December 2022 Newsletter

OPVG News - December 2022

OPVG Newsletter

December 2022 Edition

Board election results


  • District 1: Chris Stewart (current Board member) was acclaimed as Board Director for 2023. The second position, appointed by the Farm Products Marketing Commission, is pending.
  • District 2: Carl Merrick (current Board member) was the successful candidate as confirmed by Returning Officer Canlead Solutions.
  • District 3: Neil Reimer (current Board member) was acclaimed as Board Director for 2023.

Policy Day decisions

OPVG District Committee Delegates gathered on November 9 to discuss policies and processes for a number of items, including:


  • the appointment and term for the OPVG Chair
  • process for meetings in the absence of OPVG Chair
  • streamlining the arbitration process
  • role of advisory committees and District Delegate Committees

2023 Negotiating teams named

Here is the list of grower representatives elected at the November 15 meeting for 2023 crop negotiations. Please reach out to your grower representatives if you have any input or feedback.


For Nortera crops 

(Note: Board appointment to these committees will be made at a future Board meeting.)


Peas: Dale Cook, Jeff Ferguson, Jeff Cook, Ian Denys

Sweet Corn: Eric Prelaz, Randy Brown, Mac Ferguson, John Ferguson

Green & Wax Beans: John Lugtigheid, Bruce Shackleton, Tom VanDamme, Carl Merrick

Lima Beans: Larry Cowan, Clark Paton, Mike Sleegers, Jeff Cook

Squash: Rob deNijs, Tracy Gubbels


For Hartung Brothers, Inc. Cucumbers


Chatham Hand Harvest: Ron VanDamme, Ryan Leclair, Ed Janssen, Sean Dobblelaar, Jordan Apers, Jeff VanRoboys

Eastern Stations Hand Harvest: Dan Froese, Mike Lenders, Neil Reimer, Ivan Dyck, Andy Meulemeester, Dave Peters

Machine Harvest: Ron VanDamme, John Lugtigheid, Jeff VanRoboys

Membership matters for research

We’re proud to represent the diverse and dynamic processing vegetable industry in Ontario since 1946. Our sector of Canadian agriculture contributes more than $98 million in gross annual sales from nine crops. We’re highlighting the ways we serve our industry in this new newsletter feature starting with research funding.


Every year, OPVG invests more than $225,000 in research projects through three separate committees – Ontario Tomato Research Institute, Ontario Cucumber Research Committee, and the Pea, Bean and Corn Research Committee.


Projects focus on improving crop performance through a variety of agronomic practices including breeding and management practices. OPVG engages with a research advisory committee to identify and prioritize areas of focus that are of importance to growers.

Are you a soil leader?


The Ontario Soil Network offers a one-year leadership challenge for anyone passionate about soil and soil health, and the deadline closes on December 31, 2022.


The Network Challenge involves a six-part leadership workshop from late January through early March 2023. Participants receive a range of skills training to host and present at events, participate in soil research, building a network as well as healthier soil.

Application information is available here.



Pick Ontario First



Earlier this year, OPVG participated in a consumer-focused campaign with Fortinos grocery store chain. The Pick Ontario First event featured Ontario-grown foods throughout its stores in August – the peak of local, summer eating – to consumers in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). 


OPVG was one of six groups in the campaign, along with Mushrooms Canada, Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Foodland Ontario, Ontario Bean Farmers and Egg Farmers of Ontario. Marketing activities included a flyer delivered to more than 800,000 GTHA households, an online digital flyer available on Fortinos’ website and three flyer apps, social media posts, a consumer email, as well as a large presence on the site. A key part of the website was a shopping cart that featured several processing vegetable products, and a downloadable recipe featuring ingredients from all the participating groups.


A campaign like this is mostly about creating more awareness about Ontario’s processing vegetable industry – the farmers and the products grown. We’re also happy to report that the sales of products featured on Fortinos website for the Pick Ontario First campaign were 41% higher than during the same period in 2021. We believe this type of consumer outreach adds value to our industry as a whole, and positions us alongside other leading Ontario-grown foods.


March 30, 2023

OPVG Annual General Meeting

Last call for photo entries 


We’d love to see your farm photos entered in the 2022 OPVG Photo Contest.


The entry deadline is December 31, 2022

and all the details are available here.

OPVG holiday hours


We’d like to extend our warmest wishes to all our members for a safe and happy holiday season with friends and family.


The OPVG office will be closed

Fri, Dec 23 - Mon, Jan 2.

We'll reopen on Tues, Jan 3, 2023.


Merry Christmas and

a Happy New Year! 

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