Business & Policy
June 28, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. — The Board of Directors of the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI) is pleased to announce the appointment of John F.T. Scott to the position of Chair. Scott has been involved with CAPI since its inception and has served on the Board for the past three years. He is the former CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers and the past chair of the acclaimed Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. He cites the work of CAPI as one of his great passions in life.Scott succeeds Ted Bilyea, who announced his resignation earlier this year. "Over the six years I have been Chair, CAPI has accomplished a great deal to the benefit of the sector, culminating in Canadian agri-food being acknowledged as a growth sector," said Bilyea. "I have every expectation even more will be achieved under John's leadership." Scott stated, "I am deeply honoured to receive the trust of the Board and I look forward to working with this strong group to build the CAPI of tomorrow. I join the Board in expressing our deep appreciation to Ted and with pleasure announce that he will remain with us as a Special Advisor."At its Annual Meeting on June 20, 2017, CAPI elected two new members to its Board of Directors. Chantelle Donahue is the Vice President & Commercial Seed Manager for Global Edible Oil Solutions-Specialties (GEOS-S) at Cargill Limited. Deborah Stark is the former Deputy Minister of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. She retired from this position in 2016 following a rich career in the Ontario public service, during which she held several senior management positions."CAPI is extremely fortunate to have these two exceptional individuals join our Board," said Mr. Scott. "Their skill sets complement and enhance those held by our continuing Directors. We anticipate valuable participation from each of them." The Board of Directors expresses its sincere appreciation to retiring Board member Wayne Stark, who served on the Board for the past eight years. Through that time Mr. Stark made several significant contributions to the agri-food sector, and CAPI looks forward to continuing to work with him.
June 26, Montreal, QC - Alasko Foods Inc. announces the acquisition of FooDelicious Inc., adding an established Canadian Foodservice brand and a best in class packing facility to its existing network and leading global supply chain for frozen fruits and vegetables.FooDelicious customers can count on a seamless transition and will benefit from Alasko Foods' global network of 100+ agri-food producers and processors across 30 countries. Based in southwestern Ontario, the FooDelicious facility will become an additional focal point of production, warehousing and distribution activity for Alasko Foods."We are delighted to welcome Dave Black and the entire FooDelicious team to the Alasko Foods family and we are looking forward to growing production at the FooDelicious facility" commented Alasko Foods CEO Michael Vineberg upon closing the transaction. The acquisition by Alasko Foods, one of North America's leading suppliers of organic and conventional frozen produce, will enable the company to further strengthen its packing and distribution capabilities to service the needs of its customers.
June 14, 2017, Toronto, Ont. - Vive Crop Protection is pleased to announce the recent appointment of Dr. Darren Anderson as President. Darren was one of the original founders of Vive and has been a member of Vive’s Board of Directors since the company was formed in 2006. Since founding the company, Darren has served in various senior management roles, including leading Vive’s product development, regulatory, and communications activities.Keith Thomas, who will remain as CEO of Vive, states that “Darren’s deep understanding of modern agriculture, keen strategic insight, and excellent business sense continue to be an asset to Vive. I am looking forward to working with Darren in his new role.”“I am excited about Vive’s future”, added Darren. “With three new products launched in 2017, several recently announced partnerships, and an innovative product pipeline, we are poised for very rapid growth.”
June 8, 2017, Vernon Bridge, PEI - The company, based in Vernon Bridge, recently received a loan of $250,000 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency to purchase and install packaging equipment.J&S Visser will add a baler and bagger system, which allows the company to move quickly between types of potatoes and various packaging sizes.Increasing the variety of its potato products meets market demand and attracts new consumers. The company’s products are sold across Canada and in the United States. READ MORE
May 29, 2017, Rougemont, QB - Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)Businesses need to be able to rely on adequate resources to create and market innovative products.The Government of Canada is committed to supporting innovative Canadian enterprises. A real economic engine, innovation is the key to success, generating growth that benefits businesses and communities.Acting on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for CED, Pierre Breton, Member of Parliament for Shefford, announced that the McKeown Cidery Inc. has been granted $188,550 in financial assistance, in the form of a repayable contribution, to acquire specialized equipment and implement a marketing strategy in the United States.Founded in 2004, the McKeown Cidery is a deeply rooted business that makes its cider from apples hand-picked from its orchards in Rougemont.The company's many prize-winning products are available across Quebec and in Great Britain, Norway and China. For the company to grow, it has to conquer foreign markets, including the American cider market, where there is increasing demand for craft cider in cans.The funding provided under CED's Quebec Economic Development Program (QEDP) will enable the company to acquire a canning line, a coding machine and a shrink sleeve applicator to meet the requirements of the American market and to promote its products there.CED is one of the six regional development agencies under the responsibility of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
May 23, 2017, B.C. - Cooler weather this spring has resulted in a later start to the season for all commodities, which means consumers will see and taste cherries starting end of June this year.The good news - BC Tree Fruits are anticipating a record 12 million pounds of cherries this season.The 12 million pounds of BC Tree Fruits cherries estimated for the season is up from the 8 million pounds from 2016, although last year's estimate was for 12 million pounds as well before inclement weather reduced the crop volume.At this time, BC Tree Fruits is anticipating a very good peach, nectarine, prune, plum and grape crop with volumes similar to last year."With weather serving up a cooler spring this year, it has enabled our grower base to be prepared for a delicious and high quality crop of cherries at more traditional timing," says BC Tree Fruits Marketing Manager Chris Pollock. "Cherries and the rest of our summer fruits went through the bloom period exceptionally well and our growers are excited for a great crop this year with harvest starting end of June for cherries in the South, with the fruit hitting retail shelves very soon after."The primary market for BC Tree Fruits summer fruits remains Western Canada. BC Tree Fruits also continues to export increased volumes of cherries to the United States and key export markets.
June 26, 2017, Toronto, Ont. - Beer Canada, Restaurants Canada, Spirits Canada and the Canadian Vintners Association are grateful for the overwhelming support they and their customers received from Canadians in response to the federal government's move to increase alcohol excise taxes every year in perpetuity."We launched corkthetax.ca to raise awareness about the impact of these ever-increasing taxes on a broad swath of small businesses and the pocket books of consumers," said Luke Harford, President of Beer Canada. "Canadians really responded.""We are emboldened by the strong stand taken by the Senate of Canada to introduce amendments to address the undemocratic nature of the escalator clauses in the budget bill," said Joyce Reynolds, Restaurants Canada's Executive Vice-President, Government Affairs. "They quite rightfully called out the dangerous precedent of automatically increasing taxes without parliamentary oversight and scrutiny. We also salute Members of Parliament who understood the inequity of the escalator tax and spoke out for our industries on this issue.""We, of course, are disappointed that the House of Commons chose not to repeal the escalator clauses as recommended by the Senate," said Dan Paszkowski, President and CEO of Vintners Canada. "But we haven't given up the fight. We will continue to engage Canadians and our industries to convince government to remove these undemocratic, automatic tax increases in next year's budget.""We aren't going away," said Jan Westcott, President of Spirits Canada. "The cumulative impact of annual increases, with provincial mark-ups and sales taxes on top, will be too damaging to our industries, our businesses, employees and customers. Thousands of ordinary, hard-working, middle-class Canadians will be negatively impacted by these tax hikes. We remain open to working with Finance Minister Morneau and members from all parties to ensure our Canadian industries can continue to make our country's economy strong and innovative."
June 19 2017, Guelph, Ont – The diverse range of projects the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) funds was the focus of the organization’s summer reception and dinner held June 14 in Mississauga. To date, Ontario organizations and collaborations have completed 195 projects through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), and funding for 385 projects totaling $33.3 million has been approved by the AAC board over the past four years. The program was launched in 2013 and demand remained strong until the final application deadline this past April. GF2 officially ends March 31, 2018. “The AAC is a strategic enabler. Projects funded have played a significant role in raising the standard and profile of Ontario's agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector,” said Kelly Duffy, AAC chair, in her remarks to the audience. “I know that if we continue to invest in the sector, we will produce long-lasting benefits that will impact future generations.” Ontario Agri-Food Technologies is currently leading a project on open agri-food data collaboration, Ontario Precision Agri-Food (OPAF). It’s assessing where Ontario and Canada are with precision agriculture and what needs to be done to manage and enable data for future global market access and sustainability. OPAF is collaborating with an initiative called FIWare Mundus that is creating a global Future Internet (FI) ecosystem to enable easy, fast data sharing. “We’re on the cusp of an evolution; data is at its centre and it’s the new commodity in agriculture,” said OAFT president Tyler Whale. “OPAF is a facilitator that creates trusted relationships amongst value chain partners to integrate new and existing data resources.” The Ontario Produce Marketing Association is tackling the issue of food waste through a GF2 funded project, and according to lead researcher Martin Gooch of Value Chain Management International, there is a compelling business case for addressing the problem. “People outside of the industry are often staggered by the amount of waste in food. This is the first project of its kind in North America,” said Gooch. The OPMA program includes a series of workshops and a handbook with 10 easy to follow steps for identifying where waste happens in farm, processing or retail processes. According to Gooch, a soon-to-be-released case study clearly shows the opportunity of addressing food waste: a 29 per cent increase in grade-out of potatoes resulted in a 74 per cent increase in producer margin. “A big thank you to AAC for providing the funding; it’s great working with an organization that encompasses the entire chain,” Gooch added. Harry Pelissero of Egg Farmers of Ontario spoke briefly about one of EFO’s latest projects involving gender detection in unhatched eggs. The non-invasive scanning technology developed at McGill University can identify the gender of day-old eggs before they are incubated. This means female eggs can be incubated for hatching and infertile or male eggs can enter the table or processing egg streams, eliminating the need to hatch male eggs. “AAC gave us the support to take this from the lab to pre-prototype and then prototype stage,” explained Pelissero. “The investment that AAC has put into this provides an economical solution to a challenge in the industry; this is an outcome that will literally go around the world.” Duffy also used the opportunity to highlight overall GF2 program successes. Funding through this federal-provincial-territorial initiative has resulted in innovative research results, increased knowledge and awareness, access to new markets, and supported the overall competitiveness of the sector.
April 19, 2017, Ontario – The Ontario’s South Coast Wineries and Growers Association (OSCWGA) has elected a new board of directors, naming Nick Vranckx of Blueberry Hill Estates Winery as president.“I am honoured to have been selected as president and I look forward to working with OSCWGA members to ensure the organization’s continued success,” Vranckx said. “Ontario’s South Coast is being recognized more and more for quality grape and fruit wine production and it’s an exciting time to be at the forefront of the association. My goals for the association include continuing to improve the quality of our grape growing, gaining further recognition for our region’s wines, and helping develop the area’s wine and food culture.”Vranckx succeeds Mike McArthur as president. This ends McArthur’s involvement as a board member, chair and president. He has been active in the association since its founding eight years ago. Mike was recently appointed as a judge with the Ontario Court of Justice in Guelph.“It has been a real privilege to lead this organization representing the wineries in Haldimand, Norfolk, and Elgin,” said McArthur. “It’s an exciting time for us as we continue to further the goal of becoming our own DVA appellation. The organization’s strategic goals are being realized and I have been glad to be a part of this sustained effort and achievement. The association is in a good place for the future.”The executive committee also consists of Dr. John Kelly, vice president; Ron Barr, treasurer, and Kim Ludwig, secretary. Elected to the board were: Karen Matthews, Burning Kiln Winery; Kim Ludwig, Wooden BearL; Dr. John Kelly; Richard Czerlau, Frisky and Gamble; Rob Gill, Villa Nova Estates Winery; and Shantel Bosgoed, Inasphere Winery.The board thanked Phil Ryan of Villa Nova Estates Winery, Joe Czerlau of Frisky and Gamble, Ryan Bosgoed of Inasphere and Mike McArthur of Burning Kiln Winery for their service and look forward to continuing working with them in their capacity on some of the many committees of the board.The board also recognized the following members that are continuing on for another year of office: Anita Buehner, Bonnieheath Estate Lavender and Winery; Andrew Shelswell, Golden Leaf Winery; Mat Vaughan, Hounds of Erie Winery; Phil Ryan, Villa Nova Estates Winery; and Ron Barr, Rush Creek Winery.In the fall of 2016, the association applied for Designated Viticulture Status (DVA) under the title, “Norfolk County,” which includes wineries in Haldimand, Norfolk, and Elgin. This application is currently under consideration by VQA Ontario. If passed, Norfolk County will become the newest DVA in Canada and would join Niagara, Prince Edward County, and Lake Erie North Shore as official appellations.
April 4, 2017, Woodstock, Ont – The Garlic Growers Association of Ontario held their Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Woodstock on April 1, 2017, where a new executive board was elected. The 2017-2018 board of directors includes: Joann Chechalk, president Peter McClusky, first vice president Steve Droog, second vice president Dan Hemstock, treasurer Norm de Groot, secretary Mark Wales, past president Bob Romaniuk, director Paul Smith, director Dean VanRaay, director Janice Wright, director For many years, the Garlic Growers Association of Ontario has had strong leadership in the hands of Mark Wales (past president,) executive members Warren Ham and Al Cowan, plus many more dedicated directors and members. "It has been a pleasure working on behalf of Garlic Growers Association of Ontario and I look forward to working with the newly elected board to help our members provide the best garlic in the world to our customers,” said Wales. “Thanks to all of the volunteers that I have worked with over the years to keep our industry strong." "I want to thank Mark and the other directors of the association for their years of dedicated efforts to raising the awareness to Ontario garlic and for representing our industry so well,” said Joann Chechalk, new GGAO president. “I know the new board of directors will continue to look for their input on the new directions of the association. There is lot of work to be done, but the new board is energized and ready for the challenge. We're ready to work together to make Ontario garlic a staple in all homes across the province." Much has happened since the association was formed and, like many agricultural organizations, Ontario garlic has weathered a number of significant challenges. Members made it clear at the annual meeting that they are ready for a renewed commitment to address these challenges as well as to grow the awareness of the quality of Ontario garlic to consumers, and to provide practical support and educational opportunities to grower members. Compared to imports, more and more consumers are recognizing the superior quality of garlic grown in Ontario as evidenced by the steadily growing demand for this locally grown, fresh and healthy food staple.
April 3, 2017, Ottawa, Ont – The Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) recently presented its new president and board of Directors for 2017-2018. CHC’s board of directors appointed Alvin Keenan, of Prince Edward Island, as president for the 2017-2018 term. Keenan started working with CHC in 1983. Since that time, he has advocated on a wide range of issues, including trade and marketing, labour, and crop protection. He currently operates Rollo Bay Potatoes with his brother, Ray, and their families. They are dedicated to quality, care for the environment, and incorporating the newest and most innovative technology into their operations. Alvin inherits the presidency from Keith Kuhl, who held the position from 2013-2017. Several new members were appointed to CHC’s board of directors for the 2017-2018 term. The full listing of board members for 2017-2018 is as follows: President – Alvin Keenan Past President – Keith Kuhl British Columbia Bar Hayre (second vice-president) Fred Steele Prairies Beth Connery Robert Purton Ontario Brian Gilroy (first vice-president) Adrian Huisman Quebec Stéphanie Levasseur Jocelyn St-Denis Maritimes Peter Swetnam Andrew Lovell The CHC and its members is looking forward to continued success working with Alvin Keenan and its new board of directors.
March 27, 2017, Winnipeg, Man – Keith Kuhl, outgoing president of the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC), recently presented Gary Linkletter with the 2017 Doug Connery Award for leadership excellence during CHC’s annual general meeting in Winnipeg, Man. Linkletter is a seventh-generation potato farmer from Prince Edward Island who has been advocating for the potato industry at a national level for many years. He provided important grassroots feedback on the fresh pack industry as CHC worked with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on harmonizing packaging and grade regulations with the U.S. He was also involved in the committee looking at harmonization of maximum residue limits (MRLs) for potato crop protectants between Canada and the U.S. Linkletter has been a dedicated and active committee participant and has contributed to making regulations for the Canadian horticultural industry more effective. He has participated in Canada-U.S. Potato Committee meetings for several years, and his calm and knowledgeable perspective is well respected by grower and industry representatives on both sides of the border. The Doug Connery award was created in 2012 in honour of the late Doug Connery, a past president and driving force behind CHC who suffered an untimely passing in 2011. CHC was honoured that Paulette Connery, Doug’s widow, was in the audience and helped to present the award that bears his name.
June 19, 2017, Fredericton, NB – The development of the wild blueberry sector has been identified as a significant growth opportunity in New Brunswick’s economic development plan. “The time is ripe to realize the full potential of this sector,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet. “Your government is committed to working with industry stakeholders to make the most of this exciting opportunity.” Wild blueberry production has more than tripled over the past decade. The expansion of the sector was identified as a key opportunity for development in the New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan, the government’s framework for growing the economy and creating jobs for New Brunswickers. “With the optimal climate, geography and land availability for wild blueberry development, the sector has huge potential for growth,” said Doucet. Six components have been identified as necessary to help the industry prosper in New Brunswick: Diversification of markets to find new global buyers. Identification of value-added opportunities. Increased production to meet future value-added demands. Increased storage capacity to stabilize inventory. Expanded consumption within the province via the Local Food and Beverage Strategy. Opportunities for capital investment from the private sector. There are 39,000 acres, both private and Crown land, currently under production in multiple locations and at various stages across the province, from the Acadian Peninsula to Charlotte County. The wild blueberry industry currently supports an estimated 440 jobs. The government recognizes that First Nations communities have an interest in becoming more involved in the industry, and is working with those communities to ensure that they have opportunities to participate. More than 300 farm families are involved in the province’s wild blueberry industry. New Brunswick accounts for 25 per cent of Canada’s overall production.
June 13, 2017, Wolfville, N.S. – Nova Scotia plays host to the National Wine Awards of Canada (NWAC) from June 15 to 19, 2017 in the Annapolis Valley.Twenty-two talented wine tasters will be arriving in Wolfville from seven Canadian provinces as well as London, England to pick the winners from among 1700 wines and ciders made in Canada.“Nova Scotia hosted these awards back in 2011, and while that is only a short number of years ago, our industry has developed greatly,” says Gillian Mainguy, executive director of the Winery Association of Nova Scotia. “We are particularly pleased that the awards fall on the heels of the Atlantic Canada Wine Symposium. Together the events present a fantastic opportunity to showcase what we do best in Nova Scotia.”“There has been great deal of energy emanating from the Nova Scotia wine industry in recent years,” says WineAlign VP David Lawrason, co-head judge of the National Wine Awards. “It is much like the energy within the sparkling wines and Tidal Bay whites that are now defining the region. Every one of our judges can’t wait for our time in Nova Scotia to tap into that vibe and experience some Atlantic hospitality.”
May 4, 2017, Niagara Falls, Ont. - More than 750 wine and food lovers celebrated excellence in Ontario VQA winemaking on March 24 at the annual Cuvée Grand Tasting.The event, held at the Scotiabank Convention Centre, was organized by Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI). The proceeds help fund academic scholarships and research focused on priorities of the grape and wine industry.Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Gerald Klose was honoured with the Cuvée Vineyard of Excellence Award that evening, which is presented by BASF Canada Inc. and recognizes a grape grower who promotes excellence in vineyard practices.Klose was selected by an expert panel for maintaining a high level of quality in his Chardonnay vineyard.The Tony Aspler Cuvée Award of Excellence, honouring those who further the aims and aspirations of Ontario’s wine industry, was presented to award-winning wine journalist Ian D’Agata. He was recognized as a “great ambassador for Ontario wines on the world stage.”The VQA Promoters Awards, which recognize individuals who support VQA wines through promotion or education, were also announced at Cuvée and given out April 19 at CCOVI’s Experts Tasting.The 2017 winners are:Lifetime Achievement: Roberto Martella, owner of Toronto’s Grano Italian restaurant, for routinely promoting VQA wines in his establishment.Education: Barb Tatarnic, manager of Continuing Education and Outreach at CCOVI, for her commitment to advancing wine education over the past two decades.LCBO: Melissa McFadden, customer service representative in Owen Sound, for her comprehensive product knowledge and eagerness to promote VQA wines.Media: Angela Aiello, founder and editor of Toronto’s iYellowWineclub.com and editor at Chloe magazine, for vibrantly promoting VQA Ontario in countless print, television and radio appearances.Hospitality: Mike Fish, sommelier and owner of London restaurant Glassroots, for 10 years of promoting VQA wines and for hosting London’s only all-Canadian wine list.Retail: Brian Hanna, sommelier at Prince Edward County’s Huff Estates Winery, for sharing his deep knowledge about Ontario wines in a way that educates, promotes sales and enriches the lives of those around him.To further student engagement, long-time Cuvée Education Advocate sponsor BASF Canada Inc. also sent the 20 top oenology and viticulture students from Brock University and Niagara College to the event.“As the Cuvée Education Advocate, BASF is thrilled to provide an opportunity for some of Brock University and Niagara College’s best oenology and viticulture students to network with future employers, colleagues or even customers at the Grand Tasting event,” said Scott Hodgins, BASF Crop Manager (Horticulture, Professional & Specialty Solutions), on the importance of providing the valuable learning opportunity for students every year. “The development of the Canadian wine industry has been built on innovation, and we continue to support the new innovations that these students and others will bring to drive the industry forward.”When reflecting on what the experience meant to her, Alexandra Gunn, a third year OEVI student at Brock University, said: “It is an incredible honour to represent Brock as a top Oenology and Viticulture student within the program — an opportunity I wouldn’t have been able to experience without the generous support of BASF.”Second-year Niagara College Wine and Viticulture student Amelia Keating-Isaksen said she was “pleased to go to Cuvée because of the known prestige of the event, as well as the connections and people attending.”Brock University’s second year student Catherine Cahill summed it up by saying: “Being acknowledged affirms my hard work, dedication and passion for Oenology and Viticulture. Receiving such an incredible opportunity encourages me to continue to work hard towards my dreams.”Visit cuvee.ca for emerging details and dates for Cuvée 2018.
April 19, 2017, Peterborough, Ont. - The Greenbelt Fund has announced plans to fund 24 local food projects, aimed at ncreasing access to local food across Ontario, made possible with funding from the Government of Ontario.The Ontario Government will be investing over $830,000 in 24 innovative projects. These projects include:Earth Fresh Farms - Increasing Access for Ontario's New Innovative White Potato ($42,900)Earth Fresh Farms will work with 9 Ontario growers to grow premium Polar White potatoes and extend the season for Ontario white potatoes. The project is expected to increase the market for Polar White, Ontario potatoes significantly, with increased sales of well over $1m a year.Bayfield Berry Farm - Increasing Processing of Ontario Fruit Juices, Cider, Preserves & Fruit Liqueurs ($37,250)Bayfield Berry Farm will expand their on-farm processing facility to meet growing demand for fruit juices, ciders, preserves and fruit liqueurs. The expansion will allow Bayfield Berry Farm to develop packaging and labelling, including requisite nutritional information, to sell their products to wholesale and retail markets, in addition to their on-farm shop. The project is expected to increase sales by up to 50% in their first year.Cauldron Kitchen Inc. - Local Food Entrepreneurship Program ($5,000)Cauldron Kitchen will launch a Local Food Entrepreneurship Program for 4-8 participants to build the skills to create a viable local food business. Participants will have access to business development classes, mentoring and commercial kitchen use.Cohn Farms Processing and Distribution Hub ($72,500)Cohn Farms will be scaling up capacity at its processing and distribution hub to meet growing demand for local food, which is outpacing supply. The project is expected to double the number of farms supplying Cohn Farms to 25-30, create over 15 full-time equivalent jobs, and increase sales of local food by over $4m per year.Deep Roots Food Hub Grow West Carleton – Food Hub ($48,500)Deep Roots Food Hub will increase access to local produce by investing in a new co-packing approach for its roots cellar, providing storage, distribution and marketing opportunities to area farmers. In addition, the project will expand the Good Food Box program and include an "Eat West Carleton" promotional campaign.Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario - Supporting Local Food Market Access for Ecological Growers Across Ontario ($14,475)The Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario will increase market access for small to mid-scale ecological producers by providing specialized training through workshops and farm tours, including selling to new markets (eg. Food hubs, retail, wholesale, farmers markets), on-farm value-added opportunities, and new and emerging markets (eg. World crops, heritage grains, ecological fruit).Farmersville Community Abattoir – Processing Equipment ($30,141)Farmersville Community Abattoir is a new, not-for-profit initiative to establish a community-owned abattoir to meet the needs of the farming communities in Leeds and Grenville, Frontenac, Lanark and Ottawa-Carleton. By establishing a community-owned facility, Farmersville Community Abattoir will help ensure the long-term viability of the agricultural system in Eastern Ontario for 1,300 farmers in the region and increase local food sales by $240,000.Farms at Work – Tides Canada Initiatives Expanding Impact and Sustainability of Local Food Month in Peterborough ($15,000)Farms at Work will expand the impact and improve the sustainability of Peterborough Local Food Month, by working in partnership with Transition Town Peterborough to facilitate local food-related workshops, events and tours throughout September and culminating in the Purple Onion Festival.Flanagan Foodservice Homegrown – Local Food Project ($42,840)Flanagan Foodservice is Canada's largest family-owned foodservice distributor and will increase sales of Ontario foods by increasing its local food offerings, improving traceability, and investing in a promotional campaign to improve awareness of Ontario food available to its customers. The project is expected to increase local food sales by $1 million in 2017.Greenhouses Canada - Northern Ontario Mobile Growing Facility ($52,283)Greenhouses Canada will purchase a mobile "grow truck" to serve as an indoor demonstration and training site, and allow for transportation of fresh produce to remote northern communities (including on seasonal ice roads). The project is expected to increase local food sales by $117,000.Halton Healthcare Good For You, Locally Grown – Phase 2 ($51,500)Halton Healthcare will build on the progress made to increase local food served in its hospitals by working with farmers, manufacturers and other industry colleagues to develop recipes using Ontario food that meet the nutritional needs of patients. The project will also establish branding to identify local food choices to patients, as well as a marketing campaign to promote the local food offerings at Halton Healthcare facilities.Len & Patti's Butcher Block - Improved Production Efficiency to Increase Ontario Raised Pork, Beef, Lamb, Elk & Goat ($46,438)To meet growing demand for Ontario raised meats, Len & Patti's Butcher Block will invest in modernized machinery to increase production capacity. The project will include a new smoke house, tumbler, sausage stuffer, and patty machine. The increase in production capacity is expected to increase the sale of local meat by $2.5 million by the end of 2017.Local Line Inc. - Local Line Food Hub Project ($28,316)Local Line will build custom local food hub software for Ontario food hubs, based on a market assessment of the needs of Ontario's existing food hubs. The platform will leverage existing Local Line marketplace and reporting software to create easy-to-use software for new and established local food hubs.Munye Kitchens Increasing Local Food Outreach – Multi-Ethnic African Communities & Beyond ($23,495)Munye Kitchens will create a local food guide for multi-ethnic African communities to increase awareness of locally-grown foods relevant to the African communities and identify where Ontario-grown produce can be purchased. The project will also educate consumers on how to use African crops like okra and callaloo, grown in Ontario and the Greenbelt.Muskoka Foundry Market - Assessment for the Development of a Local Food Hub ($30,000)Muskoka Foundry will establish a new aggregated local food hub in Northern Ontario in Bracebridge's historic Foundry building. The space will include 10 permanent retail spots for agri-food processors, and provide mentorship opportunities for new processors and producers through an additional 10-15 temporary vendor stalls. The project is expected to increase local food sales by $1.5m per year.National Farmers Union – Ontario Building a Network of Local Food Advocates ($32,675)The National Farmers Union – Ontario will enhance local food literacy across the province by building a network of local food advocates across a number of sectors, including educators, healthcare providers, faith communities, artists, academics, outdoors professionals, and youth. The NFU will create tailored local food information material for the different advocates and create a directory of local food advocates.Neyaashiing Smoked Fish - Increasing Access for Local Neyaashiing Smoked Fish Products ($13,250)Neyaashiing Smoked Fish will invest in upgrades to its smoking facility to improve food preparation, food safety and production output. This will allow Neyaashiing Smoked Fish to increase access to new markets for smoked fish sourced and processed in First Nations communities, both through retail and wholesale market channels.Poechman Family Farms - Microgreens for Pastured Eggs ($38,100)Poechman Family Farms will invest in significant changes to its barn to improve quality of life for its hens as well as quality and flavour of its eggs, meeting consumer demand for humane eggs. The project will involve the introduction of a new perch for the hens, and specially grown greenhouse microgreens for the hens' diet. The pilot will allow Poechman Family Farms to share learnings with other egg farmers in the Organic Meadows Co-Operative and the Yorkshire Valley Farms distribution family.Reiche Meat Products Ltd. - Growing Opportunities for Local Poultry ($14,550)Reiche Meat Products will meet a significant gap in the agricultural system in Renfrew County by establishing poultry processing facilities, which are currently not available in the county. The availability of an abattoir in the county will allow existing small-scale poultry farms to scale up and meet growing demand for local poultry at farmers' markets and in stores. The project is expected to increase local food sales by $100,000 and bring 20 new farmers to market.Select Food Products - Implementation of New Cooking Line to Increase Production Capabilities and Access the Ontario Market ($75,000)Select Food Products has made a significant investment in a new cooking and production line in order to deliver a made-in-Ontario with Ontario ingredients French's Ketchup. The project will nearly triple production capacity for Select and help French's to execute on its commitment to make and source ketchup in Canada.Victorian Order of Nurses – Windsor Essex Promoting Local Food Literacy & Increasing Local Food Consumption in Southwestern Ontario Schools ($18,988)The Victorian Order of Nurses delivers school breakfast and snack programs that feed over 100,000 students every year. This project will develop local food literacy awareness materials for students and parents, to accompany increased local food served through these programs.Wendy's Mobile Market - Season-Extension, Value-Adding Processing and Services ($71,538)Wendy's Mobile Market will retrofit a cow barn into a local food processing and storage facility to offer season-extending and value-added processing to local farmers. The facility will create new processed products including jams, jellies, preserves, dried fruit, and frozen entrees.West Niagara Agricultural Society - Niagara 4-H Local Food Booth ($14,463)West Niagara Agricultural Society will partner with Niagara 4-H to purchase a road-worthy trailer for the volunteers of the 4-H club to bring to food and agricultural events throughout the region. The trailer will allow the 4-H to introduce their local food products to urban and near-urban students who might not otherwise be exposed to local food offerings.Wickens Lake Sunshine Greenhouse Retrofit Extension – Northern Ontario ($9,942)Wickens Lake Sunshine will invest in a retrofit and extension of its existing hydroponics greenhouse to extend the farms' growing season and increase capacity. Once the upgrades are complete, Wickens Lake Sunshine will partner with Open Roads Public School and the Cloverbelt Local Food Co-Op to supply produce for the school's salad bar program, bringing more local, nutritious food to students.READ MORE
March 8, 2017, Victoria, BC – British Columbia’s value-added food companies will increase their chances of having their products sold outside of Canada by participating in a Government of Canada- and British Columbia-funded program to help them meet international food safety and traceability requirements. The approximately $2-million Post-Farm Food Safety and Traceability Program will offer participants up to $35,000 to: conduct food safety and traceability assessments to identify and document risks, issues and opportunities to improve food safety and traceability capacity, systems and practices; access training to increase the food safety and traceability expertise of their staff; and implement Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), Best Practices (BPs) and recognized Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) food safety practices and traceability systems in their operations. The two-year program will improve agrifood businesses’ capacity to address current issues and to meet emerging national and international food safety and traceability requirements. It is being delivered by the Food Processing Human Resources Council and is cost-shared with participants. Application forms, guidelines and related documents are available at: http://postfarmfoodsafety.com/home/ . The program targets B.C. food-processing businesses seeking first-time certification in internationally recognized HACCP-based food safety assurance programs. Additionally, the program targets B.C. companies that use recognized food safety and traceability standards, implement food safety and traceability systems, effectively manage food safety risk, and create opportunities to access new markets and increase sales. For additional information and applications for the new program, visit: http://postfarmfoodsafety.com/home/ .
June 23, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. - The decisions we make as individuals and as a country about food have a direct impact on our health, environment, economy, and communities. Today, over 250 participants, with diverse expertise on food issues, are wrapping up a unique two-day Summit in Ottawa, marking an important step in the development of A Food Policy for Canada.Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Lawrence MacAulay, along with Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Yvonne Jones, and Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development (Housing and Urban Affairs), spoke to participants this morning, on the second day of the Summit. The Minister and Parliamentary Secretaries highlighted the importance of hearing from Canadians, including experts and key stakeholders, in developing a food policy. A Food Policy for Canada will be the first-of-its-kind for the Government of Canada and will cover the entire food system, from farm-to-fork.Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Jean-Claude Poissant, and on behalf of Minister of Health, Greg Fergus, Member of Parliament for Hull-Aylmer, were on hand on the first day of the Summit to welcome participants from across the country.Participants at the Summit included representatives from community organizations, academics, Indigenous groups, industry, stakeholders, and officials from all orders of government, who added their voices and contributed to discussions on a broad range of food-related challenges and opportunities in areas related to:• increasing access to affordable food;• improving health and food safety;• conserving our soil, water, and air; and• growing more high-quality food.The Government of Canada wants to hear from Canadians about what is important to them when it comes to food opportunities and challenges. Online consultations were recently launched at www.canada.ca/food-policy and remain open until July 27, 2017. Engagement on the development of the policy will continue throughout the summer and fall.
May 31, 2017, Toronto, Ont. - Food matters. Canadians make choices every day about food that directly impacts their health, environment, and communities. The Government of Canada is committed to helping put more affordable, safe, healthy, food on tables across the country, while protecting the environment.Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Lawrence MacAulay, announced today that the Government of Canada is launching consultations to support the development of A Food Policy for Canada. An online survey is now open at www.canada.ca/food-policy and Canadians are encouraged to share their input to help shape a food policy that will cover the entire food system, from farm to fork. Canadians can share their views on four major themes Increasing access to affordable food; Improving health and food safety; Conserving our soil, water, and air; and Growing more high-quality food. A Food Policy for Canada will be the first-of-its-kind for the Government of Canada, and is a new step in the government’s mandate to taking a collaborative and broad-based approach to addressing food-related issues in Canada.The online consultation is the first of a number of engagement activities planned with a wide range of participants to inform the development of a food policy. Feedback from the consultations will provide the federal government with a better understanding of Canadians’ priorities when it comes to food-related issues. The results will help inform key elements of a food policy, including a long-term vision and identifying actions to take in the near term.
May 29, 2017, Ontario - A ban on fresh cherries from Ontario shouldn’t affect Canadian exporters or U.S. consumers.The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued the ban on May 23, citing “multiple detections” of the European cherry fruit fly. Host plants for the pest are cherry trees and honeysuckle vines.Canada exports 3.3 million pounds of cherries to the U.S., most of them to eastern states, according to Statistics Canada. New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania take 1.4 million pounds; Michigan imports 600,000 pounds of fresh cherries from Canada. READ MORE
May 26, 2017, Ontario - The U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is banning imports of fresh cherries from Ontario, following “multiple detections” of the European cherry fruit fly.The May 23 U.S. Department of Agriculture-APHIS order applies to commercial and non-commercial imports. Black, mahaleb, sour and sweet cherries are included in the ban. Wild honeysuckle, the fly’s other host plant, also is banned.Restrictions for Ontario cherries will be in effect until the pest is eradicated from the province, APHIS legislative public affairs specialist Yindra Dixon said.The pest has not been found in the U.S., but it could establish populations in northern regions of the U.S., Dixon said.“The climatic tolerance and available hosts of this fruit fly would allow (it) to establish in the United States if introduced from Canada,” Dixon said. “This fruit fly is a serious economic pest of commercial cherries in Europe, where imports of cherries are also restricted.”On Feb. 4, 2016, USDA identified a fruit fly photographed in Mississauga, Ontario, as likely a European cherry fruit fly. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) began surveys for the pest in Ontario in April 2016. In June 2016, one of the flies was found on honeysuckle in southeastern Ontario. READ MORE
May 12, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. - Canada’s farmers and processors need the federal government’s help to navigate the increasingly complex labyrinth of international trade to ensure they have access to the foreign markets they depend on, according to a report released Tuesday by the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry.The committee met with over 500 witnesses and other stakeholders from across the country to examine international market access priorities for Canadian farmers and processors — a key contributor to the Canadian economy — to understand the challenges they face when exporting their products and to identify possible solutions to facilitate and encourage international market access.The committee’s report, Market Access: Giving Canadian Farmers and Processors the World, outlines ways to ensure Canadian products get to shelves around the world.World-renowned products like Quebec maple syrup, Alberta beef, blueberries from Atlantic Canada, Okanagan and Niagara wines, and canola from the Prairies all reinforce the Canada Brand.The committee sees the Canada Brand as crucial to positioning Canadian products on the international stage.The committee makes 18 recommendations in its report, including: That the federal government eliminate non-tariff barriers to trade and pursue free trade agreements with other countries. That all levels of government work together to eliminate interprovincial trade barriers and invest in rail, road and marine infrastructure to guarantee that Canadian producers and processors are able to efficiently transport their products to consumers. That the federal government improve access to infrastructure grants for farmers and food producers who want to invest in new technologies, and that Employment and Social Development Canada and Immigration and Citizenship Canada create programs that help farmers hire foreign workers to address labour shortages. Adopting the committee’s recommendations will help the government ensure that the Canadian agriculture sector continues to thrive.
May 10, 2017, United States - A key U.S. potato industry organization is asking the Trump administration to address its concerns in upcoming negotiations.The U.S. National Potato Council (NPC) is calling for action in any upcoming NAFTA renegotiations.In a letter to President Donald Trump, John Keeling, NPC’s CEO, said the group “... is strongly supportive of improving the conditions for trade that we confront with Canada and Mexico.”He also noted that the two countries represent important markets for U.S. producers. Canada is the second-largest export market with annual sales of US$315 million or 17.8 per cent of U.S. exports. Mexico comes in third with annual sales of US$253 annual, equalling 14.3 per cent of annual U.S. exports. READ MORE
February 8, 2017, Ottawa, Ont – Effective April 1, 2017 CanadaGAP will introduce an unannounced audit program in response to new GFSI benchmarking requirements.What is an unannounced audit? Unannounced audits will not be scheduled in advance with the producer. The certification body will provide two to five business days' notice that the auditor is coming. An unannounced audit will take place instead of a scheduled audit (NOT additional to a scheduled audit). The producer will pay the regular audit fee for the unannounced audit. Only if needed, the certification body or auditor may contact you ahead of time (e.g., early in the season) To confirm the scope of your operation's certification To confirm in general when certain activities are occurring (e.g., harvesting, packing, shipping, etc.) NOT to identify a specific time for the audit. When will unannounced audits occur? Like all CanadaGAP audits, unannounced audits must occur while activities relevant to the scope of your operation's certification are occurring. You cannot block off "busy periods" like harvesting or shipping. Unannounced audits can occur during periods of high activity. Be audit-ready You can refuse the first notification, for valid reasons as determined by the certification body. You cannot refuse the second notification. Not responding to the notification (phone or email) from the certification body or auditor will be considered an ACCEPTED notification. If you are not prepared to proceed with the audit when the auditor arrives, you will still be charged for the cost of the auditor's time and travel. If possible, the auditor will return for another unannounced audit during the current season. Note that it may be impossible for the auditor to return during the current season due to scheduling demands. In other words, not being prepared for the unannounced audit could put your operation's certification in jeopardy. Who will be chosen for an unannounced audit? The new unannounced audit program will be for those enrolled in CanadaGAP certification Options A1, A2, C and D. The certification body will choose five per cent of its clients each year. Over time, all individually certified companies will have an unannounced audit. Those enrolled in group certification Option B already have an unannounced component to their option. Option A3 will also see the introduction of an unannounced component in 2017. What about random audits? If you are enrolled in CanadaGAP certification Option A1 or A2 (four-year audit cycle) 1) there is no change to your four-year audit cycle, and 2) there is no change to the way that random audits work. You would still be informed in advance if you've been randomly selected for an audit. However, you may not be told the exact date of your audit. It could be an unannounced audit. Likewise, if you already expect to be audited this year (because you are due for an audit in your four-year cycle), this audit could be unannounced. "Unannounced" means you won't know more than two to five business days in advance of the date of your audit. You will still know in advance that you are having an audit sometime this year. "Although certification options A1, A2 and A3 are not GFSI-recognized, the CanAgPlus board has chosen to include all certification options in the unannounced audit programme to improve the overall rigour of CanadaGAP certification," explained Heather Gale, executive director for CanadaGAP. Why are unannounced audits being introduced? To meet new GFSI requirements To respond to market signals To ensure that producers are maintaining their program on a continuing basis "We need to be ready to demonstrate to our customers that CanadaGAP-certified companies can meet program requirements at any time," commented Jack Bates, chair of the CanAgPlus board.A presentation outlining the new unannounced audit program is available on the CanadaGAP website at: http://www.canadagap.ca/publications/canadagap-presentations/.
“Vineland is scouting the world for new fresh grape varieties suited to the Canadian climate with consumer appeal.”
November 1, 2016, Ottawa, Ont – The Canadian government recently announced it has secured market access for Alberta seed potatoes to Thailand. Effective immediately, Alberta becomes the third province to have an export agreement with Thailand, joining Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, both of which secured export agreements in 2009. Combined, these three provinces form about 76 per cent of Canada’s seed potato exports. Alberta’s seed potato exports to Thailand could be worth up to $2 million annually, according to industry experts, adding to the $5 million on average exported annually to that country. The increased access will advance the competitiveness of, and create new opportunities for, the seed potato sector. “The Potato Growers of Alberta are pleased to have worked with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry to profile our seed industry to Thailand officials and to receive approval to export seed to their country,” said Deb Hart, seed potato coordinator with the Potato Growers of Alberta. “Alberta has a very innovative and progressive seed potato industry and is looking forward to the opportunity to grow low virus, high quality seed varieties requested by the Thai potato industry.”
September 27, 2016, Charlottetown, PEI – Greg Donald is upbeat discussing the upcoming harvest, until talk turns to potato tampering. Donald, the general manager of the P.E.I. Potato Board, would rather the topic get buried like, well, a needle in a haystack. READ MORE
August 22, 2016, Alliston, Ont – The 2016 Ontario Potato Field Day, hosted on August 18 by HJV Equipment in Alliston, was a very successful event. Approximately 250 growers, crop consultants and potato-industry personnel gathered in a friendly atmosphere to see the latest potato equipment, new potato varieties and the trade show. Potato growers from Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Quebec also attended the event. More than 100 new potato varieties were on display, including for the fresh, processing and specialty markets. For the fresh market, the variety Actrice (Real Potatoes) caught the attention of many growers because of its attractive tubers with smooth, shiny skin. Actrice is an early, yellow-fleshed variety that is very tasty. Primabelle and Panamera (HZPC Americas) are two yellow-fleshed varieties that got good reviews from potato growers. Among the russet potatoes for the French fry market, Alta Strong (Real Potatoes) and Pomerelle Russet (Pommes de Terre Laurentiennes) were well rated by growers. There was interest in Kalmia (La Patate Lac Saint-Jean) a white-fleshed, fresh-market variety that could also be used as a French fryer. Double Fun (HZPC Americas) had the nicest skin among the purple-fleshed varieties. It also has very good culinary traits. Among the trade show exhibitors, the Quebec company Lab’eau-Air-Sol demonstrated the use of spore traps for foliar diseases of vegetables. Douglas Ag Services provided the latest information on chloropicrin application to control soil-borne diseases. Displays by Gorman Controls (PEI) and GRB Ag Technologies (Ontario) focused on storage management. Potato growers attend this important annual event to obtain practical, up-to-date information on varieties and the latest potato production technology. It is also a chance for growers to meet in a friendly, informal setting to discuss problems.
July 22, 2016, Smithville, Ont – There is a delicate balance in nature between predator and prey. There are many natural pests, for example, that can threaten an orchard of fruit crops, but also many predators that can help keep those pests at bay. But what if the species helping to manage pest populations themselves become at risk? That’s where on-farm protection of species at risk by farmers and landowners and the Species at Risk Farm Incentive Program (SARFIP) come in. SARFIP, delivered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) provides cost-share funding for farmers to implement best management practices that help protect essential habitats of species at risk located on-farm. The range of possible activities under the program applies to orchards, croplands, grasslands, stream banks, shorelines, wetlands, and woodlands. Peter and Mary Bosman of Lincoln Line Orchards, a family-run fruit farm in the Niagara Peninsula, try to work with nature as much as possible to keep their trees healthy. They grow 15 apple and five pear varieties on their 65-acre orchard, as well as some peaches and plums, with about 80 per cent of their fruit being retailed through their on-farm store outside of Smithville. A partnership with FoodShare gets their small pears into approximately 250 Toronto schools through a snack program. Last year, the Bosmans accessed cost-share funding through SARFIP to install bat boxes throughout their orchards as a way of providing habitats for the little brown bat, an endangered bat species in Ontario. Bats are essential for maintaining healthy ecosystems as they eat a lot of insects, including farm pests, and little brown bats are one of only two bat species in Ontario that are known to use human structures, such as barns, attics and abandoned buildings, as summer maternity colony habitats. Bat populations are declining around the world, including Ontario, often because of disappearing habitat. In Ontario, bats also face challenges from a disease called White Nose Syndrome (a fungus that thrives in cold, humid environments) which disrupts bats’ hibernation cycles, burning up essential body fat supplies before the spring when they can begin foraging again. “We’re not sure how many there are in the area currently, but we hope we can attract them by giving them habitats in our orchards,” explains Peter. “Bats hunt insects and moths and if we can increase the bat population, they’ll help us with natural insect control in the orchard.” Four bat boxes have been installed atop long poles throughout the orchard. Each box can hold up to 600 bats, and all are close to water sources – either the farm’s ponds or Twenty Creek, which flows through the property. To be eligible for SARFIP cost-share opportunities, Ontario farm businesses have to complete a third or fourth edition Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) workshop and have a verified complete Action Plan, as well as implement at least one SARFIP-eligible best management practice directly related to an action identified in their EFP Action Plan. The Bosmans have previously completed projects through cost share programs delivered by OSCIA, as well as with Niagara Conservation, and are appreciative of funding programs like SARFIP to support on-farm improvements. “We have six children on our family farm and our grandson is the fifth generation, so we try to do what we can to be natural and support nature,” says Bosman.
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Alberta Potato Industry Association Burgers & BeansWed Jul 05, 2017 @ 4:00PM - 08:00PM
2017 Potato Growers of Alberta Golf TournamentThu Jul 06, 2017 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
Dead Weeds TourWed Jul 12, 2017 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
18th Annual Enology & Viticulture Conference & Trade ShowMon Jul 17, 2017 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM