March 8, 2017 By Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Processors Association
March 8, 2017, Mitchell, Ont – The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Processors Association (OFVPA) believes the recent actions taken by the Ontario government will help restore confidence in the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers (OPVG) and lead to a better outcome that rescues the 2017 crop, according to Steve Lamoure, president of the OFVPA.
“The previous leadership of the OPVG did not appear to be interested in finding solutions to our industry’s issues,” stated Lamoure in a press release. “We need a partner that will work with us to grow the industry for the benefit of growers, processors and our province. Regrettably, we did not have this partner.”
“The attack on one of our members was an attempt to divert from the real issues at hand that led to the removal of the previous OPVG leadership,” said Don Epp, executive director of the OFVPA. “The previous OPVG leadership has expressed an unwillingness to deal with some of the substantive issues our industry is facing. They preferred to focus on individuals instead of issues.”
“We also want to be on record that we strongly reject the comments made by Jim Poel, former chair of the OPVG,” said Lamoure. “In this day and age we cannot condone language that attacks one of our members based on their race, religion, ethnicity or personal choice.”
Lamoure went on to say, “We applaud Minister Leal’s comment that ‘There is no place for discriminatory speech of this nature – it will absolutely not be tolerated in Ontario, nor in our agri-food sector.'”
“We look forward to working with former Agriculture Minister Elmer Buchanan and the new OPVG leadership,” said Lamoure. “The issues between the government and the previous OPVG leadership are behind us and we are committed to finding solutions that will help our industry flourish and thrive.”
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