Financial Planning
The Fair Finance Fund (FFF) recently announced the launch of a new social finance fund for the local food and farm sector.
Published in News
A new federal fuel surcharge came into effect on April 1, 2019. Farmers in Ontario are eligible for an exemption on fuels used for farming practices, but the details have created some confusion among Ontario’s agriculture industry. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is working to clarify the details around how farmers can qualify for the exemption.
Published in News
Federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau, and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister, David Marit, are reminding Saskatchewan producers that the deadline to enroll in the AgriStability Program is April 30, 2019.
Published in News
As a farmer, there will be a lot of options for you when it comes to selling your business. These will be different to those that most other business owners are faced with.
Published in Companies
Canada’s food processing sectors continue to expand, yet the profitability outlook for each is uneven in 2019. Production challenges, trade uncertainty and higher input costs generally dampen this outlook, while expansion in export markets, strong household disposable income and a lower Canadian dollar will support revenues of food manufacturers.
Published in Vegetables
Canada’s agriculture and food system is a leading producer of high-quality, safe products and a key driver of the country’s economic growth. The Government of Canada understands the importance of this sector in creating good, middle-class jobs, while growing the economy, and is committed to working with farmers, ranchers and processors to ensure its continued innovation, growth and prosperity.
Published in News
Ontario and the federal government recently announced that beginning this month farmers and other businesses can again apply for support under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership) for projects to boost innovation, economic development, environmental stewardship and food safety.
Published in News
The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) welcomes the recent announcement by the Canadian government whereby it is providing targeted relief from the federal carbon tax on fuels for heating greenhouses. This targeted relief is a positive step by the federal government to recognize the unique needs of domestic food production.

The greenhouse vegetable sector has quickly become an economic driver in the province, generating over $920 million in farmgate sales in 2017. Using modern and efficient technologies, Ontario greenhouse growers are able to produce fresh product year-round in Canada’s northern climate, complementing Ontario’s bountiful field grown fruit and vegetable production. Without relief, carbon pricing has the potential to negatively impact the competitiveness of greenhouse and field production of fruits and vegetables, both of which compete in the global marketplace.

“The reality is that farmers have already been incentivized to become energy efficient as it has been necessary to remain competitive,” says Jan VanderHout, chair of the OFVGA. “Today, we thank the federal government for recognizing the specific needs of greenhouse production.”

The OFVGA looks forward to ongoing dialogue with the federal and Ontario provincial governments to support all of Ontario’s fruit and vegetable farmers as stewards of the air, land and water that they depend on to contribute to Canada’s food security and the economy.
Published in Federal
The Greenbelt Fund is partnering with the Wallace Centre and Farm Credit East to undertake this Food Hub Financial Benchmarking Survey based on their past successful surveys in the United States.

With your help, we can benchmark Ontario’s food hub sector to help us all better understand where the food hub sector is headed, and help individual hub operators such as yourself understand how to get on, and stay on, the path to long-term financial success.

Large companies develop or access benchmarks by hiring consulting firms to conduct research on their competitors. We want to have the data collected so that key benchmarks of the sector can be shared with all of you to help you grow your businesses and build stronger, more sustainable food systems.

How to participate in the survey:
  • You’ll complete a brief survey and submit your financial data for analysis. This process is completely confidential (The Greenbelt Fund and Wallace Centre never sees any individual data) and protected by Farm Credit’s bank-level security.
  • To ensure that you’re ready to participate in the survey, please review the Wallace Center’s free Financial Fundamentals for Food Hubs webinar series, in which Farm Credit East staff demonstrate how to set up and manage your key financial information.
  • Your hub will receive an individualized benchmark report, comparing your individual hub performance to the sector, and guidance on how to use the findings of the survey as a decision-making and goal-setting tool.
  • Once the data are analyzed and findings documented the Greenbelt Fund will host a webinar on the findings in early 2019.
The deadline to complete the online survey is November 30, 2018

Each hub participating in the study is automatically entered to win a RoboCoupe Food Processor – a handy item for food hub operators that prepare, cut, slice, and dice local food! One winner will be selected from the survey participants.

For more information, click here
Published in Provinces
The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) welcomes the recent announcement made by the Ontario government outlining its plans for Bill 148.
Published in Provinces
Both federal and provincial governments remain dedicated to helping the ranchers, farmers and apiarists of British Columbia who have been impacted by the devastating effects of the wildfires throughout the province.
Published in Provinces
After another strong financial performance in 2017-18, Farm Credit Canada (FCC) has renewed its commitment to support growth and innovation in Canada’s agriculture and agri-food industry.

“Agriculture and agri-food remains one of the strongest and most vibrant sectors in Canada’s economy,” said FCC president and CEO Michael Hoffort, in releasing the federal Crown corporation’s annual report . “FCC had record demand for financing this past year as producers and agriculture business operators continue to invest in the industry by expanding their businesses, building new facilities and adopting technologies to increase their efficiency.”

In 2017-18, FCC grew its portfolio by 8.4 per cent to $33.9 billion, including $3.3 billion in new lending to young farmers. FCC also increased lending in the agri-food and agribusiness sector, supporting young entrepreneurs and helping business operators become leaders in job creation and innovation.

“Innovation spurs increased productivity and competitiveness,” Hoffort said. “We understand the needs of our customers across the agriculture value chain, from primary producers to the agribusiness and agri-food companies that create value-added products for Canadian and global markets.”

Looking ahead, FCC has set its sights on advancing its public policy role by contributing to a more sustainable and inclusive agriculture and agri-food industry. The federal Crown corporation is launching initiatives to advance mental health awareness in agriculture, developing financing and business support for women entrepreneurs, and exploring ways to involve more indigenous people and communities in the industry.

“By helping primary producers and agri-food operators achieve their full potential, FCC is enabling the industry to create more opportunities for a broader range of people who can bring fresh ideas and new energy to Canadian agriculture and agri-food,” Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay said. “At the same time, FCC is contributing to our government’s ambitious goal of increasing agri-food exports to $75 billion by 2025.”

In 2017-18, FCC support programs were provided last year for Ontario and Quebec customers impacted by excessive moisture and, more recently, New Brunswick and Quebec maple syrup producers and Maritimes fruit and vegetable producers impacted by unfavorable weather this spring.

FCC also gave back almost $4 million through community investment initiatives, launched the Ignite summit for young farmers, offered a wide range of Ag Knowledge Exchange learning events attracting more than 15,000 participants and raised an equivalent of 7.2 million meals in conjunction with its like-minded partners through the FCC Drive Away Hunger tour in support of food banks across Canada. It also continues to support groups, such as 4-H Canada, Ag in the Classroom, the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association, STARS air ambulance service and numerous industry associations.

“Our role goes well beyond loan transactions,” Hoffort said. “We look forward to continuing our support for young and new entrants, enabling intergenerational transfers of family farms and supporting the growth of our customers and the industry.”

Other 2017-18 financial highlights include:
  • Net income of $669.9 million, to be reinvested in agriculture through funding new loans and developing agriculture knowledge, products and services for customers.
  • A dividend of $308.3 million paid by FCC to the Government of Canada.
  • A healthy loan portfolio with the allowance for credit losses remaining steady, reflecting a strong and vibrant industry.
  • Strong debt-to-equity and total capital ratios, indicating continued financial strength and an ongoing ability to serve the agriculture and agri-food industry.
A full copy of the report can be found at www.fcc.ca/annualreport
Published in Companies
On July 4, CanadaGAP program participants received notice that the annual program fee for participants enrolled in certification options A1 and A2 (four-year audit cycle) will increase to $600 (CAD), effective September 1, 2018. If program participants are paying in US funds, the CanadaGAP annual program fee for these options will increase to $500 USD.

The increase will be reflected the next time program participants are invoiced by CanadaGAP on the anniversary of their enrolment.

The increase in the annual program fee for Options A1 and A2 is necessary to cover growing costs related to administration and oversight, including the fees billed to CanadaGAP by the certification bodies for review of self-assessments and for surveillance (i.e. random audits).

The fee increase will be phased in over the next year, starting with invoices dated September 1, 2018. The timing of the increase coincides with the original launch date of the CanadaGAP program ten years ago, on September 1, 2008, not with the calendar year. If program participants are not due to be invoiced until September 1 or later, please note that the annual program fee cannot be prepaid at the $525 rate. Program participants will pay the amount indicated when they receive their invoice.

"The CanadaGAP program is owned and operated by a not-for-profit corporation, CanAgPlus, which maintains a commitment to stability, fairness, and responsible fiscal management," notes Jack Bates, chair of the board of directors for CanAgPlus. "The fees charged to program participants reflect only the amount necessary to cover the cost of delivery and to maintain program rigour and integrity."

If you have any questions or require additional information, contact the CanadaGAP office at 613-829-4711 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Published in Associations
Opportunity is knocking.

Thanks to the newly launched feedingdiversity.vinelandresearch.com microsite, growers can now better evaluate whether world crops fit their business plan. They can also manage risks through proven agronomic practices for Canada’s growing season.

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) has been investigating nontraditional crops with commercial potential as part of its Feeding Diversity: Bringing World Crops to Market research program.

Through this program, Vineland researchers and partners across the country identified best varieties of okra, Asian long and Indian round eggplant for local production. The research also determined optimal agronomic practices.

Vineland has consolidated these research findings in a newly launched site feedingdiversity.vinelandresearch.com, offering a wealth of information including specific varieties that can grow in Canada’s cold and short season climate along with best practices to minimize costs.

The site also offers cost of production calculators that estimate costs and returns for Asian long and Indian round eggplant and okra.

For more information, please contact: Michael Brownbridge, PhD, Research Director, Horticultural Production Systems 905-562-0320 x798, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Published in Vegetables
February 28, 2018, Toronto, Ont – Ontario’s new minimum wage is affecting the city’s entire food industry.

On Jan. 1 the province’s minimum wage rose to $14 an hour, after increasing to $11.25 an hour last April. READ MORE
Published in Provinces
October 30, 2017, Guelph, Ont – The Advanced Farm Management Program (AFMP) is open for registration for the 2017-18 fall and winter season.

Sessions specific to direct farm marketers are being offered by the Agri-food Management Institute (AMI) in partnership with the Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association.

“This program is designed for Ontario farm business owners and managers who want to elevate their management skills to improve their business performance,” says AMI Executive Director Ashley Honsberger. “We know from our past research that good farm management habits are directly linked to stronger profitability and that continuous learning is the number one habit of Canada’s most successful farm businesses.”

AFMP includes five intensive one-day sessions with farm management specialists who will cover key business concepts and help participants apply these to a case study. At the end of the program, participants will have a completed management action plan for their farm business that’s ready for implementation.

Tuition is $725 plus HST and includes breakfasts and lunches. A second participant from the same operation can register for $450 plus HST. Participants who register by November 10, 2017 receive a 10 per cent early bird tuition discount; program costs are subsidized by AMI. Final registration deadline is November 20.

The direct farm marketer sessions will take place at the Best Western Plus, Milton, on November 30, December 18, January 15, January 29 and February 12, with a weather-related make-up day scheduled for February 26 if needed.

For more information or to register, visit www.advancedfarmmanagement.ca, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call AMI at 519-822-6618.
Published in Associations
October 19, 2017, Erinsville, Ont – Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau is climbing down from another controversial tax proposal to address the concerns of farmers and fishers.

Morneau made the announcement at a farm alongside Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay in Erinsville, Ont., about halfway between Toronto and Ottawa, and three area Liberal MPs.

Morneau said the government is abandoning the proposed tax reform that would have restricted the conversion of income into capital gains. READ MORE

 

Published in Federal
August 17, 2017, Ontario - The Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers (OPVG) and the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Processors Association (OF&VPA) are continuing with a bursary fund to support and encourage individuals pursuing a career in any aspect of the processing vegetable industry.

These organizations are working together to ensure that there are new individuals who will have the interest, skills and abilities to further develop and grow this sector of Ontario’s agri-food
economy.

Sponsor donations allow the OPVG and the OF&VPA to offer up to five bursaries to students this fall. These include bursaries in memory of former OPVG directors Jim Whitson and Ken Epp. Note that the Jim Whitson bursary is awarded to a student attending Ridgetown College. The award in memory of Ken Epp receives an additional $1,000 from the fund established in his name by the OPVG. Applicants must be a resident of Ontario and registered as a full-time student at any college or university entering the second, third, fourth or post graduate year of study which relates in some aspect to the processing vegetable industry.

If you require further information regarding the bursaries, please contact:
Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers at 519-681-1875.
The Bursary Application Form is available at www.opvg.org or on request from the OPVG office (519-681-1875). Applications must be submitted no later than October 15th and will be received by regular mail at 435 Consortium Court, London, ON N6E 2S8, by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or fax (519) 685-5719 and can also be submitted online at www.opvg.org/opvg-bursary/.
Published in Associations
July 4, 2017, Regina, Sask. - As Canadians enjoy fresh, local fruit this summer, producers can expect mixed results from the fruits of their labour this fall.

In 2016, Canadian and United States fruit growers increased their production, but didn't necessarily see the demand to match, leading to an oversupply and lower prices for many fruit sectors. As a result, Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC) agriculture economists are predicting a mixed outlook for fruit growers in 2017.

“It’s a balancing act to produce enough fruit to meet demand, but not so much as to cause an oversupply that puts downward pressure on prices,” said J.P. Gervais, FCC chief agricultural economist. “Fortunately, a low Canadian dollar has been supporting prices for Canadian fruit producers and will help offset the full impact of a large supply in some sectors of the industry.”

Gervais added the real benefit will be to the Canadian consumer, who may see lower prices for some fruit – such as apples – at the grocery store.

Wine-making grapes fetch better prices

Grapes that are grown for wine-making in Ontario and British Columbia squeezed out an average three per cent price increase, which helped offset the lower prices for fresh grapes in 2016. Overall, the industry had a good year in 2016, as production increased by 22 per cent from the previous year.

Market prices for grapes are mixed based on the variety, quality and the end use, however, prices currently remain strong for wine grapes as demand is expected to continue growing in 2017.

Increased cranberry yields help offset lower prices

The cranberry industry has had several years of low prices due to growing North American supplies of cranberries.

In Canada, acreage devoted to growing cranberries has remained steady in British Columbia, but has increased in Quebec over the past five years. While prices remain low, rising production and better yields have compensated for low prices, boosting farm cash receipts.

In 2016, Canadian cranberry receipts reached a record $132.6 million, for an increase of 8.8 per cent, an all-time record high. There is also a growing demand for specialized markets segmentation in the cranberry industry, such as organic. Profitability depends on producers’ ability to continually improve their productivity.

Large 2016 harvest pushes apple prices lower

Canadian apple production was up 14 per cent while U.S. apple production increased by four per cent from 2015.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s monthly apple storage report indicates apple supplies are 98 per cent higher than last year’s level, so a large supply remains a challenge. As a result, Canadian retail apple prices are down 13 per cent in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, but still remain above the previous five-year average. The same trend has impacted U.S. fresh apple market prices, which are down 12 per cent in 2017 and remain near the previous five-year average.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook indicates that 2017 apple prices should remain below 2016 levels given storage numbers. This price pressure is expected to persist until inventories decline.

According to Statistics Canada, in 2015, 31.5 per cent of Canadians aged 12 and older, roughly nine million people, consumed fruit and vegetables five or more times per day.

To celebrate the international fruit day on July 1, Canadians can eat more fruit throughout 2017 knowing their local grocery store will likely be well stocked with delicious and reasonably-priced Canadian fruit this summer and fall.

For an in-depth look at Canada fruit outlook for 2017, visit the FCC Ag Economics blog post at www.fcc.ca/AgEconomics.
Published in Marketing
April 25, 2017, Montreal, Que. - Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (la Caisse) presented its strategy for Québec's agri-food sector, and also announced the creation of a $125-million fund to invest in every segment of the sector's value chain, targeting both companies seeking to accelerate their growth and farmers who operate family businesses, and their successors.

La Caisse has been investing in agri-food processing and distribution/marketing for many years. The strategy presented aims to maximize la Caisse's impact and expand its presence throughout the value chain and among all types of businesses and of projects by covering the entire agri-food sector.
This strategy is built on four pillars:
  • Supporting young farmers and entrepreneurs who want to take over a business or create new market leaders;
  • Backing owners and the family-farm model in the production segment;
  • Reinforcing technological transition by improving access to modern equipment;
  • Supporting growth and the expansion of operations in regional and international markets in industries where they are competitive.
To further support projects in the agri-food sector, la Caisse has announced the creation of the Fonds agroalimentaire CDPQ. This $125-million fund will be used to make direct investments (between $1 million and $30 million) in every segment of the value chain, with farmers and in projects and SMEs.

Specific criteria and targeted investment amounts vary for each segment in the value chain, as shown in the table available on the Caisse's website.

Investments in the agri-food sector will also be made through funds, in partnership with those active in the industry and other experts in targeted markets (between $5 million and $30 million). The Fund will target investments meeting certain criteria, including:
  • A well-structured business plan;
  • A well-established management team to provide farmers and entrepreneurs with proper support and structure;
  • A transition and succession plan;
  • A solid performance track record and growth strategy;
  • An investment structure positioning la Caisse as a long-term partner for sustainable businesses and projects.
READ MORE
Published in Companies
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