Fruit and vegetable convention provides learning opportunities for growers

Referred to as Canada’s premier horticulture event, the 22nd annual Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention (OFVC) lived up to the hype and more as hundreds of people from across Canada gathered to celebrate the horticulture sector from February 21-22. One of the busiest shows in recent memory, the convention prides itself on being able to offer a great mix of networking and learning opportunities and this year was no exception.

Marketed to fruit and vegetable growers, the convention is a prime example of the continued efforts being made by the sector to innovate through educational sessions, conversations and exploring the tradeshow floor.


More than 100 booths filled the tradeshow floor of the Niagara Convention Centre, showcasing a diverse array of companies specializing in everything from crop protection to heavy machinery and beyond. Notably, many booths highlighted cutting-edge technology such as the use of robotics for farm tasks including weeding and spraying. These robotic weeders, powered by advanced computer programming, can detect and eliminate weeds that may escape the human eye. Depending on the model, they employ various methods to eradicate weeds, with laser technology being particularly notable. These innovative weeders offer numerous advantages to growers, reducing the need for labour-intensive weed removal and minimizing reliance on pesticides.

Check out this video of the robotic weeders in action:

Although the cost of items like robotic weeders may not yet be feasible for all growers due to their expense, they offer a glimpse into the advancements in technology within farming over the past five to ten years. Additionally, these kinds of innovations underscore the ongoing efforts to promote sustainable farming practices.

Learning sessions

An essential aspect of the tradeshow and conference is the series of learning sessions held over both days. These sessions featured industry experts, many of whom are researchers from prestigious colleges and universities across North America, sharing their expertise on various subjects. Additionally, growers themselves offered insights into topics related to their farm experience, including subjects like building housing for temporary foreign workers or maximizing cost of production for business strategy and growth.

Other interesting topics in the speaker sessions included drone spraying in Canada, agri-tourism, crop-specific research topics, and many more. For a full list of speaker sessions visit,

Look into the future

A recent report from the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) predicts that by 2030, the agriculture industry will face over 100,000 job vacancies. While these numbers can be disheartening, events like OFVC play a crucial role in emphasizing the significance of domestic food production and showcasing the ongoing efforts to solidify Ontario's horticultural sector. Equally noteworthy is the presence of young growers at the event, who had the opportunity to convene at the Young Farmer Lunch and Learn sessions.

For more information on OFVC including how you can get involved for 2025, please visit