The plant is operating at reduced capacity while the workers and close contacts self-isolate. 

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Bill studied horticulture at the University ...
Chris Duyvelshoff, is OFVGA's crop protection ...
Gordon Stock is OFVGA's senior policy advisor ...
Owen Roberts is a journalist and a columnist ...
Getting your product in shopping carts is ...