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The Ontario government has decided to remove Schedule 10 from the proposed Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018. This movement signals the government’s willingness to listen to the concerns of Ontario agriculture, says the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA).

According to the OFA release, Schedule 10 proposed an amendment to the provincial Planning Act that would have given municipalities the ability to pass bylaw changes that could use primary farmland for any type of development. Schedule 10 was part of the government’s open-for-business bylaws.

“This announcement by the government is great news for Ontarians and the 38,000 farm families the OFA represents,” says Keith Currie, OFA president. “Farmland is a finite resource and we must do everything to protect it for food production.”

On January 21 OFA sent a formal letter to Economic Development Minister, Todd Smith stating its serious concerns about Schedule 10 and the impact the proposed legislative changes would have on Ontario’s agri-food sector. On January 23 Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark, announced the government would withdraw the Schedule 10 provisions under Bill 66.

“We will continue to work together with the Ontario government to advocate for the best interests of the agri-food sector and rural communities. Together we can create greater prosperity across Ontario that isn’t at the expense of the province’s farmland resource,” says Currie.

The OFA is the largest general farm organization in Ontario, representing 38,000 farm families across the province.
Abbotsford, BC – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has chosen the Canadian Agricultural HR Council (CAHRC) to lead a new Quality AgriWorkforce Management Program: International Phase (QAMP) with a $279,239 investment in the nine-month project.

The QAMP will support employers who hire international workers to supplement their Canadian workforce. The intent of the program will be to provide employers with the information, training and tools needed to efficiently and successfully hire and manage international workers.

Research has shown that each international worker that is hired, following a stringent process to ensure qualified Canadian workers do not wish to apply, results in two to four full-time Canadian agriculture related jobs up and down the agri-food supply chain.

Contributing $304 million per day to Canada’s economy ($111 billion annually) and employing approximately 2.3 million Canadians, the agri-food sector accounts for close to seven per cent of Canada’s GDP. With Canadian agri-food enjoying global recognition and unprecedented demand due to the high quality of the products coupled with equally high safety standards, this critical business sector is poised to double its economic contribution to Canada by 2025.

Canada’s Economic Strategy Table: Agri-Food report released fall 2018, highlighted several areas that will require action for Canada’s agri-food sector to realize increased economic opportunity. For example, a regulatory system that supports innovation, a smart interconnected transportation system as well as broadband and IT improvements in rural communities. However, the most widely discussed and compelling area of focus continues to be increasing the labour force that will be needed in all skill levels and experience necessary for the Canadian Agri-Food sector to take full advantage of the domestic and global market that eagerly awaits “more” of Canada’s highly valued agri-food products.

“Canada’s agricultural sector faces significant labour shortages, with over half of the work being seasonal and in rural areas with lower populations. Reliable access to labour is critical for this sector to ensure both continued food production and job creation across British Columbia and all of Canada,” says Jati Sidhu, member of parliament for Mission – Matsqui – Fraser Canyon.

CAHRC will implement the project through a variety of workshops and webinars across Canada while developing employer guides and handbooks. Looking ahead, CAHRC envisions a skills hub that would house a variety of HR management-focused best practices that would be available to employers across the agri-food spectrum. Agri-food businesses with a view to growing the AgriWorkforce require workers from all skill levels to meet the range of skills and experience necessary to capitalize on the growing demand for Canada’s highly sought after agri-food products.

Funded in part by AAFC’s Canadian Agriculture Adaptation Program (CAAP), the CAHRC is collaborating with producers, farm workers, federal and provincial government departments, leading agriculture organizations and agricultural colleges and training providers to deliver the International Phase of the Quality AgriWorkforce Management Program.
IPM Essen will take place at Messe Essen once again, from January 22 to 25, 2019, with 1,600 exhibitors from 50 countries.
The Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association is once again organizing the annual Growers' Short Course in partnership with the Pacific Agriculture Show. It runs from January 24 to 26 at the TRADEX in Abbotsford, BC.
The town of Lincoln has hit the pause button when it comes to new marijuana grow operations in the area.
Tomato plants emit an aroma in order to resist bacterial attacks.
Organto Global Cannabis Group, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Medicannabis S.A.S., has been granted a license from Colombia's Ministry of Justice to cultivate non-psychoactive cannabis (CBD) at its cultivation and breeding facility in Guasca, Cundinamarca, Colombia.
When most people think of ornamental plants they imagine beautiful and fragrant ways to decorate a space, celebrate a holiday, or brighten up someone’s day. Very few consumers think of the challenges associated with growing and moving flowers and plants between the growing facility and the retailer. Ornamental plant growers across North America take significant efforts to ensure that these plants for planting do not pose a biosecurity threat.
Attended by nearly 80,000 people, Fruit Logistica Berlin is the world’s largest fresh produce trade show. A relatively new entry, Canada in its current form has a country pavilion now in its third consecutive year. Find out more about the key stakeholders taking part in Berlin in February.
Nearly 60 percent of food produced in Canada – amounting to 35.5 million metric tonnes – is lost and wasted annually. Of that, 32 percent – equalling 11.2 million metric tonnes of lost food – is avoidable and is edible food that could be redirected to support people in our communities. The total financial value of this potentially rescuable lost and wasted food is a staggering $49.46 billion.
The Ontario greenhouse vegetable sector has a new online resource.
The 2019 National Floriculture Forum is scheduled from February 16-17 in Chicago, IL. The theme of this year’s meeting is “Adding Value: Back to our Roots.”
LED lighting solutions provider, Fluence Bioengineering, Inc. has announced urban-gro, Inc. of Lafayette, Colorado, as an authorized system integrator for Fluence LED lighting solutions in North and South America.

“Working with urban-gro will enable cultivators to easily integrate our solutions and benefit from the expertise, capabilities and guidance which their team brings to the controlled environment agriculture industry,” said David Cohen, CEO of Fluence Bioengineering.

Fluence launched an authorized reseller program, where each reseller is trained by and works closely with Fluence to ensure the company’s LED grow lights are properly integrated into a grower’s unique cultivation environment.

Urban-gro’s ag tech division, Soleil Technologies, integrates and uses wireless networks and environmental control systems to manage the indoor microclimate.
Engage Agro Corporation has officially become Belchim Crop Protection Canada.
Moleaer Inc., manufacturer of industrial-scale nanobubble generators, announces the addition of Michiel de Jong as director of business development of Europe & horticulture.

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