FVGC Welcomes USDA APHIS Decision to Amend the Federal Order Regarding ToBRFV

juin 21, 2024

OTTAWA – The Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) is pleased to share the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) updated Federal Order regarding the Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV). This decision, which removes the restrictions previously placed on commercial fresh fruit consignments, marks a significant milestone for the vertically-integrated North American fresh tomato and pepper industry.

FVGC has been a staunch advocate of science-based regulatory decisions on both sides of the border in order to maintain Canada’s significant trade relationship with the U.S. Since the initial Federal Order came into effect in late 2019, which restricted the import of both tomato and pepper fruit and propagative plant materials to safeguard against the virus, the Canadian greenhouse vegetable sector has implemented stringent on-farm biosecurity protocols to limit the introduction and spread of the virus. ToBRFV was first identified in Israel in 2014 and has since been reported in various countries. The virus is primarily a concern in greenhouse production as the virus is spread through contact as plants are transplanted, pruned or trellised. The virus is not a food safety risk.

Under the new order, APHIS continues to maintain safeguards for imported and domestic tomato and pepper propagative plant materials, including seeds. The risk pathway assessments published in August 2023 demonstrated that ToBRFV is unlikely to reach commercial production areas through fruit marketed for consumption.

Marcus Janzen, President of FVGC, expressed his support for the updated United States Federal Order, stating, “Our sector has learned a lot about managing emerging global virus risks over the past 5 years. The APHIS decision is an acknowledgement of the science at work to better understand the threat, and to find new tools that ensure that safe, nutritious fresh vegetables are available both domestically and in export markets. FVGC will continue to advocate for policies that protect and promote the interests of Canadian growers.”

This decision is a win for both Canadian and American stakeholders, allowing growers to meet the growing year-round demand more effectively. Regulating propagative plant material addresses the highest risk pathway and is essential to the disease management plan for ToBRFV. Linda Delli Santi, Chair of the Greenhouse Vegetable Working Group, highlighted “Our reality is that globally, emerging viruses and other plant pests continue to put new pressures on food production. This presents a particular set of challenges for growers, the supply chain, and regulators to respond to, and more quickly and frequently than ever before.”

Stability in the supply chain reduces production risks and costs while improving the predictability of market prices.  The amended Federal Order will benefit Canadian growers by facilitating the movement of greenhouse-grown tomatoes and peppers across the Canada-US border without the delays and disruptions that previously cost growers both money and time. FVGC will continue to advocate on behalf of members to ensure that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) takes appropriate actions following this news and remains committed to supporting our growers and safeguarding the sustainability of Canada’s fruit and vegetable sector.


For more information on the updated Federal Order, and the updated USDA-APHIS PPQ Plants for Planting Manual please visit the USDA APHIS website.


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 $6.8 billion in 2022. 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
Gestionnaire, communications
Producteurs de fruits et légumes du Canada