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July 2021

A MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Update on a potential Grocer Code of Conduct 

Since last summer’s announcement made by Walmart of additional fees, for sellers, the topic of a Grocer Code of Conduct for Canada has gathered steam. 

Last fall, CHC sent in an advocacy document in anticipation of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) decision to assign a working group to look at the issue. Since then, CHC has been engaged in conversations with industry partners on the development of such code and sent in a joint submission with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, and the L'Union des producteurs agricoles. 

Earlier this month, the topic came up at the Canada’s FPT Ministers of Agriculture meeting, where they acknowledged the need for such a code and directed Ministers to work with industry to come up with solutions. 
 
The CHC has already been part of discussions on how to ensure any framework moving forward is grower-led, and levels the playing field to protect our farmers. It has always been our main priority to ensure grower voices are included around the table, especially now that we begin to enter the next phase of negotiations. CHC is looking forward to collaborating with all of the industry stakeholders in a constructive way to enable fair and equitable conditions for all players.
 
If you have questions, would like additional information or would like to share any information that could help with our work, please contact me directly via email at RLee@hortcouncil.ca.


Rebecca Lee
Executive Director
Canadian Horticultural Council 

 
IMPORTANT INDUSTRY UPDATES
Canada Gap Program fee increase

Effective September 1, 2021, all annual CanadaGap certification options will have an increased fee by 3%, rounded to the nearest five dollars. The increase of the annual program fee is to cover costs related to program delivery including rising insurance premiums, administration, staffing, self-assessment and random audit fees.
 
More information
 
UN Food Systems Summit
 
This fall, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will convene a Food Systems Summit (FSS) as part of a Decade of Action to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030. Across the world unsafe or unsustainable food practices remain a problem. 
 
The term “food system” refers to activities involved in producing, processing, transporting and consuming food. When these activities function well, food systems have the power to bring us together as families, communities and nations. The UN Food Systems Summit will serve as a turning point in the worlds journey to achieve the SDG’s. 
 
Over the past year, CHC’s Executive Director Rebecca Lee has participated in the Private Sector Guiding Group (PSGG), providing input from the perspective of Canadian fruit and vegetable growers. Lee has also been active as the current role of Chair of the International Federation of Produce Standards. Discussions have focused on how these goals can best be achieved in a way that benefits local businesses while also respecting the rights and dignities of all people. 
 
Following the work done through the PSGG, Lee also attended many of the event sessions at the FSS pre-summit meeting that was held July 26-28. These sessions offered highlights such as new financial tools for farmers, multi-sectoral work, trade enabling sustainability, the use of regenerative farming practices and more. 

 

Johanne Ross, Executive Director of Ag in the Classroom, to Receive Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame Induction Honour this fall

Johanne will be one of five outstanding ag leaders inducted into the Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame later this year. 
 
As an industry change maker, she is dedicating her career to bringing agricultural education into classrooms across Canada. As Executive Director of Agriculture in the Classroom Canada, she brings her lifelong leadership role to work with government and industry, ensuring students and educators across Canada have access to relevant, credible and engaging information on the diverse field of agriculture. 
 
On behalf of the CHC, congratulations to Johanne and thank you for all you’ve done for our industry!


Read the full announcement here
 

National Invasive Species playing cards and Awareness Week recordings available

The Canadian Canadian Council on Invasive Species with partners across Canada have developed bilingual playing cards with resources featuring facts and distribution information for 50 invasive plants, animals and diseases present in Canada. 

National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) raises awareness on invasive species issues, shares important information with partners to assist them with their invasive species work and encourages people to take action to prevent the spread of invasive species in Canada. Watch the webinar recordings of the two NISAW's that were held in February and May 2021. 

Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) AgriHR Toolkit 

Through the Canadian Horticultural Council’s partnership with the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council, our members have free access to the AgriHR Toolkit. This resource is designed to address the unique needs of the agriculture industry. Based on years of research and field testing conducted in Canada and internationally, this toolkit offers everything you need to improve your people management skills and develop key resources to help you find, retain, and support your employees. To access it, simply set up an account using the Coupon Code: HORTtoolkit.

COVID-19 Information Centre

We are continuing to work with commodity and regional representatives, as well as with other agriculture industry organizations, to reduce the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on our sector. Visit CHC's COVID-19 Information Centre webpage for the latest information, updates and links for resources for producers and industry representatives.

GET TO KNOW YOUR INDUSTRY
Larry McIntosh
Past President & CEO
Peak of the Market


Larry held the position of President & CEO of Peak of the Market for the past 27 years. He is well known for his signature line "Don't forget to eat your Veggies", along with his dedication towards marketing produce in general, he has made the brand "Peak of the Market" a must-have for produce in Manitoba.
What are your retirement plans? Right now, my wife, Shelley and I are taking time to relax and enjoy our beautiful Manitoba summer. It has been amazing weather other than the lack of rain which the growers need. In the fall, depending on the pandemic situation, we are planning on doing some travelling. 
 

Why did you choose to work in this industry during your career? In my previous career, I travelled to and lived in many different areas of Canada. During that time, I lived in Manitoba twice and then was transferred to Ontario. When I was looking for another career path, I’m not sure I made a conscious decision to get into produce but I did want to get back to Manitoba. I applied for the position at Peak of the Market, was hired as the President & CEO and from the very beginning fell in love with the industry.   

What do you most respect/admire about Canadian growers? I truly respect Canadian growers in the way they work together. There is a friendly competition between growers on who has the first harvest, how big a yield is, etc. but together they look at the big picture of providing healthy food to consumers and looking after the land that the crops grow on.     

What will be our industry’s biggest challenges in the short/long term and how can we address them? I feel some of the bigger challenges will include labour, climate change and the need to meet the rising demand for healthy food for an increasing world population.

Where is the last place you travelled? As I mentioned, we have been enjoying walking around our city and taking day trips within Manitoba. At the end of a walk or drive, as businesses begin to reopen, we are stopping for an ice cream along the way! 

What is your favourite dish with Canadian fruit and veg? I have two answers to this question – a baked red potato and carrot cake! Here is the link for the carrot cake.

On behalf of the CHC, we thank Larry for everything he has done for our industry and wish him a long and happy retirement!
 
UPCOMING EVENTS AND DEADLINES
Potato research open house

You're invited! On August 11, 2021 at 10 AM - 2 PM EST at the Elora Research Station come see the new variety demonstration plots and more. The open house will have chipping, fresh market and french fry lines on display, as well researchers form the University of Guelph will be there to discuss their work. If you wish to attend, please RSVP via email to Vanessa Currie at vcurrie@uoguelph.ca.
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