CFFO Commentary

Cage Free Egg Trend: Impact on Farmers

On April 1 2015 I attended the Annual Meeting of the Egg Farmers of Ontario (EFO). The mood was upbeat. It was party time because it was their 50th Anniversary, and with the success that they have had over the past 50 years everyone was entitled to celebrate.  Moving forward a year to EFO’s 51st Annual Meeting…

Cage Free Egg Trend: Marketing Strategy

With the power of social media and the internet, activists and animal right groups have influenced people’s perceptions of food production and their decisions on what to eat. With the new generation of customers demanding more ethical and healthier options in their diets, some of the world’s biggest food chains like McDonald’s, Burger King and…

Arboriculture and Farming

This time of year our trees and woodlots command our attention with their amazing display of colour. Trees are beautiful, and they are beneficial for the environment, water quality and wildlife. But trees can also be part of the productivity and profitability of farms. While in some regions of the province woodlots and tree lines…

Northern Ontario Agriculture, Aquaculture and Food Processing Sector Strategy – Discussion Paper

Over the years that I have traveled in northern Ontario, I have met residents who see great opportunity in their area. Frequently obstacles deter their success. Sometimes the problem is regulations, other times opportunities are missed due to distance or transportation problems. Local residents are then left with a feeling of frustration. Now there may…

Season of Thanksgiving

“You crown the year with Your goodness; Your ways overflow with plenty.” Psalm 65:11. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time when family and friends come together to celebrate the fruits of the growing year. No celebration can go without food, but Thanksgiving is a celebration of food itself as a gift of God’s goodness. This week…

Maintaining Ontario’s Ecosystems

The province of Ontario is comprised of many ecosystems that are unique and beneficial to the provincial landscape. Maintaining these ecosystems is the responsibility of all citizens who call Ontario home. There are many organizations and individuals who are committed to maintaining and improving the ecosystems around them. The Lower Thames Conversation Authority (LTCA) recently hosted a bus…

Eat Your View

“Eat your view” is an expression used to promote local food. Eating local, and protecting farmland to make that possible, ensures populations have access to a “beautiful view” close to home. It is also saying you should consider the landscape that is created by the way your food is produced. Protecting local farmland is important…

OMAFRA Sustaining Healthy Soils Initiative

The Ontario government has just released a discussion paper on “Sustaining Ontario’s Agricultural Soils.” They are developing a strategy to enhance the health of agricultural soils and are seeking the collective ideas and participation of all stakeholders. We welcome this initiative. Focusing the spotlight on this vital resource is an excellent first step in preserving…

Nutrient Management for Better Lakes

Phosphorus in Lake Erie poses a significant risk to us all. High levels of phosphorus result in toxic algae blooms which contaminate our drinking water and largely affect recreational practices along with fishing industries. In 2014 many people experienced drinking water advisories because of algae blooms and in 2015 Lake Erie recorded its largest algae…

Red Tape Challenge for the Food Processing Sector

Government regulation is a fact of life doing business here in Ontario. The regulatory system may feel like a river, constantly changing, and at times overwhelming. But farmers also know that regulations have their benefits for farm businesses. Regulations help ensure quality standards, strengthening market access for Canadian farm products around the world. Regulations protect…