December 22, 2016 07:15 ET
Ministry response confirms Minister's real intentions
MITCHELL, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 22, 2016) - "Ontario Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Jeff Leal continues to delay making a decision on recommendations of the Province's independent Farm Products Marketing Commission while orders are cancelled, jobs are at risk and investment dries up," said Karl Evans, Chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Processors Association.
In response to questions posed by farm.com, the Minister's office said, "(Minister Leal) has directed the (Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission) to develop a plan for engagement and consultation with stakeholders concerning any proposed amendments to the regulatory framework for the vegetables for processing industry."
"We have had years of consultation on this issue and the FPMC has come back with a sound recommendation that the Minister ignored," said Mark Weil, General Manager of Weil's Food Processing Ltd. "This is the definition of insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result."
"There is nothing that is going to materially change the FPMC report of June 28, 2016," said Butch Siebenmorgen, Plant Manager of Bonduelle's Strathroy facility. "The Minister knows what he needs to do, it's just that he is being manipulated by a small cartel - directors of the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers (OPVG), who have the right to unilaterally impose terms and conditions on the vegetable processing sector. We need the Minister to take the action recommended by his Commission in order to modernize the structure of the OPVG to work in the best interest of the industry...not just for primary producers."
"The Minister also knows that delaying will not help him fulfill his mandate that the Premier issued earlier this year," Evans stated. "We will not have a strategy for the promotion of locally grown world crops by winter 2017 because the processors who are key to getting products to consumers are being decimated."
Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Processors Association (OFVPA)Don EppExecutive Director519firstname.lastname@example.org
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