The Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) is asking federal parties to support the Canadian fresh produce sector now and during post-pandemic recovery.
To help bolster Canada’s economic recovery, strengthen food security across the country, and ensure the success of our members now and in the years to come, CHC is seeking commitments from federal parties to support growers by:
- Providing the Canadian produce industry with financial protection through the creation of a statutory deemed trust, especially considering that now more than ever, there is a real risk of bankruptcies throughout the food service and restaurant sectors.
- Committing federal leadership to further improve the AgriStability program, specifically by increasing the margin coverage to 85% and increasing coverage to 85%.
- Providing growers with clear guidance and ongoing financial support to renovate existing buildings or construct new ones in compliance with any new federal housing regulations.
- Supporting Employment and Social Development Canada, Service Canada, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada with additional resources to ensure the timely flow of international farm workers and continued partnerships with source countries.
- Developing a preventative plant health and compensation program to arm growers with comprehensive biosecurity tools and cover losses from crop destructs required to limit risks from economically devastating pests.
- Recognizing the fresh produce sector as a significant contributor to Canada’s economic recovery. To ensure that is able to meet its full potential, the federal government should increase resources beyond the current Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP) and the Next Agricultural Policy Framework (NPF) by creating a separate fund to support innovation adoption in horticulture.
The CHC is specifically asking each party to commit to implementing policy to:
- Table and adopt the draft Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Products Protection Act, written by Ronald C.C. Cuming, an expert in Canada’s bankruptcy laws. The Act would be administered by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food as complementary legislation to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA).
- Establish a limited statutory deemed trust that protects produce growers and sellers during bankruptcy in Canada.
- Upon introduction of the legislation, request the restitution of Canadian preferential access to PACA by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.