THE VOICE OF ONTARIO'S FRUIT, VEGETABLE
AND GREENHOUSE PRODUCERS FOROVER 150 YEARS

About the OFVGA

The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) was established in 1859, which makes it one of Ontario and Canada’s oldest farm commodity organizations.

As the voice of Ontario’s fruit, vegetable and greenhouse farmers, the OFVGA is a nationally recognized not-for-profit association that advocates on behalf of Ontario fruit and vegetable farmers and the edible horticulture industry, and represents its members provincially, nationally, and internationally. 

The sector supports 30,000 farm-based, non-family jobs in Ontario, as well as a further 8,700 jobs specific to horticulture and specialty crops. Over 125 different fruit and vegetable crops are grown in Ontario with an estimated annual farm gate value of $1.6 billion (2013).

Mission statement

Advocate on behalf of fruit and vegetable farmers of Ontario in partnership with our member associations.

Vision statement

A thriving edible horticulture sector in Ontario.

Membership

OFVGA’s members are 28 provincial organizations that collectively represent Ontario’s fruit and vegetable farmers: Apple Marketers' Association of Ontario, Bradford & District Vegetable Growers' Association, East Central Fruit & Vegetable Growers' Association, Eastern Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers' Association, Elgin County Fruit & Vegetable Growers' Association, Essex County Associated Growers
Fresh Vegetable Growers of Ontario, Garlic Growers' Association of Ontario, Georgian Bay Fruit Growers' Inc., Grape Growers of Ontario, Halton-Wentworth Growers' Association, Holland Marsh Growers' Association, Middlesex-Lambton Fruit & Vegetable Growers' Association, Niagara Peninsula Fruit & Vegetable Growers' Association, Norfolk Fruit Growers' Association, Ontario Apple Growers, Ontario Asparagus Growers' Marketing Board, Ontario Berry Growers' Association, Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association, Ontario Fresh Grape Growers' Marketing Board, Ontario Ginseng Growers' Association, Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers' Marketing Board, Ontario High Bush Blueberry Growers' Association, Ontario Potato Board, Ontario Tender Fruit Producers' Marketing Board, Southwestern Ontario Rutabaga Growers' Association, Thedford-Grand Bend Vegetable Growers' Association.

On their behalf, the OFVGA is involved in many agricultural groups, committees and organizations. This includes the Canadian Horticultural Council, Farm & Food Care, Ontario Agricultural Commodity Council, Presidents’ Council, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Services, Ontario Agri-Food Technologies, Labour Issue Co-ordinating Committee, Ontario Agri-Food Education, Agricultural Adaptation Council, Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Canadian Produce Marketing Association, Farm Safety Association, Horticulture Value Chain Round Table, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre Stakeholder Advisory Committee, CanAgPlus, and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

The OFVGA is led by an active and engaged board of directors consisting of 11 farmer directors and six ex-officio representatives.

Issues

On behalf of its members, the OFVGA leads lobbying activities in five key areas that affect all fruit and vegetable farmers: safety nets, crop protection, research, labour, and property. The organization also supports national efforts on other issues concerning the horticulture sector across the country, such as international trade for example.

Safety nets

OFVGA’s Safety Nets committee is focused on securing fair and equitable safety net programs for fruit and vegetable farmers. This is done by providing input on government policy decisions, consulting with growers about the needs of the sector, and lobbying government with respect the safety net programming.

Crop protection

The OFVGA is a strong advocate for the responsible and safe use of crop protection products. The Crop Protection committee’s main focus is ensuring farmers have access to the products they need to grow their crops while being responsive to changing consumer attitudes. Key issues include farmer access to products, harmonization of label requirements between Canada and the United States, price parity between the U.S and Canadian markets, the Grower Requested Own Use program, Maximum Residue Limits and other regulatory issues, and product re-evaluations.

As a result of its work over the last decade, the OFVGA is widely respected as a leader in crop protection issues and advocating for growers, both provincially and nationally.

Research

The Chair of OFVGA’s research committee represents fruit and vegetable farmers on research issues. This includes participating in the Ontario Research Advisory Network, Ontario Agri-Food Technologies and the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre advisory board.

Labour

The OFVGA works hard to ensure fruit and vegetable farmers have access to a steady labour force, and to address occupational health and safety concerns within the edible horticulture industry.

The organization was instrumental in establishing the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP), and actively supports Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Services (FARMS), which now runs the program.

The OFVGA also played a key role in establishing the Labour Issues Co-ordinating Committee (LICC), and represents farmers through government lobbying, and in participation in other organizations and bodies, such as the Farm Safety Association and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

Property

This committee works on a wide range of issues affecting fruit and vegetable farmers, from environmental regulations and wild life damage to taxation and food safety.

Outreach

The OFVGA works to maintain close ties with its member organizations, industry stakeholders and partners, government liaisons and national bodies.

The organization’s main communications tool is The Grower, a monthly newspaper focused on news and information affecting fruit and vegetable production in Ontario and elsewhere. The paper is widely read throughout North America, and has a circulation of approximately 12,000.  Visit www.thegrower.org.

The OFVGA also participates in trade shows and industry events, sponsors horticultural events and is active in the promotion of the industry through a variety of channels including its website at www.ofvga.org.

Contact us

Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association
105-355 Elmira Road North, Guelph ON N1K 1S5
T: 519-763-6160 F: 519-763-6604 E: info@ofvga.org

Click here for Board members.

Click here for Staff.

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