Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Features Production Research
Slash and burn


May 16, 2008
By Marg Land


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For the past week, my daily drive
to work has been met with a sad sight – multiple rows of peach trees,
pulled up by the roots, their bright pink blossoms and green leaves
steadily browning in the sun, wind and rain.

For the past week, my daily drive to work has been met with a sad sight – multiple rows of peach trees, pulled up by the roots, their bright pink blossoms and green leaves steadily browning in the sun, wind and rain.

pullout02I’m sure it’s a familiar sight in Niagara and other peach growing regions in Ontario. With the closure of CanGro’s processing plant in St. David’s, Ontario – scheduled for June 27, 2008 – the market for processing peach varieties is gone. Gone, too, is the market for processing pears. Both are victims of global outsourcing.

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It seems bizarre in a time when Canadian consumers are clamouring for local food and produce, processors are shifting their focus toward cheap, offshore food sources. With energy prices what they are, it would make more sense to look closer to your end market for raw product while taking advantage of the “buy local” marketing phenomenon.

Of course, who said business made sense.

So, what’s a farmer to do? Pull the trees out and plant a fresh market variety or a different crop altogether. Try to take advantage of the Orchards and Vineyards Transition Program. Fight for whatever feeble compensation CanGro is providing its contracted growers. And start all over again.


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