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Produce veteran moves to Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers leadership position.

Published August 9, 2017

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Leamington, Ontario, August 9, 2017

 

Mr. Joe Sbrocchi will assume the General Manager role at the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG), effective Sept 18th, 2017. Mr. Sbrocchi has been active in a number of roles in the greenhouse sector for the last 8 years. Previously he has held management roles with national retailers like Sobeys and Walmart providing a solid body of work throughout the entire value chain.


“We are pleased to have a quality leader join the OGVG at a point where his experience, skills and leadership can significantly support our sector”, commented OGVG Chair George Gilvesy.


“I believe my lifetime in produce and in particular the past eight years in the Greenhouse sector have prepared me well for this role. I am looking forward to representing Ontario greenhouse growers to the very best of my abilities” remarked Mr. Sbrocchi.


About OGVG


OGVG is responsible for licensing all growers, packers and marketers of Ontario greenhouse tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. Currently, OGVG has over 200 growers, representing nearly 2900 acres of high-tech hydroponic greenhouse production.


For Media Inquiries, Contact:


George Gilvesy, Chair
Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers
32 Seneca Road, Leamington, Ontario N8H 5H7
T 519-326-2604 or 1-800-265-6926
Email: gilvesy@ogvg.com
Website: www.ogvg.com


Greenhouse Farmers in Disbelief over Minimum Wage Announcement

Published June 1, 2017

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Leamington, ON - June 1, 2017 - The Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) today announced an immediate concern for the ongoing viability of their sector. While greenhouse vegetable growers agree there is a common interest in sharing in a healthy economic well-being, the recent announcement relating to significant increased minimum wages combined with proposed changes to the employment standards, signals the imminent closure of many family-run greenhouse farms.

 

As with any business, greenhouse farming requires a stable business climate that allows for the responsible planning of future investments. For a sector still recovering from an onslaught of regulatory burden and government-imposed costs, such as cap and trade, paying an additional $3.60/hour for each worker is an insurmountable hurdle.

 

The OGVG estimates the additional expense will cost the sector over $30 million next year, and another $40 million the year after that. Specifically, this represents a 35% increase in labour costs. No business can absorb this type of significant impact without consequences. The short term consequences will include the loss of small farm operations, reduced availability of local produce and an increased presence of imported produce of the grocery store shelves.  OGVG would encourage the government to undertake a full economic impact assessment prior to implementing this type of drastic change.

 

“Our sector is already reeling from the most recent impacts of cap and trade,” said George Gilvesy, OGVG Chair and “this ‘piling on’ of costly policies will undoubtedly put an end to an enviable growth story for Ontario greenhouse vegetable production.”

 

For a capital and labour-intensive sector struggling to remain competitive, the latest announcement will make it even harder to stem the flow of greenhouse investment to neighbouring U.S. states and Mexico. “Labour makes up the largest single cost in the production of greenhouse vegetables and changes of this magnitude make it impossible to plan and invest in the future” said Gilvesy.  “We need the government to work with us to ensure further greenhouse growth and investment remains in the province.” 

 

About OGVG

OGVG is responsible for licensing all growers, packers and marketers of Ontario greenhouse tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. Currently, OGVG has over 200 growers, representing nearly 2900 acres of high-tech hydroponic greenhouse production.

 

For Media Inquiries, Contact:

Paul Glenney, Interim General Manager
Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers 
32 Seneca Road, Leamington, Ontario N8H 5H7 
T 519-326-2604 or 1-800-265-6926 
Email: p.glenney@ogvg.com
Website: www.ogvg.com


Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Welcome Greenhouse Competitive Initiative

Published March 23, 2017

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LEAMINGTON, ON – March 23, 2017 – Greenhouse vegetable farmers in Ontario were happy to learn of the new Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative announced earlier today.  The new initiative will help farmers compete with neighbouring regions.

 

“Ontario’s greenhouse vegetable farmers thank Minister Leal and Premier Wynne for announcing this initiative,” says George Gilvesy, chair of Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG). “We look forward to working with the provincial government to ensure the Ontario greenhouse vegetable sector remains competitive into the future by strengthening investment in Ontario, creating local jobs and continuing to provide fresh, healthy produce for Ontarians year-round.”

 

The $19 million initiative promises to help Ontario greenhouse farmers continue to make a significant contribution toward meeting the Premier's growth challenge to Agri-food and ensures a secure food supply for Ontarians through the winter months. Sector growth will occur both through the expansion of acreage and by moving toward 12-month production, allowing Ontario growers to retain and expand their market share.

 

OGVG is responsible for licensing all growers, packers and marketers of Ontario greenhouse tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. Currently, OGVG has over 200 growers, representing nearly 2900 acres of high-tech hydroponic greenhouse production. 

 

Additional Information / Background

 

Greenhouse farming is a thriving sector in Ontario’s agricultural landscape that contributes heavily to the Ontario economy, creates jobs and supports healthy living initiatives across the province.  According to Statistics Canada, farmgate value of Ontario greenhouse commodities represented by OGVG has grown from $6.7 million in 1967 to over $820 million in 2005.

 

Ontario’s greenhouse growers have invested heavily in innovation that increases efficiency and reduce costs by reducing inputs while maintaining a productive crop. In general, greenhouse growers are early adopters of innovation with many operations installing state of the art equipment and implementing novel practices such as:

 

  • Water and nutrient recirculation equipment
  • High tech disinfection systems
  • High efficiency boilers and heat storage facilities
  • Energy/shade curtains to improve heat retention in the winter and shade the crop in the summer
  • Computerized and automated crop management systems based on sensor feedback that allow nutrients, irrigation, heating and cooling to be precisely tailored to the crop’s needs at any point during the day or night
  • Installation of flue gas CO2 units on boilers to effectively capture and use this combustion by-product allowing the crop to benefit from higher CO2 levels during times of high photosynthetic activity

 

In this manner, the crop is only provided with the precise inputs it requires at the time when it can most efficiently use them.  These improvements focus on reducing crop inputs and maximizing crop efficiency.  Reduced crop inputs, whether it be reduced water use, reduced fertilizer use or more directly, reduced fuel consumption, all translate to increased competitiveness.

 

For Media Inquiries, Contact:
Rick Seguin, General Manager 
Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers
32 Seneca Road, Leamington, Ontario N8H 5H7
T 519-326-2604 or 1-800-265-6926
F 519-326-7842
Email: rseguin@ontariogreenhouse.com
Website: www.ogvg.com