Processing tomato exports over the past 10 years. Note that Heinz’s Leamington plant shut down in the middle of this time period. (Tomato juice, past and procuts (incl. ketchup). Source: OMAFRA International Trade Database Adapted from Statistics Canada, Economic Anaylsis Unit)

Processing tomato export numbers debated

Where are all the tomatoes going?

The processing tomato market was upended in 2013 when Heinz, the province’s largest processor left. The health of the sector since is being hotly debated. Hardeman recently tweeted a graph that showed a large decline in processing tomato exports from Ontario. In 2008, Ontario exported $75 million worth of processed tomato products (juice, paste and […] Read more

Tyler Whale spoke to the attendees of the recent Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers conference.

Canadian agriculture needs technology to innovate

Next innovators will need to look beyond yield and to what consumers are demanding

Will the next Canadian agricultural technological revolution focus on yield or taste? According to Tyler Whale, president of Ontario Agri-Food Technologies, an organization focused on technological development in food and agriculture, Canada’s farm and food sector must consider more than yield, stress tolerance, and other production factors to stay competitive and relevant to market demands. […] Read more

Rob Wong of Agri-Neo.

Made-in-Ontario food safety treatment for dry foods now used across North America

Product helps reduce food safety issues on foods that can’t be otherwise sanitized before consumption

An Ontario company has developed a biodegradable organic sanitizer specifically to eliminate microbes on dry foods like seeds, nuts, and powders. Foods treated with Neo-Pure are now sold in major grocers across North America, including Loblaw, Whole Foods, Costco and Trader Joe’s — and new technology for treating wheat flour is in the pipeline. “Most […] Read more

Most small organic producers sell some of their goods at farmers’ markets.

Ontario organic bill again introduced in legislature

Survey shows barriers exist to small-producer certification

The creation of organic regulations for Ontario is getting a third chance. A private members bill to create organic regulations was tabled Nov. 12 in the Ontario legislature by Progressive Conservative Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry. Why it matters: There are national organic standards that apply to products sold across provincial borders, but no […] Read more

Jim Soetmans, left, Laura Soetmans, Mary Donkers and Joe Donkers are owners of Stonepicker Brewing near Forest.

On-farm breweries grow

A hobby has turned into a growing business for a couple of Lambton County farmers

You can’t mistake the fact you’re arriving at an on-farm brewery when you arrive at Stonepicker Brewing. There’s the McCormick Deering antique tractor at the end of the lane, the idled hog barn you pass on the way to the brewery building and the 1933 Case C hanging from the wall above the bar when […] Read more

Adzuki bean size is an issue in Ontario, but bean breeders are working to improve it.

Breeders look to bump up adzuki bean yield

The high-value bean consistently yields less than other edible beans, but breeders are trying to change that

Adzuki beans are prized by Japanese buyers for taste and colour and used in many Asian foods, including soups and desserts. But it’s hard to convince growers in Ontario to plant them because of their lower yield. There’s not much doubt about the lower yield, says Chris Gillard, an associate professor at the University of […] Read more

The national food policy for Canada is expected to break down some of the sector and government barriers around food.

Food policy consultations reveal challenges of creating national direction

The next steps, not yet known, will be important to the success of the program, says CFA president

The public is more concerned with conserving environmental health and ensuring access to affordable food, versus growing more of it, according to public consultations on Canada’s Food Policy. The results of a long public consultation process were released recently and show the challenges that the federal government will have in creating A Food Policy for Canada, […] Read more

Cathy Lennon, general manager of the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers Association, says having a Canadian company investing in Canadian vegetable processing is great news.

New pickle plant coming to Wallaceburg

Whyte’s Foods will create 100 jobs and use Ontario cucumbers and peppers in a refurbished plant

Pickles will once again be processed in Ontario. A large crowd of farmers, politicians, community members and local officials gathered in Wallaceburg on Aug. 23 to hear representatives from Whyte’s Foods Inc. – a large Canadian pickled vegetables company based in Quebec – announce plans to create a new pepper and cucumber processing facility in […] Read more

Don Mayo gestures during his presentation about the promotion of Canadian milk.  Photo: John Greig

Milk ad awareness beating top brands

Dairy Farmers of Canada has been pushed to better measure the effectiveness its farmer-funded milk promotion

Dairy Farmers of Canada continues to build its ability to measure the success of its marketing campaigns and return on investment after Dairy Farmers of Ontario pulled its promotion funding due to a lack of such information. Dairy Farmers of Canada’s (DFC) recent policy conference included a presentation by Don Mayo, global managing partner for […] Read more