Thursday, November 30, 2023

Meat lobby presses case at COP28

The meat industry is lobbying hard at the COP28 conference which is meeting to discuss progress and goals in fighting global warming.

The oil industry is also flooding the conference with delegations.

Both feel threatened by measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions held responsible for climate change.

The big guys don't care; they want the little guys to make all the sacrifices -and suffer the consequences of climate change.

The meat-industry lobby faces opposition from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization which has put the United States on the toip of a list of nations which it said over-consume meats.

The North American Meat Institute (NAMI),  which has Canadian members, and the Protein PACT for the People, Animals & Climate of Tomorrow said the entities intend to participate in “high-level engagements,” while Protein PACT is a principal sponsor of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture’s (IICA) Sustainable Agriculture of the Americas Pavilion, according to a release from NAMI.

IICA and the Protein PACT will jointly host a reception on Dec. 8 to celebrate sustainable agriculture of the Americas, with a focus on the role of meat and dairy. Key speakers include IICA Deputy Director Lloyd Day, Meat Institute Chief Strategy Officer Eric Mittenthal, and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture, and Fisheries Fernando Mattos Costa.

A report from The Guardian said JBS is planning to come out in “full force” at the summit, along with other big industry hitters such as the Global Dairy Platform. JBS, based in Brazil is the world’s largest meat packer. It has significant facilities in Canada and the U.S.

Carbon tax on farm fuel stalled


The Senate continues to wrangle over Bill C-234 which would exempt farmers from paying the carbon tax on fuels to dry grain and heat barns and greenhouses.

The bill has support from Prairie members of the Senate and from Conservative leader Pierre Pollievre who is urging passage of the bill passed with unanimous party support by the House of Commons.

But Senator Pierre Dalphond is trying for a second time to pull barns and greenhouses out of the bill. That amendment has already been defeated once in the Senate. 

While Dalphond is officially an independent senator, he was appointed by the Liberals.

The Liberals are in hot water over exempting house-heating oil from the carbon tax. Those concerned about climate change oppose any exemptions; those opposed include Conservatives such as Pollievre who want to scrap the entire carbon tax.

The Conservatives were talking about asking the House of Commons to intervene to pressure the Senate to pass C-234 without amendments.

Caught in the middle of this broader policy debate are farmers trying to make ends meet.

Pollievre and several colleagues hammered on the carbon tax issue and its impact on food prices during Question Period Wednesday.

Trudeau said farmers are exempt from 97 per cent of carbon taxes, but Pollievre held it almost solely responsible for rising food prices.

He repeatedly said Carleton Mushroom Farm is facing a $100,009 carbon tax cost this year and it is scheduled to increase to $400,000 a year in the future.

He said the farm must either pass this cost increase on to consumers or lose its Canadian customers to imports.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Avian flu prompts 44 quarantines


Avian flu has hit poultry farmers in British Columbia and Alberta hard this month.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency reports 29 outbreaks in British Columbia, many of them in the crowded Lower Fraser Valley around Chlliwack and Abbotsford.

Alberta has had nine outbreaks this month.

The disease first arrives in poop from migrating waterflowl, but then can spread from flock to flock as people and vehicles move around.

So far this year 9,648,500 birds have been lost and there have been 48 outbreaks in British Columbia, 17 in Alberta, two in Manitoba, one in Ontario, three in Quebec and 10 in Saskatchewan for a total of 81 still under quarantine.

There are 322 premises that were previously infected and released from quarantine since highly-pathogenic avian influenza first hit across Canada.

Bill Gates owns 268,984 acres of farmland


A recently-released book by Seamus Bruner says Bill Gates of Microsoft fame owns at least 268,984 of farmland, making him the largest farm owner in the United State.

He ia also an early and major investor in Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, both making and marketing plant-based proteins that compete with meats.

He also lobbies for regulations that will restrict livestock and poultry farming.

His first farmland acquisitions were third-generation family-run Coggins Farm and Stanley Farms in Georgia in 2013 and 2014, respectively. The two merged their holdings — thousands of acres in Georgia and Florida — into Generation Farms in 2016.

In 2017, Gates made his largest farmland purchase buying 61 properties across various states in a single deal. It cost him more than $500 million.

His farms in north Louisiana — his largest holding — comprise nearly 70,000 acres and grow corn, cotton, rice, and soybeans. His second-largest agricultural holding is in Arkansas with approximately 47,000 acres. In Nebraska, Gates’s companies grow soybeans and other crops across roughly 20,000 acres.

Gates’s 14,500-acre potato farm in Washington State supplies McDonalds, among others. Gates bought100 Circle Farm it for $171 million from Conagra in 2018.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

NFU features 13 Ontario farms


The National Farmers Union has chosen nine Ontario Farms to join the 40 Canadian farms to be featured in its Depth of Field films about farming.

They are:

Rooted Oak Organic Farm a family-run operation in North Augusta. It is owned and operated by Nikki and Stuart Oke. They use the principles of agroecology to produce a variety of vegetables they sell through community supported agriculture (CSA) and farmers markets in the Ottawa, Kingston, and Augusta regions.

Kitchen Table Seed House is owned and operated by Kathy Rothermel and Annie Richard. They grow certified-organic varieties of vegetables, herbs, and flowers for seed over three acres and two separate fields on Wolfe Island.

Black Sheep Farm is an agroecological farm, run by Brenda Hsueh and Skyler Radojkovic. They raise sheep on pasture, using intensive managed grazing, to maximize the soil building effects of ruminants, while producing meat and fibre from grass and sunlight. They want to see farming become the climate crisis solution it should be, building soils, sequestering carbon, being a moisture sponge, increasing biodiversity, all while feeding people without exploiting themselves or the people they work with.

Meeting Place Organic Farm is a woman-owned and farmed by the second generation of McQuails in a sustainable, environmentally conscious manner. They aim for more than regenerative agriculture with their grass-fed and finished Ontario beef, pasture-raised pork, organic chicken and certified organic apple orchard. They believe in the importance of building strong local communities and being good stewards of the land and animals they tend. Theirs is an entirely organic farm.

Pfenning’s Organic Vegetables has been proudly growing certified organic vegetables since 1981. Located between New Hamburg and Baden, the farm now stretches over about 700 acres. Although best known for carrots, the family also grows more than 40 other varieties of vegetables: leafy greens, brassicas, squash and root veggies. Respect and care is at the heart of everything they do. Jenn Pfenning is NFU president.

Kenli Herefords & Apiary of Selkirk is run by Ken and Lisa Bassindale . They employ a mix of conventional and ecological practices to raisep purebred polled Herefords.They keep approximately 25 female cows on 50 acres of rotational pasture from May to November. The Bassindales have also been raising honey bees for more than 10 years and sell KBee’s Honey. They’ve also recently taken up raising pastured chicken. They farm an additional 400 acres of cash crops, including hay, wheat, soybeans and corn. Their farm is chemical free and uses cover crops to nourish the soil.

Ga Gitigemi Gamik (We Will Plant Lodge) is envisioned as an ecological centre on a permanent Indigenous-stewarded site on Manitoulin Island where women and 2SLGBTTQQIA+ people can work on the land together in a 12-week immersion program that will help them (re)learn ancestral agricultural methods lost to colonization. The documentary provides insight into the farm's efforts to revitalize traditional agricultural knowledge, emphasizing the importance of cultural sustainability in farming.

Lucky Bug Farm is a one-quarter-acre ecological market garden operating on rented land 25 minutes from Kitchener-Waterloo. Lucky Bug Farm relies on interplanting and minimal tillage to build soil health and run a productive ecological market garden. They buy organic seeds as much as possible, use organic potting mix and do not use synthetic amendments, sprays or fertilizers.

Ottawa Valley Farm to Fork are the ultimate farm-to-table party animals. They whip up gourmet goodies straight from the land: grass-fed beef turned into sausage rolls, and organic potatoes transformed into pierogi. They have Scottish Highland cattle, dairy goats, and free-range chickens. They’ grow organic vegetables and heritage crops. They aim to be a sustainable farm producing “scrumptious” food with help from local employees. 



Pig flu infects human

British doctors have detected flu strain A(H1N2)v, which is similar to a virus currently circulating in pigs, in a person. It is the first time this virus has shown up in a human.

The United Kingdom Health Security Agency said that the case was detected as part of routine national flu surveillance and the source of infection was not known.

"This is the first time we have detected this virus in humans in the UK, though it is very similar to viruses that have been detected in pigs," agency director Meera Chand said.

Close contacts of the case are being followed up by the authorities, the statement said, adding that the situation was being monitored with increased surveillance in surgeries and hospitals in North Yorkshire.

Beef, dairy fight cancer


A new study reports that beef and dairy products help people to fight cancer tumours.

Scientists at the University of Chicago published the study in the journal, Nature, last week.

The study focused on a nutrient called trans-vaccenic acid (TVA), which is not naturally found in the human body but can be found in foods such as beef and dairy.

The scientists said TVA plays a role in enhancing the function of immune cells and supporting immunity against tumors and therefore the TVA in beef and dairy might help counter cancer.

The study was funded by grants from the National Institute of Health, UChicago Biological Sciences Division Pilot Project Award, Ludwig Center at the University of Chicago, Sigal Fellowship in Immuno-oncology, The Margaret E. Early Medical Research Trust, AASLD Foundation, and Harborview Foundation Gift Fund.

There was no funding from beef and dairy interests.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Jenn Pfenning heads NFU


Jenn Pfenniing of Pfenning's Organic Farm has been re-elected president of the National Farmers Union.

She is past president of the Ontario branch.

The Pfenning’s organic farm is between New Hamburg and Baden.

Cadi Foreman was elected women’s president, Maia DeGraf youth vice-president, and Phil Mount second vice-president of operations; they are from Ontario.

Other executive members are youth president Julie Maxwell of Saskatchewan, BIPOC president Jordan Rivers of Saskatchewan, first vice-president of policy John Kehinde Atoyebi of British Columbia, women’s vice-president Karen Fyfe of Prince Edward Island and BIPOC vice-president Kishon Warmington of Manitoba.

Saturday, November 25, 2023

One dead, 61 sickened by cantaloupes


Rudy and Malachite brand cantaloupes from Mexico are under recall.

One Canadian has died, 61 have been sickened and 17 hospitalized.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s testing detected food-poisoning Salmonella  bacteria.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Ontario Pork website restored


The Ontario Pork marketing board website has been restored after a lengthy absence, but not yet its Swine Health Ontario information which lists outbreaks of PED and CPOV.

Julie Kulack, Consumer and Communications Marketing Manager, said only that “our website was recently experiencing updates” but did not answer a question whether the website was hacked.

Canadians claim victory on dairy dispute


Federal Trade Minister Mary Ng and Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay are claiming complete victory in the dispute over how Canada allocates import quotas for dairy products from the United States.

The final decision of a disputes-settling panel was released today.

The key news is that the Americans lost their demand that some of the quota be allocated to retailers and food-service companies.

Canada has issued almost all of the permits to dairy processing companies.

The trade deal with Europe includes a provision that some of the import quotas for cheese be allocated to retailers, but the trade deal among Canada, Mexico and the U.S. does not.

Canada was forced to make some changes to its import controls after the first ruling from a disputes-settling panel, but this second panel does not require any further changes.

In the past, Ng has claimed complete victory, but that proved not to be the case when the actual decisions were released.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

iClassifier can classify Holsteins


iClassifier, an artificial intelligence invention, has demonstrated it can classify Holsteins as well as trained experts.

In a trial involving about 30,000 images, its results matched expert classifiers 98 per cent of the time measuring traits such as stature and pin width.

The team of three inventors doesn’t say whether it thinks the two per cent difference was mistakes by classifiers or its iClassifier technology.

But there was only 80 per cent agreement on quality traits such as udder texture and dairy capacity.

Ghader Manafiazar of Dalhousie University said the team is working on improving evaluation of quality traits.

The team will run trials on four Alberta dairy farms next year.

 Reza Sabbagh, the chief executive officer, is an expert in optical imaging.

Another team member is at University of Alberta studying for a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and is working on technology to provide early detection of lameness.

Spoelstra replaces Brekveld at OFA

Drew Spoelstra, a dairy farmer from Binbrook near Hamilton, has been elected president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.

He takes over from Peggy Brekveld who served three one-year terms as president.

Spoelstra is a graduate of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program, is chairman of Hamilton’s rural affairs sub-committee and has served as president of the Binbrook Agricultural Society and Hamilton-Wentworth Soil and Crop Improvement Association.

Sara Wood, a dairy farmer from Perth County, and Paul Vickers, a dairy farmer from Meaford, were elected vice-presidents.

Others elected directors are Brian Crews of Hastings, Lennox & Addington, Northumberland & Prince Edward County; Clint Cameron from Dundas, Frontenac, Grenville and Leeds, and Adrea McCoy-Naperstkow of Arnprior, Lanark, Ottawa and Renfrew.

Leaving are directors Bruce Buttar, Jackie-Kelly Pemberton and Jennifer Doelman.


Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Americans guard border against Canadian pigs



Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana are guarding their border against wild boars from Canada, reports the Globe and Mail.

Wild pigs roaming Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba pose a new threat because they are often crossbreeds that combine the survival skills of wild Eurasian boar with the size and high fertility of domestic swine to create a “super pig” that’s spreading out of control.

Ryan Brook, a professor at the University of Saskatchewan and one of Canada’s leading authorities on the problem, calls feral swine, “the most invasive animal on the planet” and “an ecological train wreck.”

Brook said Canada’s problem dates back only to the 1980s when it encouraged farmers to raise wild boar. When the market collapsed after peaking in 2001 and some frustrated farmers simply cut their fences, setting the animals free.

It turned out that the pigs were very good at surviving Canadian winters. Smart, adaptable and furry, they eat anything, including crops and wildlife. They tear up land when they root for bugs and crops. They could spread devastating diseases such as African swine fever which, if it gets into domestic pigs, would be economically devastating because pork exports would be banned. About 70 per cent of Canadian pork is exported.

They reproduce at an average six pigs per litter, two litters per year.

That means 65 per cent or more of a wild pig population could be killed every year and it will still increase, Brook said.


Hunting just makes the problem worse, he said. The success rate for hunters is only about two to three per cent and several states have banned hunting because it makes the pigs more wary and nocturnal – tougher to track down.

Wild pigs already cause around $2.5-billion in damage to U.S. crops every year, mostly in southern states such as Texas. They can be aggressive; a woman in Texas was killed by wild pigs in 2019.

Eradication of wild pigs is no longer possible in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Brook said. But the situation isn’t hopeless everywhere and a few U.S. states have eliminated them. The key, he said, is having a detection system that finds them early and fast, and then responds quickly.

Brook and his colleagues have documented 62,000 wild pig sightings in Canada. Their aerial surveys have spotted them on both sides of the Canada-North Dakota border. They’ve also recorded a sighting in Manitoba within 28 kilometres of Minnesota.

“Nobody should be surprised when pigs start walking across that border if they haven’t already,” Brook said. “The question is: What will be done about it?”

Brook said Montana has been the most serious about keeping wild pigs out. It banned raising and transporting wild pigs within the state.

“The only path forward is you have to be really aggressive and you have to use all the tools in the toolbox,” Brook said.

That could include big ground traps with names such as “BoarBuster” or net guns fired from helicopters. Some states and provinces embrace crowdsourced “Squeal on Pigs” tracking programs. Scientists have also studied poisons such as sodium nitrite, but they risk harming other species.

In 2011 in Mississippi Michael Mims killed a 750-pound wild boar while it was in the midst of a fight with five dogs in the middle of a corn field.The same year Mike Parker in a neighbouring county killed a 750-pound sow.

More Enoki mushrooms on recall

Another brand of Enoki mushrooms is under recall because of Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

This time it is O’Ya brand 100 per cent fresh Enoki mushrooms imported from China and distributed in Ontario and Quebec.

Testing by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency discovered the food-poisoning bacteria. The agency said it has had no reports of illnesses linked to these mushrooms.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Food inflation rate declines


The rate of inflation for food prices declined from 5.8 to 5.34per cent in year-over-year comparisons for September and October, reported Statistics Canada.

It is the fourth month for food price declines.

The overall inflation rate declined to 3.1 from 3.8 per cent.

Monday, November 20, 2023

More hog shackles are top priority

Ontario Pork marketing board leaders told provincial politicians that number one on their wish list is investment to increase hog slaughter capacity.

Second is being prepared for emergencies to protect animal welfare and industry infrastructure.

They pressed their lobbying points when they met with provincial politicians from across the province at Queen’s Park in Toronto.

The Ontario Pork delegation was directors and producers from the Leadership Development Training program.

They said they are “grateful for the government’s continued support and were pleased that Premier Doug Ford put in an appearance.

The third and fourth lobbying points were to “resolve labour shortages through recruitment, training and retention of workers and continued funding for risk management programs.

Other items discussed were how the government can support the pork sector’s commitment to measure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as conversations about the ongoing support for the pork sector’s research and development.

“As a strong and competitive pork industry requires continued government support and partnership,” the delegation of pork producers said.

Greens propose tax on supermarket profits

The Green Party of Ontario wants a tax on excess profits of the major supermarket chains.

Party Leader Mike Schreiner made the proposal while campaigning for his deputy leader, Aislin Clancy, who is in a tight race with the NDP candidate in the bye election in Kitchener Centre.

Schreiner said in introducing a bill in the legislature Monday that “the affordability crisis is hitting Ontarians hard. Every day, families are foregoing basic needs because the cost of living is just too high.

“And while everyone else is struggling to make ends meet, Canada’s grocery giants are raking in record profits.”

He calls it the Weston tax, a reference to Galen Weston and his relatives who hold enough shares to control Loblaws, Canada’s largest supermarket chain and the one with the biggest profits.

Schreiner said “it’s time to get back to putting people first – and the Weston Tax does just that.”

.“No one should have to choose between paying rent and putting food on the table,” said Clancy. “Yet more and more people are forced into those kinds of choices every day. It’s time to put an end to price gouging and put money back into people’s pockets.

“This is exactly the kind of tool we need to deliver real affordability solutions to NDP.

The bye election is to replace Laura Mae Lindo who won the riding for the NDP,

She resigned saying she could not afford the costs involved, including child care and commuting to Toronto. She took a position with the University of Waterloo where she was employed before running for election.

The Green Party represents the riding with federal Member of Parliament Mike Maurice. He has also called for an excess profits tax on supermarket chains, noting that there is one on banks.

Three more named to animal welfare board

The province has appointed three more members to the Animal Welfare Review Board.

It deals with appeals filed by those who are aggrieved by inspections that result in the seizure of livestock, poultry or pets or compliance orders because of deemed abuse.

The three are lawyers and they join a long list of other lawyers on the 34-member board.

The three are Debra Backstein and Tassia Poynter of Toronto and Robert Dowhan of Guelph. Their appointments are for three-year terms.

Another $25 million for innovation

There’s another $25 million on the table for farmers and agriculture businesses to invest in innovative technologies and equipment that increase productivity and efficiency.

It’s part of Ontario’s goal to increase food production by 30 per cent by 2032 and to increase the economic impact of Ontario’s food and

beverage manufacturing by 10 per cent.

Ontario Agriculture Minister Lisa Thompson, said “these investments will allow establtimize their operations and help in achieving the

ambitious goals we have set out for the agriculture and food sector .”

Also eligible are Among projects that enhance cyber security.

Innovative technology and equipment projects, up to $100,000, will be eligible for up to a 50 per cent cost-share. 


Applications will open Feb. 15.

Look for another one or two news releases about then, crafted to win votes for the federal and Ontario politicians in power.

Guelph researcher is seeking green ammonia

Dr. Claudia Wagner-Riddle, a professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at the Ontario Agricultural College at the University of Guelph is part of an international research team developing green ammonia to replace what’s made from fossil fuels.

Green ammonia uses renewable and carbon-free resources instead and has the potential to enhance food production and provide clean fuel while mitigating climate change.  

Ammonia is an important nitrogen fertilizer for Canadian farmers.

Wagner-Riddle is working with colleagues from the University of Maryland in the United States and Rothamsted Research in the United Kingdo to establish the Global Nitrogen Innovation Center for Clean Energy and the Environment (NICCEE). The NICCEE will be based at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and led by Dr. Xin Zhang. 

Wagner-Riddle said pilot testing is now underway for technology that will allow small-scale production of green ammonia. 

On-farm production could provide farmers with a reliable and sustainable source of fertilizer.  However, as a low-carbon energy resource, green ammonia will also be attractive for power generation and shipping fuel, leading to greater demand, she said.  

“How stakeholders use the technology could either help mitigate climate change or worsen nitrogen pollution,” she said.

“NICCEE is focused on the nitrogen problem as it is today, but also anticipating and proactively addressing future challenges, preventing them from becoming further complications.” 

Figuring out the potential scientific, social and economic impacts of green ammonia technologies and developing best practices for nitrogen management with both agri-food and energy stakeholders is key. 

NICCEE will pursue this through three interrelated programs: 

1. An information hub will develop integrated models to monitor and predict the nitrogen flows from both agri-food and energy industry consumption for each country involved in the project and trace the global nitrogen cycle. 

2. An innovation platform will use “living labs” — real-world settings where researchers collaborate with farmers and other stakeholders to explore green ammonia technologies. These living labs will provide up-to-date information on advances in the field and enable social scientists to translate research findings for use in policymaking and business as well as study how stakeholders make decisions about nitrogen use. 

3. An education program will prepare the next generation to tackle the challenges of climate change and nitrogen management through transdisciplinary training and internship opportunities. 

“We hear a lot about carbon when people talk about energy and climate change, but nitrogen needs to be in the public consciousness too,” said Wagner-Riddle. 




Friday, November 17, 2023

Farmers Edge share price plunged

Farmers Edge hit the Toronto Stock Exchange at $17 per share this year, but this week traded for as little as 10 cents.

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is trying to scoop up controlling interest with an offer of 25 cents a share.

On its website, Farmers Edge claims to be “a global leader in digital agriculture.

Together, we’re leading the next agricultural revolution creating intelligent technologies to help farmers and their trusted advisors be more efficient and successful in improving how food is produced and distributed to a rapidly growing global population,” it says.

NFU rallies at Paliament

The National Farmers Union staged a rally at Parliament Hill recently to ask for a ban on investors buying farmland.

It noted that about 40 per cent of farmers plan to retire in the next 10 years and half of them have no heirs interested in farming.

It also said “Canada is hemorrhaging farmers . . . (and) the number one barrier facing new farmers is access to farmland.”

It wants a ban because “masssive investment firms are pushing the cost of land out of reach.”

“We know what happens when land speculators are allowed to run rampant,” said Rav Singh, youth advisor for NFU-Ontario.

“It was land speculators who bought up Greenbelt farmland with the help of the Ford government, planning to pave it over and build high-end townhouses. Investment companies should not have the power to gamble with the future of farming.”  

“Our governments must pull the emergency brake and keep farmland in farmers’ hands,” said NFU youth president Jessie MacInnis.

“We need land legislation that favours the next generation of farmers, not investment firms. The National Farmers Union demands that governments enact a total ban on investor ownership of farmland.” 

Ontario backtracks on city border expansions

The Ford government is backtracking on its Nov. 4 announcement expanding 12 municipal borders to increase the amount of land available for housing.

The 12 are the regions of York, Peel, Halton, Niagara and Waterloo and the cities of Hamilton, Ottawa, Guelph, Barrie, Peterborough and Belleville and also Wellington County.

The introduction of the new legislation has been particularly welcomed in the Waterloo Region which long ago established firm city boundaries for Kitchener and Waterloo.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Florida politicians wants ban on cultivated meat

Tyler Sirois, a Republican in the Florida state assembly, has introduced a bill prohibiting the  “manufacture, sale, holding for sale or distribution of cultivated meat."

He wants it to be a criminal offence.

Cultivated meats are still in the experimental stage and involve growing meat by starting with cells that are multiplied in fermentation tanks.

Sirois’ work experience includes working as the executive director for the Office of the State.

Is being dumb a requirement to run for office as a Republican?

Ontario Pork website down


The Ontario Pork website has been down for several days and the marketing board could give no indication how long it may take to restore service, or why it has been disrupted.

The Swine Health Ontario website information is also down.

When I media relations officer was asked whether the website has been hacked, she said “I can’t say why.”

Metro sales and profits climb

Metro reports fourth-quarter sales increased by six per cent to $5.17 billion from $4.43 billion for the same quarter last year and profits soared by 31.7 per cent to $222.2 million.

A five-week strike by union members at 27 Toronto and area stores cut profits by $27 million.

The company predicts a more challenging year ahead as it transitions to a new distribution centre near Montreal and an automated fresh produce operation near Toronto. For a time both old and new facilities will be running so costs will be higher.

Fewer organic farmers and processors


There were 33 organic farmers in Canada last year and 277 fewer processors, reported Tia Loftsgard, executive director of the Canadian Organic Trade Association.

It’s the first time the association has recorded a decline.

There were seven fewer organic livestock farmers.

But organic acreage increased by 7,000 acres to 3.8 million.

Sales were $10.26 billion last year, up from $7.94 billion in 2021.