Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada Expresses Disappointment Over Further Delays on Bill C-234; Calls for Immediate Action to Support Growers

December 6, 2023

OTTAWA, ON – The Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) today is expressing profound disappointment following the Senate’s amendment to Bill C-234, last night, which removed heating and cooling of agricultural buildings, and delays the passage of the bill. This critical bill, proposed to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act by extending exemptions to crucial farming fuels, is vital for the sustainability and economic viability of Canadian agriculture.

“The recent amendment and delay of Bill C-234 significantly undermines its intended relief for Canadian fruit and vegetable growers, effectively gutting the bill of its core benefits for our sector,” states Jan VanderHout, President of FVGC. “This decision disregards the immediate and pressing needs of growers contending with escalating costs and carbon tax burdens. It’s crucial that our sector sees tangible, impactful measures that sustain the competitiveness and viability of Canadian growers in a challenging economic landscape.”

FVGC strongly urges all Parliamentarians to consider the impact that the rising carbon tax is having on Canadian agriculture and the increasing cost of food. “Canadian farmers are at a pivotal juncture, grappling with rising operational costs amidst an affordability crisis,” emphasizes VanderHout. “Immediate relief is imperative. Canadian farmers cannot manage any further delays. We urge the Government to provide a full carbon tax exemption for farmers, allowing us to invest in innovative, environmentally friendly technologies and ensure food security for all Canadians.”

A recent RBC report revealed that the U.S. and the EU allocate 1.7% and 1.8% of farm gate receipts, respectively, for climate funding, compared to Canada’s mere 0.5%. “Canadian agriculture needs collaboration from the Government to invest in sustainable technology, remain competitive in the marketplace, and provide affordable food to Canadians,” added VanderHout.

FVGC will continue to advocate for policies that strengthen the resilience and competitiveness of Canada’s fruit and vegetable sector, aiming for a sustainable industry, and food security for Canadians, and urges all Parliamentarians to join in this crucial endeavour.

The Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) represents growers across the country involved in the production of over 120 different types of crops on over 14,000 farms, with a farm gate value of $5.9 billion in 2021. FVGC is an Ottawa-based voluntary, not-for-profit, national association, and, since 1922, has advocated on important issues that impact Canada’s fresh produce sector, promoting healthy, safe, and sustainable food, ensuring the continued success and growth of the industry.

For more information, please contact:
Ashley Peyrard
Communications Manager
Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada