Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Tobacco farmers regain control

 Tobacco farmers are regaining control of the Ontario Flue-Cured Tobacco Growers Marketing Board.

The Ontario Farm Products Commission has been appointing its five directors, but farmers will elect their own slate at this year’s annual meeting.

Two will serve a three-year term and three will serve a two-year term.

The commission has also enacted regulations so the board can issue licences and collect fees. 

All tobacco growers will require a board licence, but there will be no production controls.

The board collapsed under competitive pressure from illegal tobacco production and imports.

In 2008 then federal agriculture minister Gerry Ritz offered $300 million to buy out farmers and their quota.

The money came from a $1.15-billion penalty on Rothmans Benson & Hedges and Imperial Tobacco cigarette companies for illegally importing cigarettes