Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Rick Nicholls (right) and Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett (left), the PC agriculture critic, hold a town hall at the Leamington Municipal Building on July 25, 2016. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

MPP’s Hear Vegetable Growers’ Concerns About Price Negotiating Powers

The Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission has proposed taking away the price negotiating powers of the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers organisation.

That’s raised concerns among many of the province’s growers and prompted a town hall meeting in Leamington this week.

Over 100 growers attended that meeting, including David Epp.

He’s worried that by taking away the right to negotiate it will result in a downward spiral for the industry.

“Once one processor finds one vulnerable grower and takes advantage, all other processors will be forced by local market forces to act in the same manner,” says Epp.

The public consultation period for the proposal ends August 12th.

Epp says it’s not enough time to properly analyze the situation and it happens to be during their busiest time of season.

Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Rick Nicholls and PC agriculture critic Toby Barrett set up the meeting at town hall.

Barrett argues taking away the right to negotiate a base price takes away the whole purpose in having the growers association in the first place.

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One of the growers – David Epp – is worried the proposed change could lead to a downward spiral for the industry.

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Conservative Agriculture Critic Toby Barrett was one of the MPPs who set up that meeting.