(File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / tony4urban)

Fruit And Vegetable Association AGM

The chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association expects labour, energy and trade to be the discussion points this year in the horticulture industry.

The Association held its annual general meeting in Niagara Falls this week.

And greenhouse vegetable grower Jan VanderHout will serve another one-year term as Chair of the OFVGA.

VanderHout is co-owner of Beverly Greenhouses Ltd. in Waterdown. The third generation farm business has been growing English cucumbers for over 50 years and currently has 29 acres of production under glass.

“It’s an honour to serve Ontario’s fruit and vegetable growers for another year as chair of their organization,” said VanderHout. “It will be a busy year for the board as we head into a provincial election, where our goal will be on raising awareness around the competitiveness of our sector and how government policies can have significant impact on growers.”

Also at the AGM, federal representatives announced over $175,000 to support the industry.

Over $118,000 will go to the Dispute Resolution Corporation, a third party financial dispute resolution body for fruit and vegetable growers, to deliver an outreach and education initiative on the impending Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) and Regulations.

Another $58,000 will support the industry to initiate work toward updating the Canadian grade standards for fresh fruits and vegetables in order to reflect current market and consumer preferences.

The Canadian horticulture sector has direct farm cash receipts of more than $7.4 billion of which the fresh produce component – fruits, field and greenhouse vegetables and potatoes – comprises almost $4.7 billion.