As the trickle of seasonal labour becomes a stream, the focus will shift to hygiene measures in the food chain in the weeks ahead.  The role of local public health units will also become magnified. 

More than 200 seasonal agricultural workers are expected on a flight from Mexico City to Toronto on April 9. That paves the way for more flights expected after Easter weekend.

While “storm chips” are a hot commodity in these days of self-isolation, the market for French fries has tanked with the closure of so many restaurants and foodservice. That’s making contract negotiations particularly tough at a time when growers are ready to seed. 

On April 6, the federal government updated guidelines for seasonal and temporary agricultural workers. As rules are clarified, Bill George, chair, Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association, issued an update to all farm employers. 

The average value of Canadian farmland increased by 5.2 per cent in 2019, the smallest increase over the last decade, according to the latest Farmland Values Report by Farm Credit Canada. The statistics do not reflect any impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the critical assets in the food chain is the Ontario Food Terminal. Ken Knox, chair of the board, describes how the crisis team is responding. Look for details in a question-and-answer format with the editor of The Grower. 

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FEATURES

  • 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. 

  • Virtual New Product Showcase awards announced

    The Virtual New Product Showcase honours four product categories: the organic product award, packaging innovation award, best snackable product and best new product award. The Little Potato Company’s Easy Sides won best new product. 

Recent News

New guidelines for enhanced workplace protection funding

The Ontario government has announced a faster process for growers applying for financial assistance to defray costs of personal protective equipment. Project costs on or after March 15, 2020 are now eligible. 

Windsor-Essex adds resources for COVID-19 tracing

On-farm, mobile testing for COVID-19 has uncovered more positive cases amongst the agrifood workforce. Most are asymptomatic in the Leamington and Kingsville greenhouse communities.

AgriStability reminder for July 3

The extended deadline for enrolling in AgriStability for 2020 is fast approaching. A backgrounder is available to understand if the program helps manage your specific farm risks.  

Local Leaf opens vertical farming facility

New Canadian agtech company Local Leaf Farms opens vertical farming facility in Barrie, Ontario.

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. 

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