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Meeting the Minister


February 29, 2008
By Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers

enniskillen1smallFall of 2007, Petrolia, Ont. — Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz (centre in photo) visited Enniskillen Pepper Co. Ltd. last fall to discuss a host of farming issues. The meeting included representatives from the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG).

enniskillenFeb. 29, 2008, Petrolia, Ont. — Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz (centre in photo) visited Enniskillen Pepper Co. Ltd. last fall to discuss a host of farming issues. The meeting included representatives from the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG).
The meeting was hosted by Enniskillen Pepper Co. owner Jack Greydanus (second from left) and his family.  Producer and OGVG representatives included Peter Quiring of Nature Fresh Farms and Shannon Matheson of Dejavu Raw Energy Farms.
Discussions touched on trade, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), and consumer packaging and labeling issues. 
Among trade topics, OGVG representatives outlined problems experienced with large volumes of foreign produce being brought into Canada during months when Ontario greenhouse vegetable crops are in peak production. They requested an increase in the number of CFIA enforcement officials to monitor imports more closely and prevent illegal repacking of foreign produce. 
Additionally, the OGVG continues to push for a compensation program under the Plant Protection Act. This would ensure that if a greenhouse is ever quarantined due to a new invasive species, the grower would be compensated for the lost crop. 
The OGVG also endorsed the Canadian Federation of Agriculture’s lobbying effort for a voluntary  “Grown in Canada” label for domestically grown products.
It was also suggested the federal government fund a broad marketing campaign, along the lines of Foodland Ontario, Buy BC, and Taste of Manitoba. 

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