Over the past three days, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) and the Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) held their fall advocacy event, Fall Harvest 2022, in Ottawa.
Organized annually, Fall Harvest brings together produce industry leaders, Parliamentarians, and government officials to discuss important issues impacting the produce supply chain and Canadians’ access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
This year’s edition is the first in-person event following three years of federal elections and virtual events. Featuring Ottawa-based journalist and CBC’s At Issue panelist Althia Raj as a speaker, the event brought together 32 industry representatives who met with 36 Parliamentarians and officials.
Honorable Marie-Claude Bibeau was one of the government representatives who attended Fall Harvest 2022.
These discussions focused on:
- Prioritizing food production and access to food in legislation, policy, and crisis management.
- Seeking support from all Members of Parliament for Bill C-280, the Financial Protection for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Farmers Act.
- Addressing the ongoing supply chain disruptions and chronic labor shortages in the produce sector, and more.
“15.9 percent of Canadian households experienced food insecurity in 2021, as highlighted in a recent report by PROOF,” said Mario Masellis, CPMA chair. “By acting on the industry’s proposed recommendations, the government will strengthen our food system, facilitate Canadians’ access to food and enhance the produce industry’s competitiveness on a global scale.”
Honorable Senator Rob Black, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, also attended the event.
“The government can make food security a priority by ensuring that policy and legislation are viewed through a food lens to support a strong and financially viable produce industry,” said Jan VanderHout, FVGC president. “Fall Harvest 2022 was a great opportunity to demonstrate to Parliamentarians the importance of legislation like Bill C-280, which would ensure that growers get paid even in the event of a buyer bankruptcy.”
Among government representatives who attended Fall Harvest 2022 were the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food; the Honourable Senator Rob Black, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry and Kody Blois, Member of Parliament and Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-food.
Also in attendance were Agriculture Critics from all major opposition parties; the Agriculture Liaison at the Canadian Embassy in Washington; representatives from the offices of both the Conservative and NDP leaders as well as the offices of the Ministers of Transport, Environment and Climate Change, and Rural Economic Development.
As part of the advocacy effort, CPMA and FVGC hosted a reception for Parliamentarians and their staff, which attracted close to 200 attendees.
CPMA and FVGC would like to thank the Fall Harvest 2022 sponsors.