Canadian produce industry urges government to support sustainability efforts

On May 30, fresh produce industry representatives from the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) and the Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) met with Parliamentarians and government officials at Farm to Plate 2023 held in Ottawa.

Farm to Plate is a CPMA and FVGC joint advocacy event held annually that focuses on connecting the produce industry with key decision-makers to discuss critical issues impacting the fruit and vegetable sector.

Farm to Plate is a CPMA and FVGC joint advocacy event focusing on connecting the produce industry with key decision-makers to discuss critical issues impacting the fruit and vegetable sector.

During the event, 30 industry members from across Canada highlighted several key areas that impact the environmental, social and economic sustainability of the fresh produce sector. They urged the government to make agriculture and access to food a federal priority, support an effective sustainable agriculture strategy and implement national agricultural labour and supply chain strategies to address labour shortages and supply chain challenges.

The produce industry also called upon Parliamentarians to vote in favour of Bill C-280, the Financial Protection for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Farmers Act, which passed Second Reading in the House of Commons and has been referred to the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-food.

“We are pleased with the opportunity to connect with our elected leaders to discuss our industry’s priorities,” says Colin Chapdelaine, CPMA chair. “The produce industry plays an integral role in the Canadian economy and food supply chain. Our recommendations for the fresh fruit and vegetable sector aim to strengthen our supply chain, ensure food security and support sustainable food production.”

The Honourable Gudie Hutchings at Farm to Plate 2023.

"Sustainability is the foundation of our industry's future and the Canadian fresh fruit and vegetable sector has been at the forefront of implementing sustainable practices,” says FVGC president, Jan VanderHout. “By working with government officials, we can develop strategies that promote an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable fresh produce industry in Canada."

Event participants met with 34 Parliamentarians and government officials, including the newly appointed Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Stefanie Beck, the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, the Honourable Rob Black, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, the office of the Leader of the Official Opposition and many other Ministerial offices, Agriculture Committee members, senior bureaucrats and officials.

In the evening, CPMA and FVGC hosted a reception at the Metropolitain Brasserie which attracted over 150 industry members, government leaders and their staff.

CPMA and FVGC thank the Farm to Plate 2023 sponsors and look forward to their next joint advocacy event, Fall Harvest, which will be held in Fall 2023.

For more information:
Micken Kokonya
Canadian Produce Marketing Association  

Ashley Peyrard 
Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada 

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