The Toronto Wholesale Produce Association (TWPA), the association representing the 21 wholesalers of fruits and vegetables at the Ontario Food Terminal, applauded the Government of Ontario for introducing legislation designed in part to help modernize the Ontario Food Terminal.
"Last year, the Ontario government committed to keeping the Ontario Food Terminal at its current location, and to modernizing the Terminal," said TWPA President Fred Koornneef. "We were delighted to see the Government subsequently declare the Ontario Food Terminal a Provincially-Significant Employment Zone, and today we are pleased to see the government make some important changes to the Act governing the Terminal, especially with regard to the governance of the Ontario Food Terminal Board."
"It is fundamentally important that the provincially-appointed Ontario Food Terminal Board has the knowledge and experience to ensure that the Terminal remains a success for generations to come, and we look forward to continuing to work with Minister Hardeman and the Government on a broad array of efforts to modernize this important provincial asset," Koornneef added. "I want to thank Minister Hardeman in particular for his leadership on this matter."
"Our government is committed to the long-term success of the Ontario Food Terminal. As Canada's largest wholesale produce market, we recognize its vital importance to our farmers, distributors, consumers and agri-food sector, as well as our province's food supply," said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "These proposed changes will help promote the sale of more nutritious, high quality local food at the Terminal while improving its governance to ensure it further meets the needs of employees and our agriculture sector."
The Ontario Food Terminal is the largest wholesale fruit and produce distribution centre in Canada, and the third largest in North America. It is governed by the Ontario Food Terminal Board (OFTB), an enterprise established by the Ontario Food Terminal Act that operates under Ontario's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. No public monies are used in the operation of the Terminal, which is entirely self-funded from fees charged to the users of the facility (primarily wholesalers and growers).
If enacted into law, the changes to be introduced under the Main Street Recovery Act, 2020 would: increase the maximum size of the Ontario Food Terminal Board from seven to 13 members; expand the definition of agricultural products that can be sold at the Terminal; expand the objects of the OFTB to include the promotion of local food; and ensure that the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs remains involved in the appointment of the OFTB's General Manager.