Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Features Business Policy
Risk management proposal presented by growers


October 16, 2009
By Marg Land


Topics

October 16, 2009,
Jordan, Ont. – A recent meeting at a Niagara area fruit farm gave Opposition
Leader Tim Hudak and MPP Ernie Hardeman a first-hand look at the crisis facing
Ontario’s fruit and vegetable growers.

October 16, 2009,
Jordan, Ont. – A recent meeting at a Niagara area fruit farm gave Opposition
Leader Tim Hudak and MPP Ernie Hardeman a first-hand look at the crisis facing
Ontario’s fruit and vegetable growers.

It also provided an
opportunity to introduce them to an industry-proposed solution to the problems
plaguing beleaguered horticulture farmers.

Advertisement

Brenda Lammens, chair of
the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OF&VGA), and Len
Troup, chair of the Ontario Tender Fruit Producers’ Marketing Board (OTFPMB),
briefed the politicians on the harsh realities facing growers as a result of
fierce competition from imports, often dumped onto the Canadian market at less
than their cost of production, and skyrocketing increases to their input costs.

Many of the rising costs
challenging growers are the result of government legislation and regulations,
including the Greenbelt legislation, which restricts growers’ rights without
assuring the viability of their agricultural operations.

 “It is time to
seriously address the viability of the tender fruit industry before it is too
late,” said Troup, a Niagara Region fruit grower. “Ontario has already seen the
demise of our fruit canning industry and now our market is flooded by cheap
canned fruit from other countries. We need action now.”

At the meeting, Hudak
and Hardeman were presented with a proposal for a risk management program for
the horticulture sector developed by the OF&VGA. The proposed program would
provide cost of production insurance to farmers to protect them from escalating
costs and decreased returns.

“Horticulture is in
urgent need of improved risk management products that at least allow growers to
recover their production costs”, said Lammens, a Norfolk County grower.
“Ontario is a high-cost jurisdiction in Canada and our costs are certainly
higher than they are in the U.S, our greatest competitor. If the Ontario and
Canadian governments want to see our industry survive, they must act now.” 

“Despite placing
stringent land use restrictions on agricultural lands, the government has not
provided an economic plan for agriculture in Ontario,” said Hudak. “It’s
important to remember that if you want to save the farm, you need to save the
farmer and help ensure they have profitable market access to sell their goods.”


Print this page

Related



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*