Associations
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.
March 27, 2017, Churchbridge, Sask – Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers’ (OYF) program is once again offering two $1,000 scholarships to Canadian agriculture students. Applications for the 2017 awards will be accepted until June 30, 2017.

The OYF Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to one individual entering post-secondary education from high school, and one individual who has already completed at least one year of post-secondary study. Applicants must be pursuing a diploma or degree in agriculture.

The late Martin Streef, OYF alumnus, established this scholarship program to help future generations of Canadians pursue their passion for agriculture. Streef was the 1997 winner of both Ontario’s and Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers and president of Streef Produce Ltd, a family-run fresh fruit and vegetable business in Woodstock, Ontario.

Scholarship application forms are available here.

Celebrating 37 years, Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers’ program is an annual competition to recognize farmers that exemplify excellence in their profession and promote the tremendous contribution of agriculture. Open to participants 18 to 39 years of age, making the majority of income from on-farm sources, participants are selected from seven regions across Canada, with two national winners chosen each year. The program is sponsored nationally by CIBC, John Deere, Bayer, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through Growing Forward 2, a federal, provincial and territorial initiative. The national media sponsor is Annex Business Media, and the program is supported nationally by AdFarm, BDO and Farm Management Canada.
March 3, 2017, London, Ont – Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Jeff Leal, has appointed Elmer Buchanan, a farmer and former provincial ag minister, as trustee of the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers’ (OPVG) board.

“I have been closely monitoring the 2017 contract negotiations between Ontario's tomato growers and processors and was recently informed by growers, processors and the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission (OFPMC) that negotiations have reached an impasse, jeopardizing this year's crop season,” Leal said in a written public statement. “Risking this year's tomato crop, and the thousands of jobs that support it, is something I am not prepared to do.”

According to Minister Leal, Buchanan will temporarily assume the powers of the OPVG board to negotiate 2017 contracts, until elections for a new OPVG board can be held, preferably before Dec. 31, 2017.

In a letter to the OPVG board dated March 3, 2017, OMAFRA Deputy Minister Greg Meredith explained that the government of Ontario was forced to take immediate action by making a regulation under the Farm Products Marketing Act.

“This regulation is now in force and has the effect of terminating the terms of office of the members of OPVG holding office immediately before the regulation came into force and terminating the terms of office of the members of each district vegetable growers’ committee holding office immediately before the regulation came into force,” Meredith stated in the letter addressed to "Negotiating Agency Members."

“This was a difficult decision to make; however it was felt that action was needed to respond to what the government had heard from the OPVG itself, the [OFPMC] and industry stakeholders about the deteriorating state of negotiations and the need to ensure that negotiations continue so that contracts are in place for the 2017 processing vegetable crop.”

The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Processors’ Association (OFVPA) sent out a press release March 3, 2017, supporting the provincial government’s announcement.

“Working with our grower partners, we believe there is an excellent opportunity for improvement that will benefit the whole value chain,” said Steve Lamoure, president of the OFVPA. “We look forward to working jointly with the OPVG, their appointed trustee, and our grower partners in putting together the details of this progressive move.”
January 13, 2017, Toronto, Ont – Former Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) chair Brenda Lammens has been named the 2017 recipient of the organization’s Industry Award of Merit.
December 16, 2016, Ottawa, Ont – The annual general meeting of CanAgPlus, the corporation that owns and operates the CanadaGAP Program, was held Dec. 8, 2016, in Ottawa.

Members considered a number of resolutions submitted by the membership. One resolution was referred to the board of directors for further discussion and a report back to the 2017 AGM. Three resolutions were voted on and defeated.

CanadaGAP program participants elected four new directors to the CanAgPlus board:

The new board of directors met subsequent to the AGM and reappointed Jack Bates to the chair and Hugh Bowman as vice-chair.

"We're pleased to be working with a strong group of directors who have solid experience with the CanadaGAP program," stated Bates. "The board is made up of a good cross-section of representatives from various sectors of the industry."

Newly elected board members will serve a two-year term for 2017 and 2018.

The annual report presentation and copies of the report are available at: http://www.canadagap.ca/publications/annual-report/

Farm Credit Canada, the Grape Growers of Ontario and the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival are pleased to announce that Jamie Quai of Quai du Vin Estate Winery in St. Thomas, Ont., is the 2016 Grape King.

September 12, 2016, Guelph, Ont – Ontario’s two berry grower organizations are proposing to join forces and create one new organization.

The Ontario Berry Growers’ Association and the Ontario Highbush Blueberry Growers’ Association have received agreement from the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission (OFPMC) for conducting an expression of opinion vote among all eligible growers of blueberries, raspberries and strawberries in Ontario. Berry Growers of Ontario is the new name proposed.

“We’re planning Berry Growers of Ontario in order to help us growers earn better returns,” explained Jenn VanDeVelde, a berry grower and current director of the OBGA. “There are so many issues facing growers today that require a strengthened organization to effectively address on growers’ behalf.”

“The new organization will give us the structure and authorities we need to better serve growers,” stated Steve Kustermans, a blueberry grower and current chairperson for the Ontario Highbush Blueberry Growers’ Association. “A unified voice for all berry growers will enable us to better get government’s attention and resources to support our sector.”

The new organization is not seeking any authorities related to pricing or control of supply. It will be directing its efforts towards marketing and promotion, research and grower advocacy.

“Our budget will be lean and modest,” said VanDeVelde, “and will ensure that growers of each crop receive a fair allocation of resources towards that crop leading to more research, promotion and crop protection for every crop that we represent.”

The proposed board of directors of nine will be comprised of three growers of each of the three crops.

If growers vote in support of the proposal and subsequently the establishment of a new board is supported by the OFPMC and ultimately the Ontario Government, one of the key differences between Berry Growers of Ontario and the two existing organizations is that membership in the new organization will be mandatory rather than voluntary. Mandatory membership means that every grower of two or more acres of any combination of the three crops will be required to pay membership fees each year based on the number of bearing acres in production. This structure provides a fair and transparent way to fund the activities of the organization.

The OFPMC expects to conduct the vote in late October and early November. Producers must be entered in the OFPMC’s database in order to receive a mailed ballot. Growers that do not currently belong to one of the two existing organizations need to inform the FPMC analyst, Laurinda Lang, right away so that they receive a ballot. Laurinda can be reached during business hours by calling (519) 826-3242.

More information is available in the growers and members section of the OBGA website at http://ontarioberries.com/site/growers-and-members.html

June 22, 2016, Ottawa, Ont – CanadaGAP is now accepting nominations for candidates to serve on the board of directors for CanAgPlus, the corporation that owns and operates the CanadaGAP program.

CanAgPlus relies on volunteer leaders to guide decision making and oversee management of CanadaGAP. Participation on the board of directors affords volunteer leaders the opportunity for personal growth and satisfaction in moving the program forward and improving food safety in the fresh produce industry.

CanAgPlus directors are elected by members (i.e., those who are enrolled in the CanadaGAP program) at the annual general meeting, which will take place on December 8, 2016 in Ottawa, Ontario. See http://www.canadagap.ca/events/annual-general-meeting/ for further information.

CanAgPlus is currently seeking nominations for four directors to the board, constituted as follows:

  • Two directors who must be approved by the Canadian Horticulture Council (CHC); approval by CHC typically occurs after the CanAgPlus AGM once directors have been elected by members
  • One director who must be approved by the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA); approval by CPMA typically occurs after the CanAgPlus AGM once directors have been elected by members
  • One director who must be elected by members of CanAgPlus at its AGM

CanAgPlus will be responsible for submitting names to CHC and CPMA for approval, where necessary.

A recommended slate of nominees will be prepared in advance of the AGM for circulation to members, and presented for vote on December 8, 2016. In accordance with provisions in the corporate by-law, and subject to applicable rules of order during meetings of members, nominations may also be made by ordinary resolution at the AGM.

Candidates are expected to have a strong interest in the delivery, integrity and objectives of the CanadaGAP program. Criteria for service on the Board of Directors includes:

  • Exhibit ability communicate interpersonally, provide facilitative leadership, and enforce group discipline on board processes
  • Strong understanding and experience with the appropriate roles, group processes and corporate bylaws and policies that form systems of corporate governance
  • Demonstrated judgment and integrity in an oversight role

Consideration will be given to volunteers with experience serving on a not-for-profit board or governance committee or senior level experience working with other boards. Experience and skills in the following areas will be considered assets:

  • Good working knowledge of CanadaGAP – its functioning, goals, evolution, etc.
  • Familiarity with administrative and management processes, rather than technical knowledge
  • Personnel management experience
  • Financial management experience
  • Knowledge of international food safety context

Directors need not be CanadaGAP program participants.

Directors will serve a two-year term. The board meets twice a year in person, and holds conference calls as needed.

Those interested in serving on the board of directors must complete and submit the application form by August 31, 2016. Self-nominations are acceptable.

If you are not a member of CanAgPlus but interested in serving on the board, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 613-829-4711 206 to obtain a copy of the organization’s general operating by-law.

Visit www.canadagap.ca or call 613- 829-4711 for further information about CanadaGAP and its governance.

February 1, 2016, Kelowna, BC – After being re-elected as president of the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association, Fred Steele is not missing a beat in getting to work for the local agriculture industry.

Steele plans to continue his work with the BCFGA, pushing for an agriculture replant program among other priorities. READ MORE

February 1, 2016, Kelowna, BC – The B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association doesn’t want to see the genetically modified Arctic apple on grocery store shelves in Canada.

The group passed a resolution at its annual general meeting in Kelowna to ask the Canadian government to de-register the product. READ MORE

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