The American ag secretary Sonny Perdue has announced $2.7 billion to the fruit and vegetable industry to help mitigate losses from the COVID-19 emergency. Of that total, $100 million per month for the next six months are earmarked for a “Buy Fresh” program for food banks and school curbside pickup. 

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Interpoma goes digital

Interpoma 2020, the international fair dedicated to apples in Bolzano, Italy, will be presented in a digital format November 19 and 20. 

Canada remains top market for U.S. exports

American fruit and vegetable growers sent a total of $3.5 billion of produce to Canada in 2019. Canada represents half of the country’s exports. 

McCain Foods delays Washington potato plant

The dominoes continue to fall as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. McCain Foods will pause its $300 million expansion of its processing plant in Othello, Washington. 

Asia Fruit Logistica reschedules to November

Turbulent times have forced the popular produce trade show to change venues from Hong Kong to Singapore. Now it’s rescheduling from September to November 18-20, 2020.   

United Fresh launches LIVE!

A fresh produce virtual platform will replace the in-person event slated for mid-June in San Diego. United Fresh LIVE! Will debut the week of June 15, 2020. 

Up to $1 million is now available to help connect workers with jobs in the labour-intensive agri-food sector. OMAFRA is accepting applications as of April 17 through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership's Place to Grow: Agri-Food Innovation Initiative. 

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture warns that the domestic food supply needs to be the biggest government priority, following healthcare, in the fight against COVID-19.  Mary Robinson, president, asked for an emergency fund to give farmers the confidence for the 2020 planting season. 

The British Columbia government is funding the 14-day quarantine for seasonal workers in hotels  close to the Vancouver airport. Farm employers must file COVID-19 prevention checklists before receiving workers. 

Fred Webber, president of the Dispute Resolution Corporation, counsels that trust was never more important than in these days of flux. The first-name relationships of the past will serve well moving into the future. 

Maintaining agri-food export capacity is key to Canada’s international positioning say co-authors of a policy note from Agri-Food Economic Systems. It’s an important consideration for greenhouse vegetables and potatoes. 

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New Ontario deputy minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs named

John Kelly, the former executive director of the Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association, becomes the new deputy minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs.   

Interpoma goes digital

Interpoma 2020, the international fair dedicated to apples in Bolzano, Italy, will be presented in a digital format November 19 and 20. 

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.  

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