Press Releases

Agriculture Minister Gives Hope to Processing Vegetable Growers

August 18, 2016

LETTERHEAD
Aug. 18, 2016

Agriculture Minister Gives Hope to  Processing Vegetable Growers

Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Rick Nicholls welcomed news from Minister Leal, Minister of Agriculture & Rural Affairs announcing that he has given a Directive to the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission (OFPMC) regarding the proposed change to Regulation 440.

In a statement yesterday Minister Leal stated that he has given “clear direction to the OFPMC to establish an open, collaborative and transparent process for considering the impact of any proposed regulatory amendments.”

Nicholls said “I am concerned that without proper consultation, the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers Board would be stripped of its negotiating powers with Processors.”

Minister Leal’s statement went on to say “Specifically the Commission is directed to develop a plan for further engagement and consultation with interested parties and stakeholders concerning any proposed amendments to the regulatory framework for the vegetable for processing industry and that the need of both producers and processors be considered.”

He also “directed the OFMPC to refrain from implementing any changes to the existing regulatory framework applicable to the vegetable processing industry until there has been a fulsome public consultation and engagement process that adheres to the principles outlined in the Directive.”

Nicholls stated “the support shown by Minister Leal in response to the several letters and emails received suggests that he is listening to the concerns raised.  The consultation meetings held in Leamington and Chatham with local growers were very positive and I believe it sent a very clear message to the Minister and to the OFPMC. The manner in which this proposal was being introduced was not fair to the many growers and processors affected, and this directive will now make the process open, fair and transparent and that is what I have advocated for. If the Proposed Changes to Regulation 440 had moved forward, the impact to local farmers and their family farms could have been devastating.”

 

For more information, contact Sue Adamson

519-351-0510 or rick.nichollsco@pc.ola.org