Ontario processing growers delivered 500,000 tons of tomatoes to processors in the province last year. They’re under pressure to change the way the crop is contracted.  |  Jeffrey Carter photo

Tomato processors seek changes to Ontario marketing board

Growers argue proposed changes to provincial farm products marketing act could render marketing boards toothless

LONDON, Ont. — Ontario’s marketing board for processing vegetables is under attack, according to its chair. Francis Dobbelaar said Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers has rejected the latest proposal from the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission that would open the door to direct contracts between processors and growers for tomatoes. “Their definition of direct contracts is […] Read more

The Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers marketing board has negotiated contracts between farmers and processors for 70 years. Some growers are baffled by the Farm Products Marketing Commission’s attempt to erode that power.  |  File photo

Ontario’s regulatory body still in hot seat

There are fears that the Farm Products Marketing Commission wants to replace final offer arbitration when growers negotiate with processors

DRESDEN, Ont. — The Farm Products Marketing Commission in Ontario continues to come under fire for its unilateral attempt to remove marketing powers from Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers. According to agricultural economist Larry Martin, the drama that unfolded over the past four months adds substance to concern among Canadian farmers that their political influence is […] Read more

Brian O’Mara helps with the processing tomato harvest in a field north of Chatham, Ont. Weather has been good this year and some predict a bumper crop.  |  Jeffrey Carter photo

Ontario vegetable marketing board under microscope

Ontario’s agriculture minister has halted proposed changes, saying an economic analysis and more consultation are needed

KENT BRIDGE, Ont. — The final offer arbitration system used by Ontario’s processing vegetable industry will end if proposed amendments by the province’s Farm Products Marketing Commission (FPMC) move forward. The changes would create an “industry advisory committee” and growers would need to find another means to set prices and contract terms other than through […] Read more

Serve asparagus, greens fresh from the garden

Nothing tastes quite as good as fresh picked asparagus. A stem or two never reaches the house because I like to munch on them right in the yard. I have added chopped fresh asparagus to all of my salads lately, whether it is a caesar salad, a fresh mixed greens salad or egg salad sandwiches. […] Read more

Sol Farm’s Stephen Schacht displays a farm specialty, sweet onions, grown at the five-acre organic farm near Duncan. B.C. | Shannon Moneo photo

B.C. family grows what they eat

DUNCAN, B.C. — Ramona Froehle-Schacht and her husband, Stephen Schacht, started growing their own food when they first settled on British Columbia’s Denman Island 35 years ago. In 1984, they moved to Victoria where they ran the Out of Hand Gallery, which in turn spawned the Island’s biggest Christmas craft show, Out of Hand. After […] Read more