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Comments from growers and OGVG
Payment protection for Canadian greenhouse growers is long overdue
Yesterday, FreshPlaza re-published an article from the Windsor Star about the lack of protection for Ontario greenhouse growers against US buyers that go bankrupt.
In short, Americans want Canada to have a program like the U.S. Perishable Agriculture Commodities Act which offers growers a way to move up the line of creditors and get paid if a wholesale buyer or grocery chain goes bankrupt. In 2014 the U.S. revoked Canada’s preferential status under the act which means growers now have to put up twice the amount of money owed to try to recoup the loss instead of paying just $100 to start the dispute resolution process.
Regain preferential status
FreshPlaza asked growers to comment on the matter. “I do believe the federal government needs to take the necessary steps to ensure that Canadian farmers regain their preferential status that was revoked,” says Jim Veri with Exeter Produce. “The American government is willing to do this as soon as the Canadian government extends the status to American farmers doing business in Canada,” Veri added. “I think this is reasonable and long overdue.”
“It’s very important to myself, our company and our family as a local Canadian grower, says Jordan Kniaziew of Zing! Health Forward. “We put so much time and effort and love into our crop and we want to be paid for it at the end of the day. That’s the bottom line. We want to be paid for the great product we produce for consumers to enjoy and we should be protected financially.”
Comments of Justine Taylor with the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) were along the same line. “Payment protection for Canada’s produce growers has long been overdue. Not only would addressing this problem provide much needed security for our producers, it would also help solve a long-standing trade irritant with the US. We look forward to this finally being addressed by the current government,” shared Taylor.
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