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Industry NewsProduce industry engages with government on key issues

Produce industry engages with government on key issues

From left: Jan VanderHout, Fruit and Vegetable Grocers of Canada (FVGC); Colin Chapdelaine, Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) board chair and president of Star Produce, Berry Division; Lawrence MacAulay, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Ron Lemaire, Canadian Produce, CPMA president

Members of the produce industry in Canada meet with government officials as part of the industry’s annual Fall Harvest joint advocacy event that took place November 20-22 in Ottawa.

The Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) and the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) event centered on several key focus areas:

Competitiveness and Cumulative Regulatory Burden: FVGC and CPMA advocated for the
Government to enhance the competitiveness of Canada’s fruit and vegetable supply chain by
alleviating cumulative regulatory burden and aligning departmental objectives for the sector’s
betterment.

Advancing Bill C-280: Both organizations urged Parliamentarians to prioritize the swift passage
of the Financial Protection for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Farmers Act through Royal Assent as a
vital mechanism to support the long-term sustainability of Canadian produce businesses.

Sustainable Packaging Initiatives: FVGC and CPMA raised awareness of the industry’s significant
concerns with recent Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) proposals related to
packaging, and actively advocated for the adoption of sustainable packaging initiatives that
ensure all Canadians have access to safe food, align with international standards for
sustainability and competition, and mitigate any unintended environmental impacts from the
food supply’s packaging needs.

As part of the advocacy effort, FVGC and CPMA hosted a reception for Parliamentarians and their staff
which attracted approximately 200 attendees. The event was attended by the Honourable Lawrence
MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, who spoke about the significance of the fresh fruit and vegetable sector.

Colin Chapdelaine, Chair of CPMA, noted that “the fresh produce supply chain is not only an integral
cornerstone of the Canadian economy, but a vital force contributing nearly $15 billion to our GDP and
supporting over 185,400 jobs. The discussions held here focus on providing Canadians with nutritious
fruits and vegetables, improving overall health, and propelling our nation’s economy forward. An all-
encompassing examination of policies and regulations with a focus on reducing regulatory burden is not solely an industry necessity, but an absolute national imperative.”

Jan VanderHout, President of FVGC, added, “as we confront the challenges of rising operational costs
and environmental pressures, it’s clear that a sustainable fresh fruit and vegetable sector is essential to Canada’s health and food security. At Fall Harvest, we’ve highlighted the importance of regulatory
review, financial protection measures, and the critical role that the fresh produce industry must play in
shaping new sustainable packaging regulations. Our meetings these past few days have been dedicated to helping Parliamentarians and the Government build a resilient fruit and vegetable sector that can thrive amid challenges, striving to ensure that we can continue to grow and distribute the nourishing produce that Canadians depend upon.”

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