Fall Harvest 2022: Canadian fresh produce industry meets with Parliamentarians

Mon 21/11/2022
Liane Rod
Rob Black
Scot Davidson

November 17, 2022 (Ottawa, ON)– Over the past three days, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) and the Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) held their fall advocacy event, Fall Harvest 2022, in Ottawa.

Organized annually, Fall Harvest brings together produce industry leaders, Parliamentarians and government officials to discuss important issues impacting the produce supply chain and Canadians’ access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

This year’s edition is the first in-person event following three years of federal elections and virtual events. Featuring Ottawa-based journalist and CBC’s ‘At Issue’ panellist, Althia Raj, as a speaker, the event brought together 32 industry representatives who met with 36 Parliamentarians and officials.

These discussions focused on:

  • Prioritizing food production and access to food in legislation, policy, and crisis management.
  • Seeking support from all Members of Parliament for Bill C-280, the Financial Protection for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Farmers Act,
  • Addressing the ongoing supply chain disruptions and chronic labour shortages in the produce sector, and more.

“15.9% of Canadian households experienced food insecurity in 2021 as highlighted in a recent report by PROOF,” said Mario Masellis, CPMA Chair. “This is, in part, a result of challenges impacting our supply chain. By acting on the industry’s proposed recommendations, the government will strengthen our food system, facilitate Canadians’ access to food, and enhance the produce industry’s competitiveness on a global scale.”

“The government can make food security a priority, by ensuring that policy and legislation are viewed through a food lens, to support a strong and financially viable produce industry. Everybody wins when Canadian growers are able to afford to run their businesses and provide a secure and stable source of nutritious food for Canadians,” said Jan VanderHout, FVGC President. “Fall Harvest 2022 was a great opportunity to demonstrate to Parliamentarians the importance of legislation like Bill C-280, which would ensure that growers get paid even in the event of a buyer bankruptcy.”

Among government representatives who attended Fall Harvest 2022 were the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food; the Honourable Senator Rob Black, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry and Kody Blois, Member of Parliament and Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-food.

Also in attendance were the Agriculture Critics from all major opposition parties; the Agriculture Liaison at the Canadian Embassy in Washington; representatives from the offices of both the Conservative and NDP leaders as well as the offices of the Ministers of Transport, Environment and Climate Change, and Rural Economic Development.

As part of the advocacy effort, CPMA and FVGC hosted a reception for Parliamentarians and their staff which attracted close to 200 attendees.

CPMA and FVGC would like to thank the Fall Harvest 2022 sponsors. Visit our website to learn more about issues discussed at Fall Harvest 2022.

About the Canadian Produce Marketing Association

Based in Ottawa, Ontario, CPMA is a not-for-profit organization that represents a diverse membership made up of every segment of the produce industry supply chain who are responsible for 90% of the fresh fruit and vegetable sales in Canada. CPMA is fortunate to represent a sector that is both a significant economic driver for communities and that also improves the health and productivity of Canadians.

About the Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada

The Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) represent growers across the country involved in the production of over 120 different types of crops on over 14,237 farms, with farm cash receipts of $5.7 billion in 2020. They are an Ottawa-based voluntary, not-for-profit, national association, and, since  1922, have advocated on important issues that impact Canada’s fresh produce sector, promoting healthy, safe, and sustainable food, ensuring the continued success and growth of their industry.

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