January 29, 2024
OTTAWA, ON – Today, as Parliament reconvenes, the Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) extends a warm welcome to all 337 Members of Parliament and 97 Senators, acknowledging the significant presence of fruit and vegetable growers within their ridings and regions. As these parliamentarians gather on Parliament Hill, FVGC reminds them of the essential role these growers play in both their local communities and the broader Canadian agricultural landscape.
In 2023, Canadian fruit and vegetable growers faced unprecedented challenges due to extreme weather events nationwide. These adverse conditions have not only tested the resilience of our growers but also highlighted the critical need for government collaboration to support them. As Canadians grapple with the escalating cost of living, the importance of growers in offering affordable, nutritious produce becomes increasingly vital. This is more than an agricultural issue; it directly impacts the everyday expenses of Canadians. FVGC President Jan VanderHout is urgently calling on Parliament to respond immediately to three key legislative priorities, emphasizing that supporting our growers is a direct step towards mitigating the rising cost of living, while ensuring the continued health and economic stability of our nation.
- For the House of Commons to resist any delay tactics and immediately pass Bill C-234 in its original form. “Canadian farmers need immediate relief”, stressed VanderHout. “Providing a full carbon tax exemption for farmers, which would allow critical investment in environmentally friendly technologies, is the absolute best way to ensure food security for all Canadians.”
- For the Senate to swiftly pass Bill C-280. “This is neither a complicated nor a controversial piece of legislation”, commented VanderHout. “The fact that the Bill had nearly unanimous consent in the House of Commons says a lot. Establishing a deemed trust for all fresh produce sellers will help to ensure support of local economies across Canada. Unnecessary delays will limit Canadians getting access to safe, nutritious fruit and vegetables.
- For the Ministers of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Innovation, Science and Industry to facilitate an agreement with the five major Canadian grocers to sign on to the Grocery Industry Code of Conduct. “In every survey and poll, cost of living remains as the number one priority for every Canadian family – the Code will go a long way to stabilize incomes of growers, and sustain production of produce, all of which will ultimately benefit Canadian consumers in what they pay”, said VanderHout. “Canadians deserve this Code of Conduct – it is now up to the Government of Canada to make this a reality.”
As Canadians continue to face unprecedented challenges, FVGC urges all parliamentarians to prioritize the needs of Canada’s fruit and vegetable growers—a cornerstone of our communities and economy. We call upon all Canadians to support these legislative changes and join us in advocating for a sustainable, resilient agricultural future. Together, we can ensure that the growers who feed our nation are supported, protected, and empowered to thrive.
For more information, please contact:
Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada
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.