From a news release
Last week, industry leaders representing the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) and the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) met with over 50 Parliamentarians and their staff in Ottawa to discuss key issues currently affecting the Canadian fresh fruit and vegetable sector.
This year’s meetings were focused on increasing the industry’s competitiveness. As such, industry leaders proposed innovative solutions to facilitate international trade, improve the health of Canadians, improve the administration of labour programs, and support the regulation of crop protection products. The fresh produce industry looks forward to continuing these conversations with members of Parliament and senators in the months and years ahead.
The fresh fruit and vegetable industry is a vibrant part of the Canadian economy and works tirelessly to improve the health of Canadians while growing the economy. Now is the time for practical solutions that will improve the industry’s competitiveness and ensure we can compete in the global marketplace.
“Close to 80% of Canadians do not consume enough fruits and vegetables as indicated by Canada’s Food Guide, resulting in an economic burden estimated at $4.4 billion,” said Les Mallard, CPMA Chair. “By taking into account our recommendations for the fresh fruit and vegetable industry, our government and all Canadians can benefit from a greater quality of life and a decreased burden on our health care system.”
“The produce industry supply chain has an estimated economic impact of $14 billion in real GDP in Canada while supporting over 181,000 jobs in the Canadian economy,” added Brian Gilroy, CHC President. “Our sector is not only critical to the health of Canadians, but also to the economic well-being of families across the country, and Canada as a whole.”
As part of the advocacy effort, CPMA and CHC hosted a reception with Parliamentarians and their staff. The event featured three top local chefs running live cooking stations and attracted over 220 attendees, including The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, and Parliamentary Secretary Jean-Claude Poissant, representing the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. The evening provided all attendees with a more informal environment to network and build positive relationships.