The Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) successfully concluded its centennial Annual General Meeting (AGM) on March 16, 2023, at the Westin Bayshore Vancouver. The event brought together members, partners, and stakeholders in-person to discuss critical issues that impact the fruit and vegetable industry in Canada. FVGC members were able to listen to and vote at the meetings virtually if they were unable to attend in person.
The theme of this year's AGM was "Building on 100 Years of feeding Canada and the world". The theme reflects FVGC's commitment to continue being the strong, unified voice representing Canadian fruit and vegetable growers. As the Canadian fruit and vegetable industry continues to evolve and face new challenges, FVGC remains committed to supporting its members and promoting their interests. Through its advocacy work and various initiatives, FVGC is dedicated to ensuring the Canadian fruit and vegetable industry remains vibrant and prosperous for many years to come. FVGC reached its 100th year in 2022 but delayed celebrations until this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
FVGC was glad to welcome many of their past presidents (with service dating back all the way to 1983!) to celebrate their centennial year with them. They joined the current FVGC President, Jan VanderHout, and Executive Director, Rebecca Lee, in cutting the Centennial Cake. FVGC was honored to have John MacDonald, Ken Forth, Ken Porteous, Murray Porteous, Alvin Keenan, Brian Gilroy, Steve Levasseur, Jack Bates, and Marcus Janzen in attendance.
Jan VanderHout, President of FVGC, expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the AGM, stating, "The Centennial AGM provided a great opportunity for our members to reflect together on our achievements and explore solutions for the important issues facing our industry. It was wonderful to see so many passionate individuals gathered in one place to celebrate our 100-year milestone and share their insights on how we can continue to grow and thrive in the years ahead."
Rebecca Lee, Executive Director of FVGC, echoed VanderHout's sentiments, saying, "The success of this year's AGM is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our members, partners, and staff. We are grateful for the support we received, and we look forward to continuing our work to promote the interests of the Canadian fruit and vegetable industry."
FVGC members elected the Board of Directors that will serve from March 2023-March 2024. The new Board of Directors is as follows:
- President: Jan VanderHout
- 1st Vice President: Marcus Janzen
- 2nd Vice President: Albert Cramer
- Finance Committee Chair: David Hoekstra
- Members for BC: Jason Smith
- Members for the Prairies: Beth Connery
- Members for ON: Charles Stevens, Quinton Woods
- Members for QC: Jocelyn Gibouleau, Pascal Forest
- Members for the Atlantic: Gerald Dykerman, Phillip Keddy
At the AGM Banquet, FVGC presented three awards to individuals who have made significant contributions to the fruit and vegetable industry in Canada. The Doug Connery Award* was presented to Deb Hart, Vice Chair of the Seed Potato Sub Committee, for her commitment and passion for the potato industry. The Honourary Life Member Award was presented to David Jones, retiring General Manager of the Canadian Potato Council, for his tireless efforts in advancing issues affecting the Canadian potato industry over the last 11 years. Finally, the Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to Don Brubacher, former Manager of the Ontario Potato Board, for his lifelong dedication and service to the potato industry.
The FVGC congratulates all the award recipients and thanks them for their exceptional contributions to the fruit and vegetable industry in Canada.
In addition to celebrating its centennial year, FVGC was excited to relaunch its Next Gen: Growing into the Future Program this year. The program was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic but is now back in action. The Next Gen program aims to bridge the gap between FVGC's past 100 years of success and its next century of growth and innovation by providing opportunities for young growers to learn and develop skills to become future leaders in the industry. FVGC is committed to investing in the next generation of growers and ensuring that the Canadian fruit and vegetable industry remains strong and prosperous for years to come.
* The Doug Connery Award is named after a former member of the Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada. The Doug Connery Award seeks to formally honor the commitment and passion Doug Connery brought to the Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada and its initiatives. This award publicly recognizes the person who, in the course of their association with the FVGC and Canada's fruit and vegetable sector, has made outstanding contributions to the improvement and advancement of the industry.
The Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) represents growers across the country involved in the production of over 120 different types of crops on over 14,237 farms, with a farm gate value of $5.9 billion in 2021. FVGC is an Ottawa-based voluntary, not-for-profit national association. Since 1922, it has advocated important issues that impact Canada's fresh produce sector, promoting healthy, safe, and sustainable food, ensuring the continued success and growth of the industry.
For more information:
Ashley Peyrard, Communications Coordinator
Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada