The Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC)’s Board of Directors recently welcomed industry and government representatives on their summer tour of several berry and vegetable farms, as well as an apple orchard near Quebec City. Most notably, the group was joined by MP Jean-Claude Poissant, Parliamentary Secretary for agriculture, and MP Luc Berthold, Vice-Chair of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. CHC was also pleased to host representatives from the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Pest Management Centre, the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec, CropLife Canada, Farm Credit Canada, the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation, l’Association des producteurs maraîchers du Quebec, l’Association des producteurs de pommes de terre du Québec, and Lassonde.

Throughout the day, key topics of discussion centered on labour, small business tax deductions, and crop protection issues. At each location, group participants also learned directly from the farmers about the kinds of innovative practices that are being implemented in their operations.

Tour stops

The first stop on the tour was Canneberges Bécancour, one of the largest cranberry farms in Quebec, with a total of 260 planted acres.

The group then travelled to Productions horticoles Demers, which specializes in strawberries, tomatoes and winter raspberries. The farm pays special attention to choosing cultivars of exceptional organoleptic quality and has been fine-tuning the production of hydroponic raspberries under cover.

Then after a short lunch, it was off to François Gosselin farm, a family-owned business for more than seven generations. The farm is an important producer of strawberries, in addition to maple syrup products. The company employs a total of 120 people, including 100 from abroad.

Afterwards, the group stopped at Onésime Pouliot farm, another operation that has been going for seven generations. The company hires nearly 180 people and was the first to grow sweet potatoes commercially in Quebec. It is also one of the province’s most important producers of day-neutral strawberries.

Finally, the tour ended with a stop at the Ferme Avicole Orléans, which grows about 20 varieties of apples across six hectares, and raises nearly 900,000 chickens and 100,000 turkeys a year.

The CHC Board Summer Tour is an excellent opportunity for growers, industry representatives, politicians and government regulators to become better acquainted with one another and to talk about issues impacting Canadian fruit and vegetable production in a casual and engaging environment. We look forward to welcoming participants again next year when the tour moves to Ontario.


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