June 22, 2023 (Ottawa, ON) – Yesterday, the Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC), the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), and the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) were thrilled to see Bill C-280, the Financial Protection for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Farmers Act, passed by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-food without amendment and with the support of all political parties.
Bill C-280, sponsored 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.
“The passage of Bill C-280 at Committee Stage marks another crucial step forward in ensuring the stability and financial security of the fruit and vegetable sector,” said CPMA President Ron Lemaire. “It has been a long road for our industry in working towards an effective financial protection mechanism. We are greatly appreciative of the efforts of MP Davidson and the support of all Committee members in helping to move this critical legislation forward.”
The perishable nature of fresh produce, coupled with the industry’s typically longer payment terms, leave 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.
“The significance of Bill C-280 for the fresh produce industry cannot be overstated,” emphasized FVGC Executive Director Rebecca Lee. “Our organizations were grateful for the opportunity to speak to the Committee about the importance of financial protection for all fresh produce sellers. Looking ahead to the final rounds of debate and voting in the House of Commons, we are optimistic that all parties will continue to lend their support and work to advance the Bill as quickly as possible.”
Bill C-280 will be referred back to the House of Commons this fall for Report Stage and Third Reading Debate and votes. FVGC, the CPMA 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, please contact:
Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada
Manager, Communications and Market Research
Canadian Produce Marketing Association
President and CEO
Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC)
About the Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada
The Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) represent growers across the country involved in the production of over 120 different types of crops on over 14,237 farms, with farm cash receipts of $5.9 billion in 2021. They are an Ottawa-based voluntary, not-for-profit, national association, and, since 1922, have advocated on important issues that impact Canada’s fresh produce sector, promoting healthy, safe, and sustainable food, ensuring the continued success and growth of their industry.
About the Canadian Produce Marketing Association
Based in Ottawa, Ontario, CPMA is a not-for-profit organization that represents a diverse membership made up of every segment of the produce industry supply chain who are responsible for 90% of the fresh fruit and vegetable sales in Canada. CPMA is fortunate to represent a sector that is both a significant economic driver for communities and that also improves the health and productivity of Canadians.
About the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation
The Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) is a non-profit, membership-based organization serving the produce trade. DRC provides harmonized standards, procedures and services to help members avoid commercial disputes, as well as consultation, mediation and arbitration services when disputes arise. The DRC can help with disputes that arise between members domestically or internationally and deals with all types of disputes, including condition, contract and payment issues. We work closely with industry associations and governments on behalf of our members to reform legislation, make federal inspections more accessible, develop best practices, and level the playing field for participants.