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

Resolutions 2018

The following resolutions were presented by member organizations of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers' Association (OFVGA) at the 2018 Annual General Meeting:

 

2018 - 01     Supporting the Competitiveness of Ontario's Horticultural Farmers

WHEREAS  Ontario’s horticultural sector has faced an unprecedented number of challenges over the past year that have translated directly to increased production costs; and

WHEREAS  in many instances these impacts have been felt abruptly through the implementation of aggressive policy changes, leaving no time for the relevant markets to adapt; and

WHEREAS  horticultural farmers support the societal benefit embodied in these changes but need to retain a positive profit margin during this time of change; and

WHEREAS  the cumulative burden of these impacts in combination with the inability to pass costs on to consumers have placed Ontario famers at a competitive disadvantage in both domestic and international markets;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED  that the OFVGA work with the Ontario government to put in place targeted and easily accessible transitional support programming that will help farmers to address current competitiveness challenges and continue to grow their farms in Ontario.

Respectfully submitted by the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers

 

2018-02     Supporting Continued Trade With the U.S.

WHEREAS  Ontario’s fruit and vegetable farmers are highly dependent on the U.S. export market which is currently in a position of turmoil as a result of the NAFTA renegotiation process; and

WHEREAS  in addition to tariff barriers, it is critical that work continues towards reducing non-tariff trade barriers created through disparities in plant protection, labour and/or environmental policies;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED  that the OFVGA work with the CHC and the Ontario and federal governments to ensure NAFTA renegotiations build on past achievements to deliver a modernized agreement that preserves our shared economic prosperity[1] and that a coordinated, science-based approach to reducing non-tariff trade barriers through the RCC continues.

Respectfully submitted by the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers

 

2018-03     Supporting the Development of New Markets

WHEREAS  China represents one of the fastest growing economies worldwide, with significant market potential in the growing middle class; and

WHEREAS  there remain phytosanitary and logistic barriers to entering this market;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED  that the OFVGA work with the CHC and the Ontario and federal governments to ensure gaining access to the Chinese market is prioritized through a strong government-to-government relationship that addresses phytosanitary and tariff barriers concerns through a science-based and collaborative approach and establishes a reliable logistics model that recognizes shared positive outcomes.

Respectfully submitted by the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetbale Growers

 

2018-04     Establish a Transparent Government Consultation Process

WHEREAS  the delivery of recent provincial government policies has had significant and abrupt impacts on the horticultural sector; and

WHEREAS  many of these unintended consequences could have been mitigated through an inclusive consultation with agricultural stakeholders and the execution of a thorough sector specific Regulatory Impact Assessment;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED  that the OFVGA work with the Ontario government to ensure a transparent and systematic approach is taken to assess the impact of proposed policy changes on the agriculture sector.

Respectfully submitted by the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers

 

2018-05     *WITHDRAWN* Optimal Nutrient Levels for Fruit and Vegetable Growers

WHEREAS  fruit and vegetable growing systems, varieties, yields and other farming tools and practices have changed; and

WHEREAS  optimal soil, tissues and fruitlet nutrient levels have not been re-evaluated and updated in recent years for certain crops;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED  that the OFVGA lobby OMAFRA to evaluate and determine optimal nutrient levels for soil, tissue and fruitlet levels in fruit and vegetable crops which should include:

A baseline level should be established based on soil type, crop and variety
Maintenance levels should be established based on yield and include: PH, CEC, organic matter, total and plant available Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Manganese, Zinc, Iron, Boron, Sulfur and Sodium

Percent base saturation and parts per million should also be considered.

Respectfully submitted by Georgian Bay Fruit Growers’ Association & Ontario Apple Growers.

 

2018-06     *WITHDRAWN* Fruit and Vegetable Inspections for Quality

WHEREAS  grocery store staff are not always properly trained to ensure Ontario fruit and vegetable products are in good quality; and

WHEREAS  fruits and vegetables may not arrive to the store until several weeks after packaging; and

WHEREAS  consumers who have a bad experience after eating less that high quality produce will not come back for repeat purchases;

THEREFORE BE IT RESLOVED  that the OFVGA lobby OMAFRA to resume inspections of Ontario fruit and vegetable quality at the retail store level.

Respectfully submitted by Georgian Bay Fruit Growers’ Association & Ontario Apple Growers.

 

2018-07     Pesticide Label Consistency

WHEREAS  labels on pesticide containers are not consistent in format or color (white label with black text); and

WHEREAS  the pesticide label is a legal document; and

WHEREAS  farmers are diligent and read labels and are very careful when mixing crop protection materials but could always use assistance as a safety precaution;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED  that OFVGA work with CropLife Canada to develop and implement consistent format and a colour-coded label (or coloured cap) system/standard for the industry to assist farmers with crop protection application.

Respectfully submitted by the Ontario Apple Growers

        

2018-08     *WITHDRAWN* Extension Staff Needed

WHEREAS  the Eastern Ontario grape, hops, small fruit and apple growing areas are very important to the provincial industry; and

WHEREAS  there is not one Horticulture extension person situated east of Toronto, although there is a large industry with regional issues;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED  that the Horticulture extension position in Eastern Ontario be filled now by OMAFRA.

Respectfully submitted by East Central Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association.

 

2018-09     Processing Time for SAWP Transfers

WHEREAS the processing time for transfer workers in the Seasonal Agriculture Workers Program has gotten longer; and

WHEREAS the production factors in our industry have been hindered by this delay;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that all government agencies shorten their processing time to transfer workers already working in Canada.

Respectfully submitted by the East Central Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers' Association

 

2018-10     Impact of Crop Protection Registration Cancellations

WHEREAS  Health Canada’s PMRA has proposed to, or cancelled numerous crop protection products across all edible horticultural commodities; and

WHEREAS  each commodity group has been responding to these cancellations as one-offs as they are received; and

WHEREAS  it’s the cumulative effect of the current re-evaluation proposals that causes grower confusion as to what can be used; a severe limit on what effective products are left and a potential for a significant increase in the use of what is left that is effective;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA and CHC request that Health Canada/PMRA put ALL of their re-evaluations on hold until they convene a stakeholders meeting to plan a path forward for Crop Protection that will ensure the future sustainability of horticultural production across Canada.

Respectfully submitted by the Ontario Tender Fruit Growers

 

2018-11     Minor Use Pesticide Registration 

WHEREAS Minor Use pesticide registrations are being lost from and with already registered products as an outcome of the PMRA re-evaluation process at a faster rate than new registrations are occurring; and

WHEREAS the existing Minor Use Program at AAFC is already at full capacity for budget, staff and priority Minor Use registration activities; and

WHEREAS  the data needed to support and defend the existing registered Minor Use of registered products during re-evaluation are just as much or more important as for the existing program; and

WHEREAS  the types of data needed may fall outside the existing purview of the AAFC Minor Use Program;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED  that AAFC be approached with CHC to fund another segment of Minor Use Registration activity with a separate program dedicated to development of the data demanded by PMRA to defend and maintain the minor uses of registered pesticides under re-evaluation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that sufficient budget and personnel is allocated to this program very quickly so it can be immediately effective.

Respectfully submitted by the OFVGA Crop Protection Section

 

2018-12     Pest Management Regulatory Agency Resourcing and Role as an Agency

WHEREAS PMRA is woefully behind schedule in re-evaluations; and

WHEREAS the upcoming re-evaluations for ‘round two’ exceeds 600 active ingredients; and

WHEREAS they have not even started the ones originally scheduled for 2017; and

WHEREAS PMRA has been under severe pressure to meet artificial timelines on re-evaluations from the Auditor General’s department; and

WHEREAS PMRA is actually just a branch of Health Canada, and NOT an actual ‘Agency’ as their name implies; and

WHEREAS they are not a ‘fit’ within the mandate, operation, priorities or budget allocation of Health Canada notwithstanding that Health has the biggest budget in cabinet, and that PMRA has seen no priority for their budget woes as a result; and

WHEREAS PMRA will need many more staff and considerable additional budget to do the tasks that Canadians and our growers expect, and to get these tasks done correctly and on time;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Treasury Board of Canada be made aware of the PMRA financial and staffing issues so they can ensure that Health Canada provides the necessary funding for PMRA to do their job in the immediate and near futures; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Health Canada be requested to bestow upon PMRA their actual role as an Agency of Canada as set out many years ago, rather than as simply a branch of Health Canada.

Respectfully submitted by the OFVGA Crop Protection Section

 

2018-13     Moratorium on Re-evaluations by Health Canada

WHEREAS PMRA have set many ambitious targets to get ‘final’ decisions out on several key pesticides including: Captan, chlorothalonil, iprodione, ferbam, mancozeb, thiram, phosmet, lambda-cyhalothrin, and many more; and

WHEREAS PMRA have not adequately consulted growers on the possible impacts on crop production, crop protection alternatives, international trade implications or impacts on Canadian IPM programs; and

WHEREAS many unresolved issues remain such as labelling of the use of gloves to mitigate exposure, their use of non-Canadian and non-modern data to determine actual worker exposures for their calculations; and

WHEREAS PMRA have not sufficiently consulted with and collaborated with their professional colleagues at the US EPA on several key matters arising from their re-evaluations and their proposed decisions;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Health Canada be approached to put a moratorium on the final decisions on these re-evaluations for at least 12 months in order to gain sufficient time to fulfill the data needs to make a Canada-valid decisions, and for adequate grower consultations on the potential impacts and development of mitigation strategies for these decisions on these active ingredients.

Respectfully submitted by OFVGA Crop Protection Section

 

2018-14     *WITHDRAWN* CHC Committee Chairs

WHEREAS CHC committee chairs now sit at the board to represent growers; and

WHEREAS these committee chairs meet with and lobby with elected federal politicians; and

WHEREAS the voice of our growers is best heard coming from a true grower; and

WHEREAS politicians are on record as wanting to hear directly from growers;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that all CHC committee chairs henceforth must be true growers to be considered for such office.

Respectfully submitted by OFVGA Crop Protection Section.   

 

2018-15     CHC Environment, Energy and Climate Change Committee

WHEREAS issues to do with Energy, Environment and Climate Change are currently divided between more than one committee (Greenhouse and Crop, Plant Protection & Environment); and

WHEREAS both environment and energy issues cross most of the existing crop committees; and

WHEREAS it makes good sense to consolidate these issues into one stand-alone committee with its own chair;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that CHC make changes to its committee structure to consolidate Environment, Energy, and Climate Change under a new committee.

Respectfully submitted by the OFVGA Crop Protection Section

 

LR2018-16     Irrigation Under the Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA)

WHEREAS the OWRA has far reaching implications for future water use through restrictions and,

WHEREAS the declaration of a level three (3) drought as a result of the Low Water Response process, requires mandatory water restrictions and,

WHEREAS the only essential water uses listed are:

    1) For human consumption

    2) For human waste disposal

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the irrigation of food crops be moved from important to essential under the Ontario Water Resources Act. 

Respectfully submitted by the OFVGA Property Section