GFM Network News


New pilot program for agri-food labour welcomed

Meat processors, greenhouse and mushroom growers, livestock producers get first crack at program

Ottawa — Federal officials hope a new pilot program will help stabilize ongoing labour issues in certain sectors of the agri-food value chain, while also providing citizenship to some foreign workers. Critics, however, contend more support is needed. “This pilot will help to ensure that farmers and processors have the much-needed skills, experience and labour […] Read more

Move it or compost it might be the motto when it comes to bedding plants and baskets, which is why getting gardening centres designated an essential service was critical for the sector.

Growers relieved as Alberta garden centres declared an essential service

Product needs to move during the brief spring sales window, veggie gardens are suddenly popular again

Garden centres may not spring to mind when thinking of essential services, but getting that official designation was critical, says the CEO of Landscape Alberta. “It opens the value chain from the agricultural side,” said Joel Beatson, whose organization joined Alberta Greenhouse Growers Association in requesting greenhouses, nurseries and garden centres be classed as essential […] Read more


Canada’s growers look to reopening garden centres to salvage dire year

Ottawa | Reuters — Hard-hit Canadian flower and nursery growers hope a surge in demand from budding gardeners in Ontario, the country’s biggest market, can help the industry avert disaster caused by the coronavirus with retailers reopening on Friday in the populous province. Most non-essential businesses in Canada were shut in mid-March as officials urged […] Read more

COVID-19 threatens federal field research

Prairie cereals' commissions urge AAFC to follow example of universities, private researchers

COVID-19 threatens to sideline Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) field, greenhouse and laboratory research this year, but not if the Prairie wheat and barley commissions that help to fund it with farmer money have a say. AAFC has been sending “mixed messages” about its plans, Pam de Rocquigny, general manager of the Manitoba Wheat and […] Read more


Major Quebec hothouse grower seeks creditor protection

One of Quebec’s best known greenhouse propagators, who in recent years launched an aggressive expansion into organic vegetables, is seeking creditor protection. Les Serres Lefort, which operates almost 50 acres of greenhouse facilities at Sainte-Clotilde in Quebec’s Monteregie, announced Sept. 10 it had filed a notice of intention on Sept. 6 to file a proposal […] Read more

Grower of Zing peppers under new ownership

A major greenhouse vegetable grower in southernmost southern Ontario is expanding its reach in the region. Mucci Farms, based at Kingsville, just west of Leamington, announced Wednesday it has bought a controlling stake in Leamington-based Orangeline Farms, the grower of Zing Healthy Foods greenhouse peppers. Financial details weren’t disclosed in Mucci’s release Wednesday, but CBC […] Read more


Agriculture foreign workers get new path to residency

Updated, July 15 — The federal government has announced a pilot program that will make it easier for farms and food companies to maintain workers they recruit from around the world. Ahmed Hussen, minister for immigration, refugees and citizenship, announced the program Friday at Maple Leaf Foods in Mississauga. Why it matters: There’s a labour […] Read more

Senior research scientist Nick Savidov and aquaponics technician Penny Takahashi work in the college’s existing Aquaculture Centre of Excellence greenhouse.

Grants boost greenhouse research at Lethbridge College

A pair of federal grants will allow Lethbridge College to create a new commercial-scale greenhouse and also to purchase equipment for research work in precision irrigation and in antibiotic identification from native plants. The college is getting $1 million towards its Centre for Sustainable Food Production that will be used for the greenhouse that will […] Read more


Vegetable seedling grower, cannabis grower to merge

A B.C. company that raises seedlings for greenhouse vegetable growers is set to devote its existing square footage to weed, following a takeover by a B.C. cannabis grower and processor. Langley-based, publicly-traded Bevo Agro on Thursday announced a reverse takeover deal with Surrey-based, privately-held cannabis firm Sun Pharm Investments, which will see Sun Pharm shareholders […] Read more