Business & Policy

John Deere has added three products to its Frontier equipment lineup including a new rotary tiller portfolio, skid steer carrier adapter and overseeder.
AgroFresh Solutions, Inc., a global leader in produce freshness solutions, recently announced a focused effort to formalize and strengthen its decades-long commitment to sustainability.
BC Tree Fruits Cooperative (BCTFC) is excited to officially announce the purchase of 85 acres of land in Kelowna, B.C., with the purpose of building a new facility under the Cooperative’s new “One Roof” plan. In conjunction with this purchase, BCTFC has an agreement in place to sell their property in Penticton, BC. Both transactions will be completed by May 31, 2019.
Vegpro International, a Canadian, family-owned company, is introducing - their most popular products to Western Canada. Fresh Attitude prewashed baby lettuces and salad kits have officially made their debut in the produce sections of Western Canada's grocery stores, and can be found in major retailers.
As a farmer, there will be a lot of options for you when it comes to selling your business. These will be different to those that most other business owners are faced with.
The Climate Corporation, a subsidiary of Bayer, announced new platform partnership agreements between the company's industry-leading Climate FieldView platform and three Canadian-based ag tech companies, SoilOptix, A&L Canada Laboratories Inc. and AgCon Aerial Corp.
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.
On July 4, CanadaGAP program participants received notice that the annual program fee for participants enrolled in certification options A1 and A2 (four-year audit cycle) will increase to $600 (CAD), effective September 1, 2018. If program participants are paying in US funds, the CanadaGAP annual program fee for these options will increase to $500 USD.The increase will be reflected the next time program participants are invoiced by CanadaGAP on the anniversary of their enrolment.The increase in the annual program fee for Options A1 and A2 is necessary to cover growing costs related to administration and oversight, including the fees billed to CanadaGAP by the certification bodies for review of self-assessments and for surveillance (i.e. random audits).The fee increase will be phased in over the next year, starting with invoices dated September 1, 2018. The timing of the increase coincides with the original launch date of the CanadaGAP program ten years ago, on September 1, 2008, not with the calendar year. If program participants are not due to be invoiced until September 1 or later, please note that the annual program fee cannot be prepaid at the $525 rate. Program participants will pay the amount indicated when they receive their invoice."The CanadaGAP program is owned and operated by a not-for-profit corporation, CanAgPlus, which maintains a commitment to stability, fairness, and responsible fiscal management," notes Jack Bates, chair of the board of directors for CanAgPlus. "The fees charged to program participants reflect only the amount necessary to cover the cost of delivery and to maintain program rigour and integrity."If you have any questions or require additional information, contact the CanadaGAP office at 613-829-4711 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
This September, the Grape Growers of Ontario (GGO) will welcome Rick Mercer to the stage at the organization's Celebrity Luncheon. This event has been held for the past 35 years to celebrate the opening of the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival. The GGO is pleased to partner with Meridian, Ontario’s largest credit union, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival to bring this outstanding entertainer to Niagara.Born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Mercer has won over 25 Gemini Awards for his top-rated CBC series’ The Rick Mercer Report, Made in Canada, and This Hour has 22 Minutes. He is also an author of three national bestsellers and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2014.“Rick’s keynote, Canada: Coast to Coast to Coast, is guaranteed to make us appreciate this unique nation we all call home, and a perfect way to applaud what our great country has to offer,” says Matthias Oppenlaender, chair of GGO.Debbie Zimmerman, CEO, GGO adds, “The GGO are thrilled to finally welcome Rick Mercer to our event to celebrate the 2018 grape harvest, the Greenbelt and all Niagara has to offer.”The Grape Growers of Ontario’s Celebrity Luncheon is Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. at Club Roma in St. Catharines. Order tickets by clicking here or contacting the GGO Board office at: (905) 688-0990 ext 224 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
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.
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. 
British Columbia's agritech companies are partnering with the federal and provincial governments to find the perfect pairing between food and technology.
The provincial government recently released a discussion paper – Modernizing Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Program – as they consider changes to the Environmental Assessment Act. The government has asked for public input on the proposed vision for the environmental assessment program based on the discussion paper.
Trespassing on farm property is a growing concern for Ontario farmers. From rural trail hikers detouring into a pasture to ATV drivers ruining crops, farmers have dealt with all types of unwanted visitors on the farm who leave varying degrees of damage. The latest threat to farmers, especially livestock farmers and transporters is the increasing risk of activists trespassing, invading, breaking into barns and harassing farmers, their families and employees.
As the spring arrives and the fields begin to come alive I often find myself distracted by what I spot in the fields parallel to my travels. One of the things that has always fascinated me about farming is how different growing conditions and crops can be from region-to-region and field-to-field.
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 Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry recently heard from witnesses with expertise in soil health. The Honourable Robert Black, who joined the Senate last year after a 30-year career in the agricultural industry, proposed that the committee undertake a study on soil health.
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.
Members in good standing have until October 1, 2018 to submit resolutions for consideration at the CanAgPlus Annual General Meeting.Resolutions must meet the following content criteria: Must be relevant to the business of the corporation Must be clear and understandable to members Must include background to the resolution either within the "Whereas" clauses or as an addendum to the resolution Must clearly define the action requested (i.e., provide an action plan with timelines) Additional information is included in the CanAgPlus AGM Resolutions Policy. To submit your resolution, use the resolution submission template available in the Resolutions tab at: www.canadagap.ca/events/annual-general-meetingIf you have any questions, contact the CanadaGAP office at 613-829- 4711 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
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.
A new presentation on Canada-U.S. regulatory initiatives is now available on the CanadaGAP website to explain how CanadaGAP certification fits with recent regulatory initiatives in Canada and the U.S.The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) are expected to be published in spring/summer 2018. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has already come into force in the U.S.The presentation puts into context for program participants: How CanadaGAP requirements line up with SFCR requirements How CanadaGAP's Full Government Recognition positions the program as a "model system" to meet regulatory requirements The results of CFIA's assessment of CanadaGAP under its Private Certification Polic and more. The presentation is now available on the CanadaGAP website at: https://www.canadagap.ca/publications/presentations/As a reminder, CanadaGAP has also made available various resources to help CanadaGAP-certified companies in or exporting to the United States determine how they will be impacted by the Food Safety Modernization Act. For these resources, visit the Food Safety Linkswebpage: https://www.canadagap.ca/audit-checklist/food-safety-links/, and click on the tab labelled 'FSMA Resources'.If Canadian program participants are facing pressures from U.S. buyers with respect to the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP), please let us know. It is important to quantify the extent and impact of the new legislation for the Canadian food safety industry as U.S. regulations are implemented.If you have any questions or require additional information, send us an email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or call our office at 613-829-4711.

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