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 agriculture organizations.
As the voice of Ontario’s fruit and vegetable 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 is comprised of over 3,500 family farms, which support over 30,000 farm-based, non-family jobs in Ontario. Over 125 different fruit and vegetable crops are grown in Ontario with an estimated annual farm gate value of $2.3 billion (2017).
Advocate on behalf of fruit and vegetable farmers of Ontario in partnership with our member associations.
A thriving fruit and vegetable sector.
OFVGA’s members are the following provincial organizations that collectively represent Ontario’s fruit and vegetable farmers:
- Apple Marketers' Association of Ontario
- Asparagus Farmers of Ontario
- Berry Growers of Ontario
- Bradford Co-operative Storage Ltd.
- Central Erie Fruit & Vegetable Growers' Association
- East Central Fruit & Vegetable Growers' Association
- Elgin County Fruit & Vegetable Growers' Association
- Fresh Vegetable Growers of Ontario, Garlic Growers' Association of Ontario
- Georgian Bay Fruit Growers' Inc.
- Grand Bend Vegetable Growers Association
- 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 Farm Fresh Marketing Association
- Ontario Fresh Grape Growers' Marketing Board
- Ontario Ginseng Growers' Association
- Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers
- Ontario Potato Board
- Ontario Tender Fruit Growers
- 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, including:
- Canadian Horticultural Council
- Christian Farmers Federation
- CropLife Canada
- Environmental Collaboration Ontario - Agriculture
- Farm & Food Care Ontario
- Horticulture Value Chain Roundtable
Labour Issues Co-ordinating Committee
- Ontario Agricultural Commodity Council
- Ontario Federation of Agriculture
- The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
- Vineland Research and Innovation Centre Stakeholder Advisory Committee
The OFVGA is led by an active and engaged board of directors consisting of 11 farmer directors and ex-officio representatives.
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, Energy, Property and Infrastructure, Labour, and Environment and Climate Change. The organization also supports national efforts on other issues concerning the horticulture sector across the country, such as international trade for example.
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.
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 crop protection products, technology and tools that support sustainable and safe food production. 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.
The OFVGA works hard to ensure fruit and vegetable farmers have access to a qualified, reliable work 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.
Energy, Property & Infrastructure
This committee works on a wide range of issues affecting fruit and vegetable farmers, from mitigating energy cost impacts so that the sector can be competitive to promoting infrastructure, tax & land use policy that support sector growth.
Environment & Conservation
This committee was established to ensure government environmental programs and policies are realistic, practical, fact based & balanced.
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 in a variety of ways.
Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association
105-355 Elmira Road North, Guelph ON N1K 1S5