Speaking today at the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention, Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced an investment of over $175,000 to the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) in providing services to Canadian buyers and sellers of fresh fruits and vegetables.
The DRC, which acts as a third party financial dispute resolution body for fruit and vegetable growers, received an investment of $118,795 to deliver an outreach and education initiative on the impending Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) and Regulations. An additional $58,807 was provided under the same program to 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.
"Our Government is committed to giving the horticulture industry in this province and across Canada the tools it needs to succeed and become even more competitive. These investments will help strengthen the commercial position of our fruit and vegetables growers, while contributing to our Government's goal to grow Canada's agriculture and food exports to $75 billion by 2025." - Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre
"We are very pleased the Government of Canada has provided support to the fruit and vegetable sector for the DRC's role in the trade and commerce portion of the SFCA as well as modernization of the Grade Standards Compendium for fresh fruit and vegetables. The playing field will be truly levelled when everyone knows the rights and responsibilities associated with the proposed regulatory requirement for a DRC Membership. Furthermore, the grade standards play an essential role in evaluating and resolving grade and condition disputes fairly and efficiently." - Fred Webber, President and CEO of DRC
"We are pleased that the Government of Canada has committed funding for education and outreach for the Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) as it takes on new roles under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations. The DRC is an important institution to support fair and ethical trading in the fast-paced fruit and vegetable market, and today's funding announcement will support the supply chain to ensure Canadians continue to have access to fresh and affordable fruits and vegetables." - Ron Lemaire, President, Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA)
"CHC supports AAFC's decision to invest in outreach and education through the DRC regarding the SFCA and Regulations. This investment will help provide clarity and confidence to farmers across Canada and ensure Canada continues to produce the same high quality fruit and vegetables to Canadians and the world." - Rebecca Lee, Executive Director, Canadian Horticultural Council
- 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.
- The Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) is a non-profit, membership-based organization serving the produce trade. DRC provides harmonized standards, procedures and services to its members to help them avoid commercial disputes.
- Under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations, which are set to be published in 2018, the Dispute Resolution Corporation will be permitted to act as an independent, third party dispute resolution body and ensure the adherence of fresh fruit and vegetable buyers to a unified set of trading rules and govern against slow, partial and/or no pay by buyers with strict penalties for buyer non-payment.
- The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a new five-year, $3 billion investment by federal-provincial and territorial governments, which will strengthen the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector, ensuring continued innovation, growth and prosperity.
- These investments are made under the Growing Forward 2, AgriMarketing Program.
For more information
Guy Gallant, Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay
Media Relations, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Ontario