Ag Canada's new fruit program

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Ag Canada's new fruit program

Mar 14, 2002 | 12:55 1 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada: Federal Government Provides Funding For Integrated Fruit Production
3/7/2002
KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, Mar 7, 2002 (CCN Newswire via COMTEX) -- Developing national standards that will help Canadian-grown apples take a bigger bite out of the marketplace is the aim of a new project that received financial backing from the Government of Canada today.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lyle Vanclief told members of the Canadian Horticultural Council at their annual meeting in Kelowna the federal government will contribute $151,500 towards the development of national Integrated Fruit Production (IFP) standards and protocols. The funding is being allocated from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Canadian Adaptation and Rural Development (CARD) Fund, with the balance of the $301,500 project funded by industry and the World Wildlife Fund.

"This measure will increase the competitiveness of Canadian-produced apples," Mr. Vanclief said. "By using enhanced national Integrated Fruit Production techniques, Canada's 2,500 commercial apple farmers will be a model for other fruit sectors. The result will be more Canadians eating Canadian fruit, and more competitive Canadian fruit in world markets."

The IFP initative will set out voluntary guidelines and standards for soil management, irrigation, integrated pest management practices, harvesting, grower education and environmental farm practices. The national standards will be customized for each of Canada's apple-growing regions: British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes, and will include lists, specific to each province, of prohibited, restricted and unrestricted pesticides. Also included in the program is the development of "scorecards" for the implementation of the guidelines, as well as a voluntary monitoring and auditing program.

"Our goal is for Canada to be the world leader in food safety, innovation and environmentally-responsible production," Mr. Vanclief said. "IFP directly supports the new national policy direction in agriculture, known as the Agricultural Policy Framework, that is being developed by federal, provincial and territorial governments in close cooperation with industry."

CARD, a federal initiative created in 1995, is a $60 million-a-year program aimed at promoting long-term growth, employment and competitiveness in Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector. In the past five years, CARD has allocated $2.8 million to the Canadian Horticultural Council to carry out projects that include pesticides, food safety initiatives, partners in quality and the establishment of a dispute resolution corporation.


CONTACT: Donald Boulanger Minister's Press Secretary Ottawa (613) 759-1761 or Media Relations Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Ottawa (613) 759-7972

Copyright (C) 2002, Canadian Corporate News. All rights reserved.

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Mar 19, 2002 | 15:46 2 Nakodo
Sounds good but I had the opportunity to meet a retired Washington State apple grower who made the comment that China has entered the apple market in a big way. They will not be so concerned about how they produce the apples as in how much they produce.

This program is coming from the same people that are committing us to Kyoto.

Rod Reply With Quote
Mar 20, 2002 | 06:32 3 If my knowledge is correct it is the retail trade in Europe that is driving IFP. They what tracibility, quality assurance and production from environmentally sustainable means. Although Agriculture Canada made the announcement for funding it was the industry that had requested the funding. The industry in Nova Scotia has been working on IFP guidelines for over five years with the assistance of AAFC scientist. A manual has know been produced. These steps were taken in anticipation that the retail trade in North America will eventually follow the path taken by European countries when it comes to food safety and environmental issues. The industry wanted to be proactive and not reactive to the issue. If the retail trade requested fruit to be produced by IFP than China will have to produce fruit to these standards. Reply With Quote
Mar 20, 2002 | 16:35 4 The supermarkets in Europe do indeed control the production methods. In North America it has been more of the "MacDonald's and Burger King crowd" that has dictated food safety and production protocols.

The producer has always wanted to produce a safe and nutricious product but at the same time one that would reward them for that benefit. If we follow what has happened in Europe (ie UK, the costs of montoring and record keeping have gone up and the price recieved by the producer has gone down.
There are no such things as premiums only discounts in the food world. If you set the bar high you must keep increasing the height, but unlike a track meet where the athlete that jumps the highest wins,you just get to remain in the stadium. The lowest cost alternative is always used to set the price.

The IFP is a wonderful producer driven plan but don't let the Ministers wonderful words sugar coat the realities of the food business today. Reply With Quote
Mar 21, 2002 | 07:01 5 Unfortunately there will be added cost to the producers, which he will not be able to recover by means of premium price. Trials in Nova Scotia have demonstrated a cost reduction in the spray bill by following our IFP protocol vs a conventional spray program. The cost to switch to IFP will depend upon where a producer is with regards IPM and record keeping. Yes IFP may only allow the producer to retain market share but not being able to supply the market with what they ask for will only result in a further reduction in local apple production. Setting a side the minister comments IFP will only work if growers are will to follow the program and see a benefit. Reply With Quote