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Industry NewsFresh Produce Alliance applauds financial protection legislation in Canada

Fresh Produce Alliance applauds financial protection legislation in Canada

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The members of the Fresh Produce Alliance [comprised of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) and Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC)] applauded the introduction of Bill C-280, the Financial Protection for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Farmers Act, by member of parliament, Scot Davidson (York–Simcoe).

According to a statement from the alliance, if passed, Bill C-280 would establish a deemed trust mechanism for fresh produce growers and sellers in Canada, ensuring payment in the case of buyer bankruptcy. The need for a financial protection mechanism has been a major focus of the sector’s federal advocacy efforts for several years and has been included among recommendations made by the House of Commons Standing Committees on Finance and Agriculture and Agri-food.

“Growing, harvesting, packing, and marketing fruits and vegetables comes with risks and costs that are unique to the production of perishable goods—and returns on these investments are delayed until payment is collected, usually long after the product has been passed on or consumed by Canadians,” said FVGC executive director Rebecca Lee.

“In addition to providing healthy food to Canadians, the fresh produce supply chain supports 249,000 jobs in Canada. A deemed trust mechanism is necessary to address gaps in market stability, trade and food security, with no cost to the government,” said CPMA President Ron Lemaire. “We call on all political parties to support Bill C-280 to help ensure that Canadians continue to have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.”

The introduction of a financial protection mechanism in Canada would also open the door to the reinstatement of preferential treatment under the U.S. Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) for Canadians selling produce into the United States. This preferential treatment had been in place prior to 2014 when it was rescinded by the U.S. due to a lack of reciprocal protection in Canada.

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