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

Standing policy: Safety Nets

The OFVGA believes that the industry must have Safety Net programs in place to assist producers in the event of production catastrophes (weather related) and market pressures (unfair trading practices).  For this reason, the association is a strong proponent for crop insurance programs.  It also supports the alternative option of Self-Directed Risk Management for the industry.

  • 2009-14 Infrastructure grants for agriculture

    revised 2019

    WHEREAS Canadian fruit and vegetable farmers compete against producers that have lower costs of production due to longer growing seasons, less regulatory burden, and cheaper energy and labour; and

    WHEREAS despite global competitive pressures, the fruit and vegetable sector is a significant economic driver for the Ontario and Canadian economies; and

    WHEREAS recent additional costs put onto farmers, including increases in minimum wage and impacts of carbon pricing are challenging the competitiveness of farmers and could have negative consequences for domestic food security and food sovereignty as farmers choose to exit the business or switch to less intensive crops such as corn and soybeans;

    THEREFORE be it resolved that the government be requested to provide programming to support infrastructure and capital investments intended to assist fruit and vegetable farms maintain their competitiveness and long-term sustainability through the adoption of innovations that increase farm productivity.

  • 2019-03 Edible Horticulture Support Program

    2019-03                 Edible Horticulture Support Program

    Whereas in 2018 a $60 million 2‐year Edible Horticulture Support Program was approved by government and administered through Agricorp to help edible horticultural growers offset additional labour costs due to the minimum wage increase; and

    Whereas the first payment of $30 million was received by growers in the spring of 2018; and

    Whereas the second payment should be received by growers in the spring of 2019.

    Therefore, be it resolved that OFVGA lobby the provincial government to ensure the 2nd Edible Horticulture Support Program Payment is received by growers in the spring of 2019.

    Submitted by Ontario Tender Fruit Growers 

  • 2019-25 Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) Funding

    2019-25               Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) Funding

    Whereas the provincial government is motivated to position the province as “Open for Business” with less red tape; and

    Whereas; the current CAP program funding application process is time consuming, with additional requirements for applying such as completion of the Environmental Farm Plan and Grow Your Farm Profits; and

    Whereas program approval criteria and processes do not reflect practical farming realities such as timelines for producers to identify and implement on-farm projects, and farmers’ ability to leverage in-kind equipment and skill to projects; and

    Whereas farmers are expected to become red tape experts, wordsmithing complex applications with precise vocabulary to get a high merit score to access funding for their on-farm projects, which include important food safety upgrades, environmental improvements, productivity and efficiency, and climate adaptation; and

    Whereas projects that are considered to be innovative by the sector are being declined as a result of arbitrary low provincial adoption thresholds which are not communicated transparently to applicants; and

    Whereas despite completing all the necessary paperwork and additional requirements growers are still being declined for funding and are not receiving assistance to help them qualify are not receiving explanation about why they are getting declined; and

    Whereas there is limited funding available, and it appears there is significant CAP funding being directed to the processing sector, other farm sectors, and funding for consultants; and

    Whereas there are many opportunities for increased value-added directly on fruit and vegetable farms,

    Therefore, be it resolved that OFVGA work with the provincial government to develop a more streamlined and transparent application and approval process for CAP that enables fruit and vegetable farmers access to funding to increase their competitiveness, while respecting the government’s fiscal responsibilities.

    Submitted by OFVGA board of directors                  

  • AgriRecovery Response (2017-11)

    AGRIRECOVERY RESPONSE (2017-11)

    WHEREAS the AgriRecovery application process is difficult to initiate and contains numerous unnecessary delays; and

    WHEREAS an emergency or disaster situation by its very nature demands a rapid response; and

    WHEREAS AgriRecovery does not adequately bridge the cavernous gap between structured business risk management programs and losses incurred due to a disaster situation;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA & CHC work with the federal and provincial governments to increase the effectiveness of AgriRecovery by reducing the time spent between initial request and final approval, as well as minimizing the compensation gap between AgriRecovery and other BRM programs so that farmers can effectively recover from disaster situations.

  • Diversified Farms (2017-10)

    DIVERSIFIED FARMS (2017-10)

    WHEREAS far more farms are diversified in 2016 than they were when the original program was being designed almost 20 years ago; and

    WHEREAS these diversified farms, by their very nature, experience more muted fluctuations in their reference margins than farms with a single commodity; and

    WHEREAS the impact of a bad year for one commodity is no less painful to a diversified farm's overall revenue than it is to a single-commodity farm; and

    WHEREAS the net farm income, including BRM payments, for a single-commodity farm will be higher when averaged over a longer period than it would be for a diversified farm that does not receive BRM compensation; and

    WHEREAS this results in a moral hazard where government policies are encouraging farms to limit their diversification efforts legally and/or operationally;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA & CHC lobby the federal and provincial governments to address the issue of inequitable risk management coverage between diversified and non-diversified farms by reducing the amount a farm's reference margin must fall before triggering a payment.  This reduction would reflect the income distribution of the farm's reference margin and the subsequent reduction in farm income fluctuations for farms with multiple marketable commodities and level the playing field for all types of farming operations across Canada.

  • Financial support for fruit and vegetable growers (01-24)

    WHEREAS the Ontario fruit and vegetable industry is in dire financial straits, and

    WHEREAS most other fruit and vegetable growing regions both in Canada and the USA have benefited through government support programs, and

    WHEREAS the AIDA and the Whole Farm Relief programs do not meet the needs of the fruit and vegetable industry.

    THEREFORE be it resolved that the OFVGA lobby the provincial government for direct financial support for fresh fruit and vegetable growers.

  • Next Agricultural Policy Framework (2017-03)

    NEXT AGRICULTURAL POLICY FRAMEWORK (2017-13)

    WHEREAS there is significant variation in average farm size between agricultural sectors and regions across Canada; and

    WHEREAS significant positive social contributions toward environmental responsibility, carbon sequestration, and economic development can be made by larger agricultural farms; and

    WHEREAS many non-BRM funds are often left unspent due, in part, to flat allocations based on arbitrary applicant funding caps or ceilings;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA & CHC lobby the federal and provincial governments recognize the significant variation in agricultural production across the province and Canada and subsequently design BRM and non-BRM programs to reflect the needs of the average-sized farm in each agricultural commodity or sector; and

    FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA & CHC lobby the federal and provincial governments to allow "stacking" of program benefits in special circumstances when multiple applicants intend to undertake a unique community or sector-wide project that is of significant environmental, economic, and/or social benefit

  • OFVGA Safety Nets Policy (08-19)

    OFVGA SAFETY NETS POLICY (08-19)

    WHEREAS, Safety Nets are intended to off set the risk for all producers, and

    WHEREAS, caps impede the ability of large growers to offset these risks,

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the OFVGA standing policy be changed to oppose caps in Safety Nets programs.

  • Restoring AgriStability Coverage (2017-09)

    RESTORING AGRISTABILITY COVERAGE (2017-09)

    WHEREAS both the Federal and Provincial governments state that the AgriStability program is the primary BRM response vehicle for income losses accrued due to a disaster situation; and

    WHEREAS the 2013 AgriStability program year doubled the amount a farmer's reference margin must decline before triggering a payment, from 85% to 70%; and

    WHEREAS this trigger level change has drastically reduced the utility provided by AgriStability to the point where enrollment levels are rapidly declining;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA recognize that returning AgriStability coverage from the current 70% trigger to the previous 85% trigger is the highest federal and provincial Business Risk Management lobby priority, and to work with the OFA, CHC and CFA to return AgriStability support to those levels in the Next Agricultural Policy Framework.