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

Standing policy: Committee As A Whole

  • 2018-01 Supporting The Competitiveness of Ontario's Horticultural Farmers

    SUPPORTING THE COMPETITIVENESS OF ONTARIO’S HORTICULTURAL FARMERS  (2018-01)

    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. 

  • 2018-02 Supporting Continued Trade with the US

    SUPPORTING CONTINUED TRADE WITH THE U.S. (2018-02)

    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.

    [1] https://www.einnews.com/pr_news/422298024/western-hemisphere-remarks-with-canadian-foreign-minister-chrystia-freeland-at-a-press-availability

  • 2018-03 Supporting the Development of New Markets

    SUPPORTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW MARKETS (2018-03)

    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.

  • 2018-04 Establish a Transparent Government Consultation Process

    ESTABLISH A TRANSPARENT GOVERNMENT CONSULTATION PROCESS (2018-04)

    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.

  • 2018-15 CHC Environment, Energy and Climate Change Committee

    CHC Environment, Energy and Climate Change Committee (2018-15)

    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.

  • 2019-01 Out of Province Travel for OMAFRA Specialists

    2019-01                 Out of Province Travel for OMAFRA Specialists

    Whereas OMAFRA has severely restricted out-of-province travel for Specialists; and

    Whereas Knowledge and Technology Transfer (KTT) is a core role of the Specialists and a key deliverable they are supposed to provide to farmers in the horticulture sector; and

    Whereas production problems in Ontario are similar to those of neighbouring jurisdictions (for example Quebec, Nova Scotia, New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan), and

    Whereas past technology transfer interchange between these jurisdictions has been mutually beneficial; and

    Whereas advancements are being made around the world that will benefit our farmers.

    Therefore, be it resolved that the OFVGA request that OMAFRA immediately adopt an appropriate policy to address and allow for out-of-province travel which reflects the horticulture sectors technology transfer needs.

    Submitted by Ontario Apple Growers                                                                                            

     

  • 2019-02 Protecting the Ontario Food Terminal

    2019-02                 Protecting the Ontario Food Terminal

    Whereas agriculture and agri-food is the largest economic driver in the province of Ontario; and

    Whereas the Ontario Food Terminal (OFT) was established by the Ontario Food Terminal Act in 1954 and supplies over 2 billion pounds of fresh fruits, vegetables and horticultural products for the retail, wholesale and foodservice market channels; and

    Whereas the OFT has an estimated economic impact of $4.5 billion to the Ontario economy for both on-site and off-site produce transactions; and

    Whereas the 420 warehouse and farmer’s market businesses support over 170,000 direct and indirect jobs while interacting with approximately 5,000 registered buyers from Canada and northeastern United States; and

    Whereas there is a need for a physical and centrally located hub for produce sales transactions to take place in order to aggregate shipping as well visually inspect first-hand perishable products; and

    Whereas the OFT is operated at no cost to the Ontario government and provides enormous support for Ontario farmers and agri-businesses; and

    Whereas the Ontario government’s Fall Economic Statement created the Minister’s Agricultural Task Force to consult with the leaders across the agriculture and agri‐food sector and provide government with perspective on key policies from the sector themselves; and

    Whereas the only specific direction given to the Agricultural Task Force was to “provide input on crucial future decisions such as changes to the Ontario Food Terminal network”.

    Therefore be it resolved that the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFGVA) lobby the Ontario government, and the Minister’s Agriculture Task Force to fully consult with all impacted stakeholders as to whether the Ontario Food Terminal remains in its present location or be relocated, and

    Therefore be it resolved that if the Ontario government should decide to pursue relocation, the OFVGA lobby the government to fully consult with all impacted stakeholders regarding the necessary budget required to reflect the optimal location and complex infrastructure required by industry.

    Submitted by Ontario Apple Growers                      

  • 2019-16 Support the development of harmonized Canadian-U.S. organic regulations

     

    2019-16                 Support the development of harmonized Canadian-U.S. organic regulations 

     

    WHEREAS Ontario’s fruit and vegetable farmers are highly dependent on the U.S. export market and organic production has been identified as rapidly growing market segment; and

    WHEREAS current equivalency agreements state that Canadian grown produce, even when destined for the U.S. market, must meet the Canadian Organic Standards; and

    WHEREAS hydroponic production is not currently an acceptable practice in Canada while it is allowed under USDA organic certifications; and

    WHEREAS this disparity acts as a non-tariff trade barrier and places Canadian growers at a disadvantage to U.S. growers, and

    WHEREAS the Canadian standards are currently undergoing their cyclical 5-year review and open to discussion and amendment;

    THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA work with the CHC and the Ontario and federal governments to reduce non-tariff barriers related to organic production and look to achieve further alignment between the two countries. 

    Submitted by Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers                                                                        

  • 2019-17 Packaging

    2019-17                 Packaging

    Whereas many producers use plastic bags for packaging; and

    Whereas with the movement in other countries to reduce the use of plastic packaging, there will be a need to look at alternatives;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that OFVGA work with CHC to engage in sectoral discussions with value chain partners, including the government, that include both research and policy solutions, and establish achievable timelines for the transition to alternative packaging that meet food safety standards.

    Submitted by Holland Marsh Growers Association         

  • 2020-04 Fruit and Vegetable Water Management (Environment)

    2020-04           Fruit and Vegetable Water Management

     

    Whereas the Ontario government regulates water used by fruit and vegetable farms through Environmental Compliance Approvals (ECA) under the Environmental Protection Act and the Ontario Water Resources Act; and

     

    Whereas Ontario’s fruit and vegetable farmers pride themselves on their environmental stewardship, and must carefully manage water used for activities such as irrigation, washing vegetables, stormwater off structures, including greenhouses and drainage; and

     

    Whereas the red tape and cost associated with maintaining appropriate approvals, water management systems and weekly water testing is significant for farmers; and

     

    Whereas there is evidence that Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks is not applying consistent requirements for ECA compliance across all farms or all regions in Ontario; and

     

    Whereas the fruit and vegetable wash water and stormwater off greenhouse structures is misdefined as sewage by the legislation, requiring significant investment in water cleaning processes; and

     

    Whereas the competitiveness of fruit and vegetable sector would benefit from the development of improved environmental legislation that balances environmental stewardship and food production.

     

    Therefore, be it resolved that the OFVGA advocate for improvements for how water emissions from fruit and vegetable farms are regulated, including the development of outcome-based rules and more accurately defining wash water and stormwater from fruit and vegetable farms as not sewage

  • 2020-05 Canadian Horticultural Council’s Primary Mandate as a National Lobby Organization

    2020-05           Canadian Horticultural Council’s Primary Mandate as a

    National Lobby Organization

     

    Whereas the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) is the voice of Canadian fruit and vegetable growers and is the only national organization with this as its primary mandate; and

     

    Whereas the Canadian government has regulatory control over many aspects that influence the competitiveness of Canadian fruit and vegetable growers, including crop protection, trade, labour, food safety, business risk management and carbon pricing; and

     

    Whereas the federal government prefers to work with organizations that represent national interests; and

     

    Whereas the CHC has limited resources, making it unrealistic to address all sector issues or be active on committees, boards or organizations, domestic or international, on issues that are not high priority to the Canadian fruit and vegetable sector as a whole; and

     

    Whereas strong lobbying efforts require ongoing interaction with politicians and government officials, which requires significant investment of staff time and financial resources; and

     

    Whereas on a cost recovery basis the CHC provides valuable services, such as research coordination on behalf of the sector, enabling access to national funding programs and leveraging research efforts across the country.

     

    Therefore, be it resolved the CHC board of directors strategically review all of the organization’s activities and finances to ensure that CHC’s limited resources are effectively focused on its primary role to lobby the federal government on behalf of Canadian fruit and vegetable growers.

     

    Be it further resolved that services such as research coordination continue to be supported so long as the CHC’s role in this continue to be done on a cost recovery basis through government funding or specific commodity contributions to offset research costs.

     

  • 2020-06 Support for the Field Grown Fresh Vegetable Sector

    2020-06           Support for the Field Grown Fresh Vegetable Sector

     

    Whereas the field grown fresh vegetable sector represents over 30% of Ontario’s overall fruit and vegetable farm gate sales, approximately 50% of Ontario fruit and vegetable farms, and nearly 20% of the OFVGA’s container toll revenue; and

     

    Whereas unlike the rest of Ontario’s fruit and vegetable sector, the field grown fresh vegetable sector is largely unregulated by government legislation such as the Farm Products Marketing Act; and

     

    Whereas the Fresh Vegetable Growers of Ontario (FVGO) was established in 2005 as a voluntary organization with a focus on supporting research, promotion, and lobbying related to fresh vegetable production issues; and

     

    Whereas the FVGO’s voluntary membership structure challenges its ability to effectively represent the majority of field grown fresh vegetable farmers in Ontario; and

     

    Whereas there is no effective way to connect and coordinate with Ontario’s field grown fresh vegetable farmers quickly in the event of a significant industry issue such as disease outbreak or trade disruption; and

     

    Whereas virtually all of the FVGO’s revenue in recent years comes from the OFVGA’s Research and Promotion Fund (container toll rebate), which is directed toward research projects.

    Therefore, be it resolved that the OFVGA work with the FVGO and other interested stakeholders to develop options for addressing this gap in representation for field grown fresh vegetable farmers. 

  • 2020-07 Eastern Canada Clean Plant Hub

    2020-07           Eastern Canada Clean Plant Hub

     

    Whereas the Canadian Plant Health Council was formed in October 2018 with a goal of creating a National Clean Plant Program; and

     

    Whereas there is an ongoing need in the berry industry as well as other perennial fruit crops to establish new plantings with disease free planting stock; and

     

    Whereas 2020 is the International Year of Plant Health.

     

    Therefore, be it resolved that that the OFVGA work with the CHC to engage the CFIA and AAFC for the creation of an eastern Canada Clean Plant Hub (Centre) which includes berries under a National Clean Plant Program. 

  • 2020-08 Admission of Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers as a Member

    2020-08           Admission of Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers as a Member

     

    Whereas the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers (OPVG) have formally requested membership to the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA); and

     

    Whereas the processing vegetable sector shares common interests with OFVGA in policy areas such as crop protection, labour, environment and safety nets; and

     

    Whereas the OPVG has been informally contributing to some of the OFVGA’s activities and participating with some section committees; and

     

    Whereas the expectations of OPVG membership to the OFVGA have been clearly outlined and understood by OPVG.

     

    Therefore, be it resolved The admission by the board of directors of the OPVG to membership in the OFVGA is hereby ratified and approved conditional upon the OPVG paying on or before such dates as the Board of the Association shall determine from time to time, either directly or to the OFVGA, all fees and other amounts owing to the Canadian Horticultural Council directly or indirectly arising by reason the admission to membership or the continuing membership of the OPVG in the OFVGA.

     

    Be it further resolved to permit the members of the OPVG to nominate a person to serve as a director of the OFVGA, the Constitution and Bylaw of the OFVGA (the “Bylaw”) is hereby amended as follows:

     

    1)         Section 14 (a) of the Bylaws which currently provides as follows:

     

    “The affairs of the Association shall be governed by a Board of Directors consisting of eleven elected members, together with the non-voting, ex-officio representatives from the Standing Committees and the Canadian Horticultural Council”

     

    is hereby amended to provide as follows:

     

    “The affairs of the Association shall be governed by a Board of Directors consisting of twelve (12) elected members, together with the non-voting, ex-officio representatives from the Standing Committees and the Canadian Horticultural Council.”

     

    2)         Section 14 (b) of the Bylaw which currently provides as follows:

     

    “Each of the marketing boards listed below may nominate a producer of that commodity who is a member in good standing of the Association for the position of Director of the Association and submit the name of the nominee to the annual meeting for the election of directors.

     

     

    i) The Ontario Apple Growers
    ii) The Ontario Asparagus Growers’ Marketing Board
    iii) Grape Growers of Ontario
    iv) The Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers’ Marketing Board
    v) The Ontario Potato Board
    vi) The Ontario Tenderfruit Producers’ Marketing Board
    vii) Ontario Ginseng Growers Association

     

     

    is hereby amended to provide as follows:

     

    Each of the marketing boards or local boards under the Farm Products Marketing Act (Ontario) listed below may nominate a producer of that commodity who is a member in good standing of the Association for the position of Director of the Association and submit the name of the nominee to the annual meeting for the election of directors.

     

    (i) The Ontario Apple Growers;

    (ii) The Ontario Asparagus Growers’ Marketing Board;

    (iii) Grape Growers of Ontario and The Ontario Fresh Grape Growers’ Marketing Board;

    (iv) The Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers’ Marketing Board;

    (v) The Ontario Potato Board;

    (vi) The Ontario Tender Fruit Producers’ Marketing Board;

    (vii) Ontario Ginseng Growers Association; and

    (viii) The Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers.”

     

    3)         The Bylaw, as amended hereby, is hereby ratified and approved.

     

    4)         Any director or officer of the Association be and is hereby authorized and directed, for and on behalf of the Association to do all such acts and things, including without limitation to apply to the Minister for approval of these amendments to the By-law and to execute, whether under the corporate seal of the Association or otherwise, and deliver all such other documents, agreements, certificates and statements as such director or officer may deem necessary or desirable in order to carry out any of the foregoing resolutions.

  • Access to Cap & Trade Data Through Utility Invoices (2017-20)

    ACCESS TO CAP & TRADE DATA THROUGH UTILITY INVOICES (2017-20)

    WHEREAS the Ontario Energy Board’s (OEB) mission is to promote a viable, sustainable and efficient energy sector that serves the public interest and assists consumers to obtain reliable energy services that are cost effective; and

     WHEREAS transparency is one of the guiding principles of the OEB’s Staff discussion paper on a Cap and Trade Regulatory Framework for the Natural Gas Utilities; and

    WHEREAS Cap and Trade will have a significant impact on all consumers, including Ontario’s fruit and vegetable growers; and

    WHEREAS despite overwhelming support for cap and trade related costs to be included on consumer bills as a separate line item, the OEB has ruled that these costs will be buried in the delivery line item requiring consumers to obtain utility tariff sheets in order determine their contribution to cap and trade related costs,

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA lobby the Ontario government to appeal the decision made by OEB, by whatever means necessary, to ensure consumers have free and clear access to cap and trade related costs through their utility invoices.

  • Agricultural Relief From Cap and Trade Requirements (2016-09)

    AGRICULTURAL RELIEF FROM CAP AND TRADE REQUIREMENTS (2016-09) 

    WHEREAS the Ontario government has proposed a system of Cap and Trade be instituted in alignment with the program currently in place in Quebec and California, to take effect as of January 1, 2017; and

    WHEREAS the proposed guidelines imply that the electricity and fuel sectors will be regulated at the distributer level which will translate to an increase in energy costs for all of agriculture; and

    WHEREAS it is unclear what the economic impact of this regulation will be on individual farmers; and

    WHEREAS increased regulatory and financial burden from this proposal, in addition to the implementation of several other regulatory amendments puts Ontario farmers at a competitive  disadvantage to neighbouring jurisdictions; and

    WHEREAS funds diverted from the potential impact of cap and trade legislation could be better spent on innovative solutions that will allow farmers to mitigate the risk of climate change impacts and ensure a secure source of food for all Ontarians, 

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA lobby the Ontario Government to undertake a full Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) of the proposed cap and trade program to assess the economic impact on the agricultural sector and to grant fuel and electricity distributors an initial exemption from cap and trade requirements on fuel delivered for use in agriculture.

  • CHC Funding and Sustainability (2013-01)

    WHEREAS many of the issues facing the Ontario edible horticulture sector including registration of crop protection materials, international trade, plant health and biosecurity, food safety traceability, financial risk mitigation and the funding of research, business risk management and other initiatives must be addressed at least in part at the national level; and

    WHEREAS Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and other federal government departments and agencies strongly prefer to liaise with organizations with a national rather than a provincial or regional mandate; and

    WHEREAS the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC), the national organization representing edible horticulture farmers has been inadequately funded to effectively deliver on its mandate, particularly given the geographic size of Canada and the diversity of the Canadian horticultural sector; and

    WHEREAS the CHC Legacy Project while well-intentioned, failed to deliver the hoped-for supplementary funding to compliment CHC's core funding from member provincial organizations; and

    WHEREAS the OFVGA represents the fruit and vegetable farmers in the province that has Canada’s largest and most diverse edible horticulture sector; and

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA Board take a leadership role in working with the CHC and the other provincial horticultural organizations to develop a funding model that will guarantee that the CHC is adequately funded to carry out its critical mandate of representing Canadian horticultural producers on issues of national Importance; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this model ensure that the resources to carry out the ongoing core activities of the CHC are funded fairly by Canadian edible horticultural farmers, and that any supplementary revenue be generated on a project basis and committed to in a manner that does not jeopardize the role of the CHC in representing farmers’ interests.

  • Climate Change Adaptation Fund (2017-05)

    CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION FUND (2017-05)

    WHEREAS some possible outcomes from climate change could involve extreme weather events, intermittent water scarcity, and infestation by new and existing invasive species and emerging diseases; and

    WHEREAS these outcomes could have a detrimental impact on horticultural growers across the province;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA work with the Ontario government to put in place targeted adaptation funds to help farmers mitigate the impacts of a changing climate such as tools to reduce the introduction and stop the spread of invasive species and emerging diseases through biosecurity planning; strategies to ensure adaptive water management; and support for farm infrastructure that is more resilient to extreme weather events.

  • Container Tolls (2011-06)

    WHEREAS the Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has granted the OFVGA a unique legislated capacity to generate container tolls from Ontario’s horticulture producers; and

    WHEREAS the OFVGA therefore has a responsibility to administer the tolls in an effective and efficient manner; and

    WHEREAS repeated requests at the OFVGA Board have confirmed that the OFVGA has no meaningful information on whether the tolls are collected on all legally subject containers or on the amounts collected by sector, and no effective revenue forecasting capability; 

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA Board immediately undertake to develop and implement credible administrative procedures and audit processes that enable it to gather such information; and

    AND THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the OFVGA Board be required to report annually to the membership on the amount of container tolls collected by sector and by container type, and on its forecasts for the subsequent two years.

  • Effective Phosphorous Reduction Through Collaborative Solutions and Efficient Regulation (2016-08)

    EFFECTIVE PHOSPHOROUS REDUCTION THROUGH COLLABORATIVE SOLUTIONS AND EFFICIENT REGULATION (2016-08)

    WHEREAS the greenhouse sector is very concerned about the elevated phosphorous levels that have been identified in Great Lakes tributaries; and

    WHEREAS the sector is committed to addressing this issue and working collaboratively with local conservation authorities, municipal partners and government staff to find solutions that will effectively reduce phosphorus entering the Great Lakes and aid in meeting binational phosphorous reduction targets; and

    WHEREAS the greenhouse sector has been working for the past six years in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OAMFRA) to identify and develop regulatory alternatives to the industrial Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) that are both protective of the environment while supporting continued success of the greenhouse vegetable sector; and

    WHEREAS the process has been successful at putting in a place a new regulation allowing for the land application of nutrient feed water under the Nutrient Management Act, directly engaging nearly 25% of greenhouse operations in a cost-effective interim compliance tool, the Preventive Measures Order (PMO), which in effect mimics the conditions of an ECA, and in creating an increased atmosphere of trust between the sector and MOECC; and

    WHEREAS the MOECC has decided that they will not continue to pursue any form of regulatory review, amendment or reform, despite the success of the interim process; and

    WHEREAS the MOECC will require all greenhouse vegetable operators to obtain an ECA for storm and waste water discharges by April 1, 2017; and

    WHEREAS growers wishing to obtain an ECA may face significant costs arising from application fees, engineering studies and possible storm water management upgrades which threatens their ability to thrive as compared to requirements in competing jurisdictions; and

    WHEREAS this decision has the potential to set precedent for other agricultural sectors that have storm and/or wash water discharges; and

    WHEREAS there is no evidence that the implementation of an ECA will provide improved environmental performance as compared to the PMO or alternative risk-based solutions; and

    WHEREAS time is of the essence in this matter;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED the OFVGA immediately lobby the Ontario Government to work collaboratively with the sector to help achieve the goal of reduced phosphorous in the Great Lakes tributaries or where applicable through education, investment in innovation and risk-based regulation that is both protective of environment while allowing the sector to remain competitive through reduced financial burden to growers.

  • Establishment of an Energy and Environment Committee (2017-12)

    ESTABLISHMENT OF AN ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE (2017-12)

    WHEREAS provincial and federal policy issues involving energy and the environment have become high priorities for both levels of government over the past few years; and

    WHEREAS proposed and suggested legislation at the provincial and federal levels indicate this trend will continue, and likely strengthen; and

    WHEREAS appropriate energy and environmental policy responses can mean the difference between a competitive Ontario and/or Canadian horticulture sector and a sector in decline;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA establish a separate committee with the primary focus of evaluating and developing policy for Energy and Environmental issues; and

    FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA encourage the CHC to develop a similar Energy and Environment committee and, if successful, to work closely with this committee with the objective of advancing horticultural priorities at the federal level.

  • Financial Protection for Canada's Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Sector (2015-01)

    WHEREAS the lack of payment protection for fruit and vegetable sellers relating to slow pay, non-pay and bankrupt Canadian buyers results in disproportionate financial risk for produce sellers in Canada; and

    WHEREAS the failure of the Canadian Government to provide financial protection for U.S. produce sellers into Canada has resulted in the U.S. removing the longstanding preferential access for Canadian produce sellers to the protections under the U.S. Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA); and

    WHEREAS Canadian produce exporters will now be required to post a bond valued at double the value of their claim to access the PACA process resulting in significant additional financial burden in addition to lack of payment by the U.S. buyer; and

    WHEREAS the risk of non-pay will now increase disproportionately for Canadian sellers into the U.S. since U.S. buyers will be aware that the additional costs of accessing the PACA process may serve as a deterrent to pursuing claims by Canadian sellers; and

    WHEREAS the USDA has indicated its willingness to reinstate Canada’s preferred status under PACA if Canada provides equivalent protection for U.S. sellers to Canadian buyers;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that OFVGA, in conjunction with the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC), aggressively advocate for the creation of a limited statutory deemed trust to provide financial protection for produce sellers in Canada in a manner that is equivalent to the U.S. PACA protections for produce sales to American buyers, and that this protection, once in place be extended to U.S. sellers to permit reinstatement of the preferred access to PACA protection for Canadian produce sellers into the U.S. and the elimination of this unnecessary trade irritant.

  • Fruit and Vegetable Specialist in Eastern Ontario (2016-06)

    FRUIT AND VEGETABLE SPECIALIST IN EASTERN ONTARIO (2016-06)

    WHEREAS Eastern Ontario is still an important fruit and vegetable growing area in Ontario. Some say even the most progressive apple area in Canada; AND

    WHEREAS there used to be three fruit and vegetable specialists in this area ten years ago working full time for OMAFRA; and

    WHEREAS Margaret Appleby, the last one, has now been retired for eight months.

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that her position be filled ASAP in Ontario.

  • Improved Weather Prediction for Horticulture Producers (2016-14)

    IMPROVED WEATHER PREDICTION FOR HORTICULTURE PRODUCERS (2016-14)

    WHEREAS, the weather and climate are integral to horticultural production in Ontario; and

    WHEREAS, horticultural management decisions are based on weather predictions; and

    WHEREAS, different extreme climate and weather have been occurring more frequently; and

    WHEREAS, weather predictions have been increasingly inconsistent;

    THERFORE BE IT RESOLVED that OFVGA and CHC lobby Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to ensure that weather models are kept updated, and the accuracy of weather prediction is continually improved so as to ensure horticulture producers in Ontario and Canada are able to make the best management decisions based on predicted weather.

  • Late Resolution (2011-01)

    WHEREAS one of the stated objectives of the OFVGA Annual General Meeting is to deal with resolutions pertaining to important issues of our membership; and

    WHEREAS these resolutions need to be allocated to the annual section meetings; and

    WHEREAS resolutions should be printed in our Annual General Meeting book to give our membership the opportunity to review and discuss prior to the section meetings; and

    WHEREAS late resolutions can neither be printed in the book or allocated to the various section meetings;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that to encourage the timely remittance of  resolutions so as to allow for the above that any late resolutions require a passing vote of 67 per cent while those received in time to be printed in the book require a simple majority of 50 per cent plus one.

  • National Clean Plan Program (2016-03)

    NATIONAL CLEAN PLANT PROGRAM (2016-03)

    WHEREAS it is critical for growers of perennial fruit crops to start their plantings with clean disease free planting stock that is true to type, and

    WHEREAS the United States has instituted a National Clean Plant Network (NCPN) to provide their nurseries with clean planting stock, and

    WHEREAS Canadian nursery growers could be subject to rules developed by the US National Clean Plant Network that could limit their ability to ship plants to the United States

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA request that the OMAFRA support such a national initiative

    AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA and CHC demand that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency enact a program similar to the NCPN in the US

  • Net Zero Carbon Pricing Impact (2017-06)

    NET-ZERO CARBON PRICING IMPACT (2017-06)

    WHEREAS the new Cap and Trade program will result in significant increased expenses for the majority of Ontario’s greenhouse farmers as of January 1, 2017; and

    WHEREAS these costs impact growers’ ability to remain competitive when compared to jurisdictions that do not have in place a carbon pricing mechanism and threatens food security by increasing food costs, impacting the most vulnerable of our society; and

    WHEREAS there are opportunities to reduce these impacts through: offset support programming which facilitates the transition to the low-carbon economy, recognition of photosynthetic carbon capture, which effectively reduces facility CO2 emissions, and acknowledgement of past improvements that have increased productivity through energy efficiency; and

    WHEREAS there must be recognition of the unique nature of Ontario agriculture as differentiated from other jurisdictions with carbon pricing and lower heat demands, such as California;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA work with the Ontario government to ensure a net-zero cost impact to Ontario's fruit and vegetable farmers who, because of Ontario's Cap and Trade program, will be subject to carbon pricing, thereby mitigating the risk of trade exposure and supporting food security.

     

  • New Liskeard Staff Replacement (2017-21)

    NEW LISKEARD STAFF REPLACEMENT (2017-21)

    WHEREAS Becky Hughes has retired as of November 2016 and the New Liskeard Facilities require investment; and

    WHEREAS the Ontario tissue culture SPUD Unit is under review by OMAFRA and OAC; and

    WHEREAS clean, virus free plants are essential to all vegetatively propagated horticulture; and

    WHEREAS the North American phytosanitary regulations require clean material for border crossings

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA request that OMAFRA, University of Guelph OAC reinvest in Ontario lab capacity for tissue culture, and a timely replacement of the research and service faculty position.

  • Ontario Budget (2012-09)

    WHEREAS the Ontario government has stated that there will be budget cuts; and

    WHEREAS such cuts could affect OMAFRA and their programs and services;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that OFVGA strongly request that if there are cuts to the OMAFRA budget that OMAFRA consult with the agricultural sector prior to making a final determination on where cuts are made.

  • Phosphorus Monitoring and Adaptation (2017-08)

    PHOSPHORUS MONITORING AND ADAPTATION (2017-08)

    WHEREAS the Federal government has established a phosphorus reduction objective of 40% by 2025 for Lake Erie’s western and central basins through Annex 4 of the binational Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and has committed funds through the 2016 budget to address this initiative; and

    WHEREAS the Ontario government has adopted these targets and is addressing them through the Canadian Ontario Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health and through the development of a Canada-Ontario Action Plan for Lake Erie; and

    WHEREAS reducing phosphorus loadings in the Leamington tributaries and Thames river watershed has been identified as a high priority; and

    WHEREAS there is limited data on current loading levels and such data is vital toward developing and monitoring policy progress;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA work with the Ontario government to put in place targeted funds and programming to firstly establish a monitoring programming that will allow for the accurate determination of baseline loading and enable progress to be tracked, and secondly, to support growers through education and adaptation funds in their effort to reduce phosphorus loss from their operations using a risk-based priority ranking.

  • Reassertion of Resolution (2017-01)

    REASSERTION OF RESOLUTION (2017-01)

    WHEREAS Ontario has been subject to rapidly increasing electricity rates; and

    WHEREAS the cooling, and/or processing of horticultural products is an energy intensive activity; and

    WHEREAS the economic viability of the horticultural sector is under pressure due to these high electricity rates;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA lobby the Government of Ontario to establish an agricultural electricity rate comparable to those of geographically close provinces, and states.

  • Reassertion of Resolution (2017-14)

    REASSERTION OF RESOLUTION (2017-14)

    WHEREAS Eastern Ontario is still an important fruit and vegetable growing area in Ontario. Some say even the most progressive apple area in Canada; AND

    WHEREAS there used to be three fruit and vegetable specialists in this area ten years ago working full time for OMAFRA; and

    WHEREAS Margaret Appleby, the last one, has now been retired for eight months.

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that her position be filled ASAP in Ontario.

  • Research, Promotion, and Marketing Fund (2013-07) friendly amendment (2018-02-20)

    WHEREAS research and minor use projects are essential for the vitality of each crop sector and would be limited or non-existent without the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA)  implementing the allocation of a portion of the container tolls collected for funding Research Promotion & Marketing projects; and

    WHEREAS these Research, Promotion and marketing funds are greatly appreciated and critical to small organizations such as the Fresh Vegetable Growers of Ontario,

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA consider the continuation of the Research, Promotion and Marketing Funds to each commodity association on a long term basis at the discretion of the management committee.

  • Restoration of Canada's Preferential PACA Status (2017-07)

    RESTORATION OF CANADA’S PREFERENTIAL PACA STATUS (2017-07)

    WHEREAS during the last Federal election, the Liberal Party of Canada pledged to provide farmers of perishable produce with an acceptable Canadian PACA-like program and restore Canada's preferential access to PACA in the USA; and

    WHEREAS produce producers continue to not have financial protection mechanisms in our domestic marketplace; and

    WHEREAS the absence of a reciprocal financial protection tool continues to be a trade irritant with our largest trading partner, the United States;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA support the House of Common's Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food's motion "that the Chair write to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development to recommend to examine the model legislation put forth by Professor Ronald Cuming under the guidance of the horticulture industry and the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation with regards to Canada's Preferential Status under the United States Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA), and to consider adopting a legislation based on this model as soon as possible."

  • Retail Sales Rebates (2013-05)

    WHEREAS the level of mandatory rebates being charged by Ontario and Canadian retailers to their produce suppliers has escalated, with some reported to be as high as 4.25 per cent of the value of all sales; and

    WHEREAS the cost of these rebates is generally passed on as a charge to the produce farmer thus threatening their financial viability by eroding any margin over production costs that they may have; and

    WHEREAS these rebates do not appear to be connected to funding any promotion that would increase the sales of the produce that the rebate was taken on; and

    WHEREAS refusal by an individual farmer or marketer to pay rebates is difficult given the imbalance in marketplace influence between the retail buyer and the produce seller;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA engage in discussions with retailers and governments with a goal to eliminating the practice of mandatory rebates

  • Streamline Approvals Under the "Open for Business" Mandate (2012-05)

    WHEREAS growers of horticulture products are experiencing frustration and concern relating to the time and resources required by the complex web of approvals necessary to operate, change or expand their operations; and

    WHEREAS these approvals which are at times duplicative and at others conflicting, are required by various public bodies including provincial ministries, municipal departments and other local or provincial agencies such as the conservation authorities; and

    WHEREAS these various regulatory approval organizations do not appear to coordinate their approval requirements in a manner which considers the perspective of the regulated client; and

    WHEREAS these processes often result in significant delays in obtaining necessary permits and approvals; and

    WHEREAS we do understand the importance of having a permits and approvals process that operate in a seamless and streamlined fashion while operating with an acceptable level of service commitment;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA lobby the Ontario Government and work closely with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) within the “Open for Business” initiative to take a client based approach to improving the provincial, municipal and other agency approval and permitting processes through co-ordinating their respective requirements to eliminating duplication.

  • Support for Emerging Technologies to Address Climate Change (2017-04)

    SUPPORT FOR EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES TO ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE (2107-04)

    WHEREAS the impacts of cap and trade will be felt as of January 1, 2017, effectively eliminating the possibility of a smooth transition to the new low carbon economy; and

    WHEREAS the technologies, procedures, and processes necessary to facilitate this transition will require a fundamental shift in the way energy is managed both on-farm and in the surrounding communities; and

    WHEREAS adoption of these emerging technologies will be expensive, difficult, and risky for horticultural growers; and

    WHEREAS the response from the agriculture sector will benefit society by stabilizing food costs and ensuring food security;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA work with the Ontario government to put in place targeted innovation and transition funds to both drive fundamental research and support the uptake of emerging technologies such as: alternative and renewable fuel options for heating and cooling, novel insulation materials and strategies for enhanced production efficiencies.