The Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC), the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), and the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) are thrilled to announce that Bill C-280, the Financial Protection for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Farmers Act, has been passed at Second Reading in the House of Commons. This milestone marks a crucial step forward in ensuring the financial security of the fruit and vegetable sector.
Bill C-280, championed by Member of Parliament (MP) Scot Davidson, aims to establish a deemed trust, a vital financial protection mechanism for fresh produce sellers in Canada. This mechanism will help secure payment in the event of buyer bankruptcy, providing stability and support to the industry while safeguarding Canadian food security.
"We wholeheartedly express our appreciation to MP Scot Davidson for his commitment to propelling this legislation forward," said Rebecca Lee, executive director of FVGC. "For over three decades, the fresh produce sector has advocated for the implementation of a financial protection mechanism. Today, we find ourselves closer than ever to realizing our long-standing goal."
The deemed trust proposed by Bill C-280 mirrors the successful model employed in the United States. It presents a financially feasible solution that imposes no additional burden on the government. By establishing this trust, fresh produce sellers can continue to contribute to local economies across the country while providing Canadians with safe and nutritious fruit and vegetable products.
The perishable nature of fresh produce, coupled with common industry payment terms, leaves sellers unable to recover losses when faced with buyer bankruptcy. The recent case of Lakeside Produce in Leamington, Ontario, serves as a reminder of the urgent need for a financial protection tool to safeguard this essential sector and uphold food security in Canada.
"As we proceed to the Committee stage, we eagerly anticipate further deliberations on the topic of financial protection for fresh produce sellers," said Ron Lemaire, president of CPMA. "We are optimistic about a future where the fresh produce sector thrives through a robust financial protection mechanism, fortifying the sector and ensuring enhanced food security for all Canadians."
The CPMA, FVGC, and DRC call on all Members of Parliament to recognize the positive impact that Bill C- 280 can have on the fruit and vegetable sector and the broader Canadian economy. To learn more, please visit www.protectproducesales.ca.
For more information:
Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada
Canadian Produce Marketing Association
Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) LMougeot@fvdrc.com