PVGA responds to proposed marketing act changes

Press release
November 10, 2017
By Press release
November 10, 2017, Wallaceburg, Ont – The Processing Vegetable Growers’ Alliance (PVGA) released its official response to the itemized list of proposed changes the Farm Products Marketing Commission announced on October 12 to Regulation 440 of the Farm Products Marketing Act.

“We have carefully reviewed the list of changes the commission is proposing to Reg 440, and will be providing a detailed response as part of the online consultation period,” says Francis Dobbelaar, PVGA chair. “We are extremely disappointed and concerned with several of the changes and the impact they will have on growers.”

Regulation 440 governs a number of important issues impacting the processing vegetable sector in Ontario, including the negotiation process between growers and processors.

PVGA points to three particular portions of the proposed Reg 440 changes that will cause the most concern for Ontario growers – the implementation of a new two-round negotiation process, removal of final offer arbitration for contract negotiations, and the creation of a new Industry Advisory Committee with grower representatives hand-picked by the commission rather than elected by and accountable to the growers.

PVGA believes all 10 grower positions on a new Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) must be chosen by growers and not appointed by the commission. Given that the current OPVG board is not fully grower elected, PVGA requests that IAC members for 2017/2018 are elected directly by growers.

PVGA opposes the creation of negotiating agencies that would see that growers associated with a particular processor are able to negotiate directly with that processor.

PVGA does not support changes that would eliminate final offer arbitration and the process that currently requires arbitrators to select one party’s final offer in its entirety.

“We are encouraging every processing vegetable grower to take part in the consultation process on Reg 440,” says Dobbelaar. “We need to have our voices heard, and advocate for the kind of industry that encourages innovation, collaboration and progress.”

PVGA’s detailed response to Reg 440 changes are posted at PVGAlliance.org. Growers are reminded there is one remaining in-person consultation on November 23 and online submissions are open until December 11, 2017. All details are available on the Farm Products Marketing Commission website.

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