Feb 22, 2018Funding to make Canadian fruit and vegetables ‘even more competitive’
Speaking Feb. 21 at the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention, Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre, announced an investment of over $175,000 to the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) in providing services to Canadian buyers and sellers of fresh fruits and vegetables.
“Our Government is committed to giving the horticulture industry in this province and across Canada the tools it needs to succeed and become even more competitive,” Badawey said in a news release.
The DRC, which acts as a third party financial dispute resolution body for fruit and vegetable growers, received an investment of $118,795 to deliver an outreach and education initiative on the impending Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) and Regulations. An additional $58,807 was provided under the same program to support the industry to initiate work toward updating the Canadian grade standards for fresh fruits and vegetables in order to reflect current market and consumer preferences.
The Canadian horticulture sector has direct farm cash receipts of more than $7.4 billion of which the fresh produce component (fruits, field and greenhouse vegetables and potatoes) comprises almost $4.7 billion.
“This investment will help provide clarity and confidence to farmers across Canada and ensure Canada continues to produce the same high-quality fruit and vegetables to Canadians and the world,” said Rebecca Lee, Executive Director of the Canadian Horticultural Council.
The Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) is a non-profit, membership-based organization serving the produce trade. DRC provides harmonized standards, procedures and services to its members to help them avoid commercial disputes.
Under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations, which are set to be published in 2018, the Dispute Resolution Corporation will be permitted to act as an independent, third-party dispute resolution body and ensure the adherence of fresh fruit and vegetable buyers to a unified set of trading rules and govern against slow, partial and/or no pay by buyers with strict penalties for buyer non-payment.