Business & Policy
Cavendish Farms’ newest plant is officially open for business. Cavendish Farms president Robert K. Irving was joined by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman and other dignitaries to celebrate the largest private sector investment in the history of the City of Lethbridge.
Agrinos’ proprietary organic biostimulant, iNvigorate, is now registered for use by Canadian growers. The soil-applied microbial product enhances crop quality and nutrient uptake under variable growing conditions while increasing the total productive capacity of both the soil and the crop.
Canadian Fruit and Vegetable growers rely on Fruit and Vegetable magazine's printed and online Buyers Guide to quickly access contact information for products and services they need.
Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. recently announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved Clonostachys rosea CR-7 (CR-7) for use as a fungicide on commercial crops.
Canada must embrace a skills agenda and boost innovation to capitalize on the rising demand for agricultural products around the world according to a new report from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).
John Deere has added three products to its Frontier equipment lineup including a new rotary tiller portfolio, skid steer carrier adapter and overseeder.
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) was pleased to see the recent announcement by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) which detailed new pathways to permanent residency for temporary foreign workers in the agri-food industry.
The National Corn Growers Association – in partnership with the Honey Bee Health Coalition – is releasing new best management practices (BMPs) to protect bees and other pollinators in and around cornfields.
After over ten years of serving the agri-food sector in Ontario, the Agri-Food Management Institute (AMI) will be transferring its resources to industry allies and winding down its operations as a result of changes to its funding structure.
The North American Farmers’ Direct Marketing Association Inc. (NAFDMA) has announced the selection of Corey Connors as its new executive director. This appointment comes after Charlie Touchette, who provided NAFDMA with association management services for nearly 20 years, formally concluded his tenure effective May 1, 2018. The selection of Connors was made after an extensive national search overseen by the NAFDMA Board of Directors. “We are thrilled to formally announce Corey’s appointment,” said Tom Tweite, President of NAFDMA.Connors joins NAFDMA with over 17 years of leadership experience in the agriculture, retail and attractions industries. Most recently, he served as chief staff executive of the North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association (NCNLA). Prior to NCNLA, he served in advocacy roles for several prominent national and international trade groups including the Society of American Florists (SAF), the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA) and the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA). Connors holds a Master of Arts in Political Management from the George Washington University and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Clarion University.“It is a genuine privilege and honor to serve this dynamic, growing industry,” said Connors. “Agritourism and farm direct marketing provide an unparalleled opportunity for consumers to reconnect to the family farm, creating unique experiences and rare opportunities to make precious memories.” He continued, “Our charge is clear: NAFDMA must provide cutting-edge tools and resources that support our community of innovators who seek to grow farm profitability while providing immeasurable benefits to their hometown.”Connors begins his tenure at NAFDMA under a new operating structure, with the organization previously hiring on two additional direct employees last fall. This positions the association to have a stronger pulse on industry trends and will provide the opportunity to launch new member-focused programs and services. The first employees hired by NAFDMA include Membership Development and Services Manager, Lisa Dean and Education and Operations Manager, Jeff Winston.“Interacting with motivated farm operators and entrepreneurs is rewarding. It is truly my pleasure to service our members,” said Dean.“Having worked for this industry over the past five years, I’m excited to elevate the educational offerings that NAFDMA provides to each of its members,” said Winston.
A new soil health test is available to Island farmers to measure soil quality and provide additional tools to assist them in understanding soil health.
The Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association and Farmers' Markets Ontario, two important organizations that connect farmers with consumers through direct sales experiences, recently received an investment from the provincial government.
The Ministry of Agriculture has recently updated the guidelines regarding organic certification in BC. Changes were made to provide greater clarity as to how to be in compliance with B.C.’s Organic Certification Regulation.
Both the federal and provincial governments are stepping up to help Ontario's berry farmers to increase sustainability, implement new technologies and increase awareness of their products.
Minister of Government and Consumer Services, Lisa Thompson, was joined by representatives from the Ontario wine industry to announce changes reducing regulatory burden to support growth in the industry.
A Prince Edward Island blueberry processing facility has received a financial boost from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
The Government of Canada recently committed new funds for tender fruit research that will be aimed at extending the growing season, storability and the development of new varieties.
The Nova Scotia apple industry recently received a financial boost from the federal government to support research initiatives aimed at improving production and storage.
The Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry recently released their recommendations following a thorough review about how best to grow Canada’s value-added food sector. Canada should expand the value-added food sector by improving regulations to allow for the expansion of international trade of processed food products, investing in innovation, and reducing the barriers to growth inside its borders, a Senate committee said.
Canada is committed to attracting the best talent from around the world to fill skill shortages, drive local economies, and create and support middle-class jobs in communities across the country that will benefit all Canadians.
Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Jati Sidhu, Member of Parliament, Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon recently visited the Berry Haven Farm, where they announced an investment of up to $3.6 million to the Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association (LMHIA) under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AgriScience Program.
Greenhouse gas is a significant player in climate change and Agricultural and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) scientists have developed a tool that helps mitigate agriculture’s contribution.
The CanadaGAP website offers many useful resources to help participants succeed in the CanadaGAP program.
Food business owners across Canada can now apply for a licence under the new Safe Food for Canadians Regulations by accessing the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s online portal, My CFIA. These regulations will protect Canadian families by making the food system even safer by focusing on prevention and allowing for faster removal of unsafe food from the marketplace.
CanadaGAP, an internationally recognized food safety program for fresh fruit and vegetable suppliers, has successfully achieved recognition against the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Version 7.1 benchmarking requirements.The recognition encompasses three CanadaGAP certification options: B, C, and D (for repacking and wholesaling).Heather Gale, executive director, comments that "CanadaGAP appreciates the rigour of the GFSI benchmarking process. GFSI recognition of CanadaGAP provides the fruit and vegetable industry the option to implement a made-in-Canada program that meets GFSI's high standard and satisfies the food safety requirements of customers in domestic and international markets."Jack Bates, chair of the board for CanadaGAP, adds that "GFSI recognition will allow CanadaGAP-certified companies to remain competitive and maintain access to customers who require certification to a GFSI-recognized food safety program."Scope of GFSI RecognitionCanadaGAP has been GFSI-recognized for certification options B and C since 2010. Option D (for repacking and wholesaling) was originally recognized by GFSI in 2016. Re-benchmarking is required each time GFSI updates its benchmarking requirements.Recognition of the three CanadaGAP certification options has once again been granted for the following GFSI scopes: BI - Farming of Plants D - Pre-process Handling of Plant Products (includes packing/repacking and related activities such as cooling, trimming, grading, washing, storage, etc.).
When plants are growing outdoors, it’s no surprise that they are at risk for pest activity. But even once produce is harvested and brought inside for storage and packaging, it can fall victim to pests’ appetites. In fact, pest infestations that are established during storage can put your produce at increased risk, as it is easy for pests to move and spread quickly in the closed environment.While a pest infestation in the field might be obvious as plants show signs of fatigue, develop deformations or die, an infestation in the warehouse can pass under the radar if it is not monitored. So, it’s important for your Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan to include strategies for protecting your fruits and vegetables as you prepare them for storage and shipment. IPM strategies focus on preventive techniques, like exclusion, maintenance and sanitation and use sustainable, environmentally-friendly practices to manage and control pests.Fresh fruits and vegetables are vulnerable to pest infestations because of their succulence and the aroma they produce. Pests can infest produce items at any point in the supply chain, and improper packaging can make it easier for them to access your produce. Here are some of the most common pests that attack harvested fruits and vegetables:SpidersSpiders prey on insects and are naturally inclined to be found on foliage and vegetation. Therefore, harvested produce will harbour spiders. While in the field, spiders do help keep insect populations in check, but you don’t want them on your produce when it gets packaged and shipped.SpringtailsSpringtails are tiny insects that jump around when disturbed. They are attracted to moisture, dampness and humidity. They normally live in damp soil and feed on mold and fungi. So, naturally they will be found concealed in foliage and on plant stems, especially on vegetables that grow at soil level. As a result, they can easily make their way into packaged produce once harvested.Fruit FliesAs their name suggests, fruit flies are attracted to ripening and fermenting fruits and vegetables. Female fruit flies lay their eggs under the surface of fruits and vegetables. Therefore, a detailed inspection of random samples of fruits and vegetables to detect eggs and larvae is crucial to preventing a pest infestation in your processing and storage facilities. Sampled fruits should be cut through and examined for eggs and larvae, which are visible to the eyes.Indian Meal MothsWhile they only feed on dried fruits and vegetables, Indian meal moths are the most common stored product pest in food-handling facilities, homes and grocery stores. They are primarily attracted to dry foods and can damage products as their larvae spin silk webbing that accumulates fecal pellets and cast skins in the food. Common signs of an Indian meal moth infestation include the silk webbing, buildup of droppings in the food product and pupal cocoons along walls, shelving and ceilings.PreventionOnce harvested and packed, fruits and vegetables must continue to breath to maintain their freshness. So, packaging often has aeration pores that can make produce vulnerable to pest attacks, and it is difficult to find packaging that is impervious to all pest activity. However, there are some packaging materials that should be avoided for produce.Wooden containers can harbour wood boring insects. When exposed to moisture, they also can rot or cause mold and fungal growth that attracts insects which can spread and infect the packed produce. Rough, wooden boxes or bamboo like packaging can cause bruising and damage produce, which attracts insects. Materials less capable of withstanding stress also can damage produce, as they are vulnerable to tears, which can expose or damage the fruits and vegetables. Therefore, it’s important to choose the right type of packaging for your produce.In addition to avoiding these materials, keep an eye out for packaging that doesn’t seal properly. Even the best packaging doesn’t stand a chance if it’s not closed all the way or has a hole. At the end of the day, your goal should be to make it as difficult as possible for pests to reach your fruit and vegetable products.Fruit and vegetables are susceptible to pest infestations while they are growing. And once in storage, it’s easy for a pest infestation to spread quickly – especially with such an abundance of food for the pests to thrive on. So, it’s important to take steps to manage infestations in the field and to establish controls to help prevent infestations from being brought inside and spreading once in storage.In the field: Pest prevention starts with Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) in the field that reduce conditions conducive to pest infestations. Extensively monitor for pest activity by inspecting or scouting plants regularly during growing season to catch infestations early. Reduce pest attractants by practicing good sanitation (phytosanitation) and eliminating onsite harbourage sites such as weeds, piles of compose, standing water and idle unused equipment. Remove fallen, overripe or rotting fruits from the fields, as this could attract fruit flies and other pests. At time of harvest, inspect extensively for insects and spiders on produce. Harvest produce when they are dry. This prevents pest and diseases from clinging on them. Clean and sanitize harvest equipment, bins and tools before and after harvesting. Avoid or prevent bruising of produce. The bruising attracts insect pests, especially fruit flies. In processing and storage:As a first step, implement these post-harvest handling practices:Sanitation Have written cleaning and sanitation operating procedures for equipment and the facility. Clean and sanitize packaging, handing bins and equipment regularly to prevent build-ups and habourages. Regularly clean spills or trapped produce, especially in hard to reach areas and dead voids in packaging conveyer machines and equipment footing, as well as under and inside pallets. Ensure floor drains have undamaged cover grids or traps to prevent trapping fruits and vegetables in the drain. This creates a breeding ground for fruit flies, drain flies and phorid flies. Using drain brushes, mechanically clean floor drains at least every two weeks or so. Ensure the floor is void of cracks and tile gaps. The floor should be smooth and level for effective cleaning. Practice good fruit and vegetable waste management to avoiding attracting pests and creating harbourage sites. Exclusion Air curtains, sensor doors and roll-up doors keep flies from entering into processing or storage areas. Install pest monitors like insect light traps and pheromone traps. Repair screens and weather stripping around doors and windows. Storage and Shipping Use the first-in, first-out rule for storing and distributing products to avoid fermentation. Keep products off the floor on racked shelves. Keep products refrigerated when you can. Temperature regulation and maintaining your cold storage system keeps the produce fresh and keeps pests away. Allow proper illumination and ventilation to keep moisture down and discourage pest activity. Avoid crisscross movement of packed produce to prevent pest contamination. Ensure transportation vehicles are clean and temperatures are regulated. Inspect packaging for pest activity prior to loading and shipping. In addition to these preventive steps, be sure to monitor pest activity closely – indoors and outdoors. This will help you identify trends and adjust your pest management program to meet the unique needs of your property. You should also talk with your pest management provider about your process for storing and packaging food. They can offer recommendations specific to the types of produce you grow and help adjust your pest control program accordingly.Alice Sinia, Ph.D. is a quality assurance manager with regulatory and lab services with Orkin Canada.
What's Growing Canada Video ContestFruit & Vegetable (F&V) magazine and BASF Canada are celebrating…
New soil health testing service for Island farmersA new soil health test is available to Island farmers…
Cavendish Farms opens new potato processing plantCavendish Farms’ newest plant is officially open for business. Cavendish…
Opening the farm to consumers with a Market Day and tourPfennings Organic Farm sits outside of New Hamburg, Ont., and…
Horticulture opportunities workshop - Fruit Mon Oct 28, 2019
Horticulture opportunities workshop - VegetablesTue Oct 29, 2019
Vegetable Pest and Production workshopsTue Oct 29, 2019
2019 BC Seed GatheringFri Nov 08, 2019