CPMA and CHC are Pleased by NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair's Move to Protect Produce Payment
CANADA - New Democratic Party (NDP) Leader Thomas Mulcair has introduced a commitment to protecting produce farmers and sellers, to the applause of both the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) and the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC).
“The produce industry is grateful for the NDP’s leadership to resolve this long-standing issue and trade irritant,” Ron Lemaire, CPMA President, said in a press release. “This commitment demonstrates they understand the risks that fresh fruit and vegetable sellers face and the importance of ensuring strong, equitable financial protection tools.”
Described by the Association as a Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA)-like form of trust protection, this is something that the press release states is the number one issue for fresh fruit and vegetable growers and sellers across Canada for the upcoming Federal Election.
On October 1, 2014, the U.S. revoked Canada’s preferential access to PACA protections due to its lack of similar trust protection and the lack of progress in fulfilling the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) commitment to establishing a comparable approach in Canada. Now, Canadian companies trying to recover unpaid bills have had to post a bond of double the value of their claim to use PACA, which the association stated can be too expensive for many sellers. Not having PACA protection, however, enhanced exportation risks for the country’s produce industry companies, who currently send 40 percent of all produce grown in Canada to the U.S. Not being able to afford protection, CPMA and CHC said, has forced many growers and produce sellers to walk away from what they are owed.
“As summer passes, the industry expects to see a much larger impact,” CPMA stated in its press release. “With this announcement, the NDP have shown they recognize the importance of fruit and vegetable producers to providing fresh, healthy food to Canadians.”
The NDP plan entails negotiating with the U.S. to restore Canada’s privileged access to PACA protections in order to provide growers and produce sellers with protection without cost to the government. To learn more about the plan click here.
CPMA and CHC noted that they are both pleased by the NDP’s move to bring the issue forward in the lead up to the coming election, and welcome other parties to show their support of Canada’s produce industry.