Saturday, April 30, 2022

Colorado man infected with avian flu

A Colorado man who was helping to depopulate an infected flock has contracted avian influenza.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made the announcement recently and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) said the man is mostly asymptomatic, reporting only fatigue.

He is now isolating and taking the antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu) per CDC direction.

The infected man, who is younger than 40, is a prison inmate in Delta County.                        



York Region has avian flu outbreak

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said on the weekend that a commercial poultry operation in York Region has experienced an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza.

Elite chocolates on recall

 Strauss Israel of Israel has a problem with salmonella contamination of its Elite brand chocolates.

As a result, Foodfest International 200 Inc. is recalling the Elite brand chocolates it distributed nationally in Canada.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said there have been no reports of illnesses in Canada.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Poppyseed recall expands again

Healthy Planet of Markham has been added to the long list of distributors and retailers who are recalling organic poppyseed because of salmonella contamination.

Some was packaged for bulk distribution from Markham.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency identified the contamination and has been pursuing an investigation that has been turning up more distributors almost daily.

The CFIA said there have been no reports of people falling ill after consuming these organic poppyseeds.

Last-minute Agristability deadline extension

 At the last minute, the federal government has extended the deadline for signing up for Agristability.

The deadline that was April 30 is now June 30.

It is the fourth time in as many years the deadline has been extended.

Canola qualifies for U.S. diesel market

The United States Environmental Protection Agency is poised to allow canola oil to be incorporated with diesel and jet fuel.

It could make the U.S. the biggest export market for canola, said Jim Everson, president of the Canola Council of Canada.

The EPA saidd canola oil meets the greenhouse gas emission reduction threshold of 50 percent required to qualify for advanced biofuel renewable identification numbers under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard.

The proposed rule is open for comment until May 18. A final rule is expected to be published in July.

“It’s really, really, very good news,” said Everson.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Betteridge studies horse pregnancies

Dr. Keith J. Bretteridge, who has spent much of his career at Ontario Veterinary College studying horse pregnancies, has been able to make exciting discoveries using new technologies, such as RNA (messenger genetics) and ultrasound.

He now knows that the mare communicates with her embryo and is looking into whether the embryo communicates with the mare.

Approximately 17 per cent of equine pregnancies fail and 70 per cent of those losses will occur in the first six weeks of pregnancy, Betteridge said in a recent video prepared at the college’s Equine Guelph research centre.

“Pregnancy was always looked at as though the embryo was just a passenger in the uterus,” he said.

“It has gradually emerged since the 1960’s that the embryo is a very active participant in pregnancy. If the embryo is not communicating with the mare, the pregnancy won’t develop. 


“Understanding the two sides of the conversation between the embryo and the mare is absolutely vital to understanding how pregnancy will develop normally and how, when an embryo is lost, the pregnancy will fail,” Betteridge said. 

RNA sequencing has provided new methods of finding out which genes are active in the lining of the uterus at a particular time. 


The ‘dialogue’ from the mare’s side has been examined and future studies will hopefully reveal the ‘conversation’ from the embryonic side, he said.

With continued research, we are gradually building up information that will help the horse breeder reduce the number of pregnancies that are lost.


Maple Leaf invests in food security

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. has promised $10 million to improve food security and its chief executive officer and president Michael McCain is adding $2.5 million from his own purse.

This doubles the investment in THE Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security which was established in 2016 to advocate for structural policy solutions to achieving sustainable food security.

More than 5.8 million Canadians, or 15.8 per cent of the population, struggle with food insecurity, Maple Leaf said in a news release. The center has set a goal to reduce hunger by 50 per cent by 2030.

"Food insecurity will not be solved by food charity. The Centre works with others to raise awareness of this issue, break the silence and stigma, and advocate for critical public policy reforms to achieve sustainable change," said Lynda Kuhn, senior vice president and chair of the center.

Linamar buys Salford

Linamar, a large automotive-parts manufacturer in Guelph, is using its ownership of MacDon Industries to buy the Salford Group which makes fertilizer application and tillage equipment.

Salford has three plants in Canada and the U.S.

Salford will “continue to leverage its established manufacturing and distribution network” and sell its products under the Salford brand, Linamar said.

Salford Group president Geof Gray said combining Linamar’s resources and brand strengths with Salford’s “will enable Salford to 

compete and innovate at a higher level with greater market coverage, delivering even more value to dealers and farmers.”

Linda Hasenfratz , chief executive officer for Linamar, said the crop nutrition application and tillage segments where Salford operates are “areas we had identified in our agriculture growth strategy as highly attractive segments for future product diversification.”

Avian flu tally rises to 35

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency reports that highly-pathogenic avian influenza has broken out in 35 poultry flocks across Canada.

Sixteen are in Ontario claiming 250,000 birds that either died or were euthanized to prevent the disease from spreading.

Nationally the disease or quarantines have claimed 717,100 birds, not counting a large duck business in Quebec where control measures are still in progress.

Climate change heightens disease concerns

Climate change will result in thousands of new viruses spread among animal species by 2070, reports the CBC.

That’s that's likely to increase the risk of emerging infectious diseases jumping from animals to humans, according to a new study.

This is especially true for Africa and Asia, continents that have been hotspots for deadly disease spread from humans to animals or vice versa over the last several decades, including the flu, HIV, Ebola and novel coronavirus.

Researchers, who published their findings Thursday in the journal Nature, used a model to examine how more than 3,000 mammal species might migrate and share viruses over the next 50 years if the world warms by two degrees, which recent research shows is possible.

They found that cross-species virus spread will happen over 4,000 times among mammals alone. Bats account for the majority of novel viral sharing. Birds and marine animals weren't included in the study.

Researchers said not all viruses will spread to humans or become pandemics on the scale of the novel coronavirus, but the number of cross-species viruses increases the risk of spread to humans.

The study highlights two global crises — climate change and infectious disease spread.

"We don't talk about climate a lot in the context of zoonoses" — diseases that can spread from animals to people, said study co-author Colin Carlson, an assistant professor of biology at Georgetown University. "Our study ... brings together the two most pressing global crises we have."


Study co-author Gregory Albery, a disease ecologist at Georgetown University, said that because climate-driven infectious disease emergence is likely already happening, the world should be doing more to learn about and prepare for it.

"It is not preventable, even in the best-case climate change scenarios," Albery said.

Poultry executives face third trial

Five poultry-company executives will face a third trial for bid-rigging and price-fixing, but five others are free.

The 10 went through two trials that ended in hung juries.

Still facing charges are former Pilgrim's Pride chief executive officers Jayson Penn and William Lovette; Claxton Poultry president Mikell Fries; Claxton vice- president Scott Brady; and Roger Austin, formerly with Pilgrim’s. 

The defendants are accused of conspiring to rig bids and prices of broiler chickens from 2012 to 2019. 

All have pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges. The lawsuit was originally filed in the summer of 2021, and the first mistrial occurred in December and the second this March.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Grain farmers protest fertilizer tariff

Grain Farmers of Ontario and its Quebec counterpart are asking the federal government to remove the 35 per cent tariff on fertilizer imported from Russia, most of it nitrogen.

“The invasion of Ukraine continues to escalate and its impacts on the global food system are increasing. It is vital that the Canadian government offer tariff relief for farmers who cannot continue to bear the brunt of these costs,” said Brendan Byrne, chairman of Grain Farmers of Ontario.


“One of the key areas of concern for grain farmers is the shortage and additional costs of fertilizer available to us for our planting season. This is a moment in history for our partners in the fertilizer industry to act with integrity in treating farmers fairly around pricing and contracts.”

 Quebec chairman Christian Overbeek of Grain Farmers of Quebec said “this is a global crisis and farmers are ready to plant the crops, but we cannot afford to pay additional inflated costs while doing so.


“We understand the reason behind tariffs, but the impact to our food system is not supportable and the government must act now to provide relief to farmers, who are paying the price.

“Fertilizer shortages coupled with increased costs are going to make this a difficult spring and potentially a compromised harvest, which could be devastating as the world is looking at grain and food shortage,” he said. 

“Eastern Canadian grain farmers need access to the tools that will help them grow an abundant, healthy crop,” said Overbeek.


William George appointed to Commission

William George of Beamsville has been appointed to a two-year term on the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission.

The commission oversees all Ontario marketing boards.

George was elected chairman of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Marketing board in 2019 and served 20 years as a director of Grape Growers of Ontario.

He runs George II Farms Ltd., a vineyard on the shores of Lake Ontario..

Fred Koornneef chosen

Fred Koornneef of Grimsby has been appointed to a three-year term on the board that oversees the Ontario Food Terminal.

The board's mandate is to acquire, construct, equip and operate a wholesale fruit and produce market, and operate such facility for the transportation, distribution, and handling of fruit and produce.

Feds invest in flies to convert compost

The federal government is giving $6 million to a Quebec company that uses black soldier flies to speed up composting.

Entosystem Inc. is building a facility at Drummondville that will use flies to make livestock feed out of food waste and compost materials.

"The use of insects to speed up the process of composting food waste is a promising solution for the environment," said federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau. 

"By recovering products intended for landfill, Entosystem creates value-added products, generates a zero-waste circular economy and contributes to the achievement of our climate targets. 

“The government of Canada's investment in the company's new facilities will allow it to increase its production of alternative proteins for animal feed and fertilisers, which are essential inputs for the agricultural industry."

At its new facility, Entosystem expects to transform 250 tonnes of organic waste daily by 2024 (compared to its current rate of six tonnes per day) and create close to 70 new full-time positions. Ultimately, this investment will enable the company to reduce food waste, use of landfills and greenhouse gas emissions through the diversion of organic waste.

Every year, over half of Canada's food supply is wasted, and nearly $50 billion of that wasted food is avoidable, the government news release said.



Tuesday, April 26, 2022

CFIA lists six more avian flu cases

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has posted a list of six more farms infected with avian influenza. One is in Huron County.

The others are a small flock in Turtle Creek, Man., a small flock in Kelowna, B.C., two poultry farms in Camrose, Alta., and one in Carmichael, Saskatchewan.

Verroa mites devastate bees

Ontario beekpeepers are appealing to Ontario Agriculture Minister Lisa Thompson fo help to rebuild hives that have been devastated because winter wiped them out after they were weakened by a plague of verroa mites.

In interviews with CBC Radio Kitchener, beekeepers said up to 90 per cent of the province’s hives were wiped out.

Bernie Wiehle, president of the Ontario Beekeepers' Association, said fruit growers may be in trouble because there won’t be bees to pollinate blossoms.

Verroa mites feed on bees' blood and protein reserves, and can spread viruses among bees and weaken their immune responses, Paul Kelly, research and apiary manager at the University of Guelph Honey Bee Research Centre, told CBC.

Last year, spring came early, Kelly said, which was good for bees — but also favourable for the varroa mites, which were able to start reproducing early.

"The earlier the spring is, the more reproductive cycles these mites can go through," Kelly said. "It's like exponential growth."

Dennis Schmidt, who typically keeps between 20 and 30 colonies at a Waterloo apiary, said all but one have been wiped out this year.

"I have heard stories of beekeepers weeping when they finally open their hives and they find that their livestock have perished over the winter," said Schmidt, who is also president of the Wellington County Beekeepers' Association. 

Kelly hopes further research on varroa mites and honey bees will yield solutions to keep the problem under control. The centre is also testing the use of essential oils and organic acids to kill the mites without harming the bees, he said. 

Wiehle said there is so much demand to buy bees that there’s a shortage.. 

"They're just not available, and they're outrageously expensive — the price has probably doubled,” he said. 

Wiehle hopes to meet with Lisa Thompson, the minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs of Ontario, to discuss financial relief for commercial beekeepers hit hard by the varroa mite. 

In response to a request from CBC, a spokesperson for Thompson said the minister's office is working to schedule a meeting soon. 

African Swine Fever vaccine shows promise

African Swine Fever vaccine shows promise


A vaccine against African Swine Fever has taken another step towards approval by authorities in the United States.

If it continues to jump through regulatory hoops, it could first be used in Vietnam.

The latest results in a series of safety studies show that the vaccine candidate does not revert to its normal virulence after being injected into swine, “a critical milestone,” according to an Agriculture Research Service news release. 

The vaccine – known as ASFV-G-DI177L – will undergo additional testing, but the latest results move the candidate a step closer to commercial availability, the news release said.

Current plans call for testing in Vietnam and other countries, but eventually the vaccine will require approval from animal health officials within individual countries that request its use to address ASF contagion among their hogs.

The highly contagious virus spread from Africa to the Republic of Georgia in 2007, and has since spread through Central Europe and Asia. It reached the Dominican Republic in July 2021, but has not reached Canadian or U.S. shores so far.

It wiped out more than half of China’s pigs over the last five years and production only recently returned to normal.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Guelph researcher develops ersatz cheese

Plant-based cheese that is more nutritious and better suited for a variety of cooking applications than many other cheese substitutes is poised to emerge from labs at the University of Guelph into commercial production.

“This is a new plant-based cheese. A lot of other products don’t stretch or melt, or have [milk-based cheese’s] high nutritional value. We’re using the fundamental knowledge that we have about plant-protein ingredients to create something that has the desired texture and taste,” said researcher Stacie Dobson, a Ph.D. student in food science at Guelph.

Advising Dobson in her research is Alejandro Marangoni, Canada Research Chair and professor of food, health and aging in Guelph’s food science department.

“The work that Dobson and the rest of us are doing here in the lab is to improve on the nutritional properties, increasing protein content, increasing micro-nutrient content as well as improving the functionality of the product,” Marangoni told CBC reporter Andrew Coppolino.

 Daiya, a Vancouver-based manufacturer of dairy-free foods, and a partial funder of Dobson and Marangoni’s research, will use their technology and scientific developments in the manufacture of plant-based foods.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

CFIA reports five more avian flu cases


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency reported five new outbreaks of avian influenza over the weekend, two in Saskatchewan, two in Alberta and one in Ontario.

The case in Ontario is in a small poultry flock in Peterbrough County.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

May 3 court date for Ryding-Regency

The principals of Ryding-Regency are scheduled to appear in court May 3 to answer to charges the Canadian Food Inspection Agency laid in June.

The charges resulted in bankruptcy for the business, leaving Ontario short of facilities to slaughter and process beef cattle.

The charges are against Ryding-Regency Meat Packers Ltd., Beef Boutique Ltd., Canadian Select Meat Inc., and Anthony Petronaci, Ellen Cosman, and Chuck Oulton of Toronto.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency alleges that they provided an Inspector of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency with  false or misleading information and/or statements.

Also that the operator failed to immediately notify the minister and take immediate action to mitigate the risk after establishing that food presents a risk of injury to human health.

Also that they sold food that had in or on it some poisonous or harmful substance.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

More avian flu outbreaks

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency reports three more avian influenza outbreaks.

One is a poultry flock in York Region, Ontario, another in a poultry flock in Les Sources, Quebec, and the third in a poultry flock at Kneehill, Alberta.

Another deal over price-fixing

A federal judge has approved a $104 million settlement among some of the largest United States chicken processors and many restaurant chains that sued them for price fixing.

Judge Thomas M. Durkin ruled that a third of the settlement fund, about $31 million, will pay the restaurant chains’ legal fees,and $10 million will cover expenses.

Signing off on the deal were Amick Farms, Fieldale Farms, George’s Inc., Mar-Jac Poultry, Peco Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride and Tyson Foods. 

Multiple settlements of similar scope have been reached since the original broiler price fixing lawsuit was filed by a New York-based food distributor in September 2016.

Farming can reduce greenhouse gases

Canadian farmers could help the country meet greenhouse gas emission targets, according to a new report from the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute.

Reducing tillage tops the list because it enhances sequestration of soil carbons. It can make a contribution for up to a century, but then there will be a balance between how much is stored and released.

Cover cropping can also capture carbon, according to the report written by Susan Wood-Bohm.

Some other contributions could come from cropping more perennials and nitrogen-fixing plants, such as alfalfas and clovers.

She said there should be regular measurements of soil organic carbon content to confirm that carbon sequestration is occurring.

So where's the government money for adopting these practices?

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Five more avian flu outbreaks

The Feather Board Command Centre reports five more outbreaks of avian influenza in Ontario.

Two are within the city of Markham, two in South Glengarry township and one in West Grey township.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has reported 30 outbreaks across Canada with Ontario and Alberta with the most. There have also been outbreaks in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

Kahntact wins North American award

Kahntact Marketing of Guelph has won a North American award for a series it produced for the Canadian beef industry.

Cooking by Degrees was judged best “News, Feature Article or Persuasive Writing” and was created for the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and was published in the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest daily newspaper.

The Best of NAMA (North American Marketing Association) awards program honors the best work in agricultural communications across North America.

Companies and agencies must first qualify through regional competition to advance to the national level. Cooking by Degrees advanced earlier this year by winning the same category in NAMA Region 6, which covers northeastern United States.

Cooking by Degrees was the result of an innovative partnership that linked like-minded partners in the agriculture and food value chain. 

The project took coordinating 16 university chefs through the Canadian College and University Food Service Association, multiple beef producers from across Canada through the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB), and a veteran agriculture journalist, Owen Roberts.

Inflation roaring

Canada's inflation rate rose to 6.7 per cent in March, far more than economists expected and the steepest increase since 1991.

Statistics Canada reported Wednesday that all eight categories of the economy that the data agency tracks rose, from food and energy to shelter costs and transportation.

"The spike in prices over the month of March is the largest monthly increase since January 1991, when the goods and services tax was introduced," said economist Royce Mendes of Desjardins Group.

Gasoline prices went up by almost 40 per cent and  butter went up by more than 16 per cent, double the Feb. 1 increase farmers got for milk.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Milk sales rose despite price hike

Despite a widely-publicized price hike of 8.4 per cent on Feb. 1 for dairy farmers, sales have increased, said Daniel Gobeil, president of Quebec's milk marketing board.

But he did not break it down to compare the period before and after Feb. 1.

As a result, the national milk supply agency is providing incentives to farmers to increase production. It’s in the form of an extra quota day now and another in August.

Cream sales were up 10.2 per cent in January and February compared with last year, cheese up 7.7 per cent, butter by 5.4 per cent, ice cream by 4.6 per cent, yogurt rose by 2.9 per cent, and even fluid milk by seven-tenths of one per cent.

While the price increase was 8.7 per cent, Gobeil said costs are now 13.4 per cent higher than a year ago.

London company launches veganbacon

Whitecrest Mushrooms is partnering with MyForest Foods Co. to expanded production of a plant-based product called vegan bacon.

MyForest, previously known as AtLast Food Co., is an affiliate of Ecovative which has technical expertise with mycelium, which is the root portion of mushrooms.

Whitecrest produces portobello and crimini mushrooms and is owned by Murray and Chantelle Good.

Good said the partnership provides an opportunity to “allow us to sustainably supply the global food chain, objectively reduce Canadian carbon emissions and bring a revoluntionary new product to market.”

Cara Finn, director of economic development for Middlesex County, said “advancements like this continue to attract new innovation and investment to the region’s well-established and rapidly-growing agri-food sector.”

Vegan bacon? Whatever turns your crank.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Birds continue to drop deadly avian flu

Migrating ducks and geese continue to bomb Canada with deadly highly-pathogenic avian influenza.

The count now is 11 flocks in Ontario, six in Alberta, one in British Columbia. two in Quebec, two in Nova Scotia and one in Newfoundland.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has ordered those flocks destroyed, has set up 10-kilometre quarantine zones around each outbreak and will require flock owners to undertake challenging cleanups and disinfections.

The disease has also spread across the United States, taking out a number of turkey flocks in the country’s central-northern corridor.

Friday, April 15, 2022

More poppy seeds under recall

A number of distributors are recalling regular and organic poppy seeds because the Canadian Food Inspection Agency determined they might be contaminated with Salmonella food-poisoning bacteria.

The distributors involved include Oak Manor Organic operation near Tavistock.

The others, all in other provinces, are Sunnyside Natural Market, Distribution Horizon Nature and Grainworks Inc.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Once bitten, Alberta farmers shy

Alberta farmers were bitten once when the province revoked carbon credits, so they’re reluctant to participate in the current program, according to a study by the  University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy.

Participating in a carbon-credit system allows farmers to generate credits for reducing emissions; they can then sell those credits for cash on a credit market to emitters who need to purchase carbon-offset allowances for exceeding their mandated emission limits, the study explains.

“Despite there being an active carbon-offset market in Alberta, however, farmers in the province hardly participate,” it said.

”This appears partly due to a history of regulatory risk: the agriculture sector has seen the revocation of carbon-credit eligibility for certain practices, and invalidated credits can lead to significant financial losses for farmers. 

“Farmers are also reluctant to participate due to the inadequacy of offset credit revenues in covering the foregone costs of implementing emission-reduction practices given current carbon-offset prices and the emissions level per farm.” 

 It said some lower-emission farming protocols have proved profitable for farmers by improving efficiency, even without carbon-offset incentives. 

“While farmers may adopt these practices for their own reasons, they are reluctant to participate in Alberta’s carbon-offset market unless they are sufficiently rewarded. Market conditions thus far have not encouraged them to do so.

“Alberta farmers may continue to largely sit out the carbon-credit market until returns for earning credits become more stable and more rewarding.”

The study recommends the government should try to persuade farmers to reduce carbon emissions for their own sake and not bother trying to persuade them to sell carbon credits because that “will, for the time being, remain a difficult sell. “




Farmers Edge has a new executive team

After heavy financial losses, Farmers Edge has hired a new executive team of leaders experienced in Canadian agriculture.

Co-founder Wade Barnes recently resigned as executive director.

Rob Meijer, who formerly worked for Cargill Ltd., JBS Foods Canada and Canada Beef Inc., is now executive vice-president of corporate development while Matte Hesse, formerly of Agco and Trimble, now is executive vice-president of global operations.

Fairfax Financial Holdings also injected $75 million available for “working capital and general corporate purposes.”

The moves follow fourth-quarter losses revealed the same day Barnes left.


“We are disappointed in our Elite 2020 conversion rate (an electronic sales platform) and have implemented steps to improve our retention rate and (Progressive Grower Program) conversion success by refining our business model, expanding and diversifying the channel partner network, prequalifying customers enrolling in the new PGP programs, and improving operational efficiency and effectiveness,” said Barnes in announcing the quarterly results.

The company reported a net loss of $19.7 million for the quarter, bringing losses for 2021 to $66.4 million. In 2020, the company lost $84.6 million.




Infant formula rationed

A number of retailers are rationing sales of infant formula because of shortages.

Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens and Kroger all have limits, such as three per visit.

The shortages showed up after Abbott Laboratories recalled a number of its Similac products in February due to potential food poisoning, The recalls included Canada.

The recall came in the midst of supply chain challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and made shortages worse.

“We know that this recall has further exacerbated an industry-wide infant formula supply shortage. We are doing everything we can to address it,” Abbott told The Washington Post in a statement, including ramping up production of Similac, air-freighting in product from Europe and working with health-care providers to identify alternative formulas.

Kellogg breakfast cereals are also in short supply with empty shelves at many Ontario retailers. Kellogg was out of production for a while because of a strike that has been settled.

And Lay’s potato chips and Doritos are back in Loblaws stores after they settled a dispute. For a while Loblaws, Zehrs, Value Mart, SuperCentre, Fortino’s , No Frills and T&T supermarkets had none to sell because Loblaws refused to pay price increases set by Frito Lay, which is owned by Pepsi.

Farm and Food Care gets $500,000

The province is giving Farm and Food Care Ontario more than $500,000 over the next three years.

The new funding will be put towards supporting five of the organization’s activities, all designed to raise awareness and appreciation of Ontario farmers and food producers.

The funding will support FFCO’s Breakfast on and from the Farm events; farm tours for culinary students; interviews, photography, and videography work showcasing the critical work that seasonal agricultural workers and temporary foreign workers do, and the Garden in a Box program that connects home gardeners with Ontario farmers.

Bonnie den Haan is the FFCO’s chair and says the funding is a huge show of support from the provincial government for the work they do.

Ontario Agriculture Minister Lisa Thompson made the announcement at the annual meeting at Elora Wednesday.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Hanover area on avian flu alert

Poultry farmers in the Hanover area have been put on alert for avian influenza because a flock in the area has experienced high mortality.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has so far not declared it an outbreak, nor has it imposed a 10-kilometre quarantine zone.

Hanover is home to a number of large poultry operations linked to New Life Feed Mills.

DeBruyn re-elected pork chairman

John de Bruyn has been re-elected chairman of the Ontario Pork marketing board. He has been chair since 2021.

Maike Campbell is the new vice-chair.

De Bruyn farms in Oxford County, Campbell in Lambton. Both were acclaimed in elections Tuesday.

Perth County producer Doug Ahrens completed his term on March 23 after serving as a director for 13 years.


Tanya Terpstra, a pork producer and delegate from Perth County was acclaimed as a new board member representing Zone 2. 

Other board members include Arno Schober, Chris Cossitt, Bruce Hudson, Mike Mitchell, Eric Schwindt and Tara Terpstra.

Hog diseases hit two herds

A hog finisher operation in Wellington County is experiencing an outbreak of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus.

And a finisher operation in Haldimand County has had an outbreak of porcine deltacoronavirus.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Smithfield ready to settle price-fixing

Smithfield Foods Inc. is willing to pay $42 million to have a class-action lawsuit over price-fixing go away.

A federal court judge in Minnesota granted preliminary approval to a plan allowing Smithfield Foods Inc. to settle the case brought by commercial and institutional restaurants.

Judge John R. Tunheim ruled that the settlement is warranted because the claims filed by CIIPPs “present common issues and are typical of the Settlement Class,” and the proposed settlement “is superior to other means of resolving the matter,” court documents noted.

A hearing to finalize the deal has yet to be scheduled.

Smithfield said, “while we deny any lability in these cases and believe that our conduct has always been lawful, we decided that it was in the best interests of the company to negotiate a settlement. “