Provinces
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 15, 2017, Guelph, Ont – Ontario’s newest vegetable crop specialist, Travis Cranmer, joins the ministry from the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, where he worked on applied and molecular research in plant biology. With OMAFRA, he will work with vegetable crops including bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chives, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, leeks, onions, shallots and spinach.

In 2015, Carnmer graduated from the University of Guelph with a Master of Science in plant production systems.
 
During his studies, Cranmer coordinated complex research trials, conducted statistical analysis and interpreted data, providing team leadership to research assistants, technicians and students.
 
Cranmer grew up on a farm in Bright’s Grove propagating, growing and selling various vegetables including bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, chives, garlic, kale, leeks, onions, lettuce and spinach. He also spent time working at Degroot’s Nurseries as a specialist at plant, pest and pathogen identification as well as disease diagnosis from samples provided by clients.

In his spare time, Cranmer runs a woodworking business and sells many of his products online.

He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 519-826-4963.
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/ .
February 23, 2017, Victoria, BC – Due to an underwhelming response by users to register their wells, the province has extended its waiver of the application fee to December 31, 2017.

The new Water Sustainability Act took effect February 29, 2016 and includes licensing requirements for all non-domestic groundwater users. As a result, all wells used for irrigation and livestock watering must be registered. READ MORE
The B.C. tree fruit replant program is having a positive affect on the province’s fruit growing industry and has been so popular, the province’s Ministry of Agriculture has provided additional funds.
January 23, 2017, Victoria, BC — Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick says he will now attend a major conference of B.C. farmers Jan. 26 after earlier bailing on the event to attend a $5,000-a-plate Liberal Party fundraiser with Premier Christy Clark.

The flip-flop came hours after The Province reported exclusively that Letnick had cancelled on 9,000 farmers and ranchers attending the Pacific Agriculture Show in Abbotsford. READ MORE
January 18, 2017 – The U.S. government has launched a trade enforcement action against Canada at the World Trade Organization, stating that B.C.'s liquor regulations discriminate against the sale of U.S. wine.

U.S. Trade representative Michael Froman wrote in a recent news release the regulations breach Canada's WTO commitments by giving local B.C. wine an unfair advantage. READ MORE

 

With fall harvest at an end, the agricultural labour program that helps Ontario’s fruit and vegetable industry thrive is celebrating another successful growing season.

October 18, 2016, Centreville, NS – A new, hand-held device reminiscent of Star Trek's tricorder scanning device is telling Nova Scotian farmers when an apple is perfect for picking.

The results are already transforming the province's apple industry. READ MORE

August 2, 2016, Vancouver, BC – Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick has a battle on his hands.

Many B.C. winery owners are angry that he plans to change regulations to require all winery owners in the province to be members of the British Columbia Wine Authority (BCWA). READ MORE

July 19, 2016, Ottawa, Ont – The board of directors of the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) recently announced that Rebecca Lee has accepted the position of executive director.

Lee has significant experience in the industry. She obtained her bachelor in science/agriculture from McGill University, her masters in science from the University of Guelph and her doctorate from Wageningen University in The Netherlands.

Lee’s most recent position was as technical director with the North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO), where she also served as acting executive director. During her six years with NAPPO, she worked very closely with government, research and industry representatives from the three North American countries.

Prior to that, she worked as technical director with the Association of Colombian Flower Exporters, for whom she designed the Colombian Centre for Innovation in Floriculture. She then served as executive director of the centre for six years. These two positions provided Lee with extensive experience in dealing with government in Colombia.

Lee’s experience also includes consultancies in evaluation for organizations such as:

  • Colombian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture, IICA -Colombia
  • Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje, SENA, Colombia
  • Departamento Administrativo de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación, COLCIENCIAS (the “NSERC” of Colombia)
  • Canadian Embassy, Colombia (Research grants and Government of Canada Scholarships).
  • Ontario African Working Group, as evaluation assistant, Guelph, Canada
  • University of Guelph, as evaluation researcher, Guelph, Canada 

Lee has significant experience in developing strategic plans, working with staff and bringing diverse groups together to develop common goals.

She will be working part-time in August including connecting with CHC members and will be full-time with the council starting in September.

June 2, 2016, Guelph, Ont – Bayer has announced the launch of Priwen fungicide for control of powdery mildew in Canadian wine grapes.

“At Bayer, we are dedicated to pursuing new tools that address specific needs for growers,” said Jon Weinmaster, portfolio manager for horticulture, at Bayer CropScience Inc. “As the only Group 5 fungicide available for wine grape growers in Canada, Priwen not only offers growers a new and unique foliar fungicide, but one that is highly effective against powdery mildew.”

Priwen offers xylem-mobile systemic protection, moving to the leaf tips and underside of leaves.

“Thanks to its unique active ingredient, Priwen is also an excellent rotation and resistance management tool, which supports wine grape growers’ efforts to manage tough diseases year after year,” said Weinmaster.

Priwen is formulated as a 500 g/L emulsifiable concentrate and is available in 1L jugs, with 12 X 1L jugs per case.

For more information regarding Priwen, growers are encouraged to talk to their local retailers or visit cropscience.bayer.ca/priwen.

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