2023 11 15 SF 5 LH 50Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits fruit wholesaler Arcadio’s produce and has a roundtable discussion on food affordability during the APEC summit in San Francisco on November 15, 2023

The Canadian produce industry met with Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit held last week in San Francisco.

The Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), represented by Colin Chapdelaine, CPMA chair and president of Berry Operations at Star Produce, spoke for the Canadian fresh fruits and vegetables (produce) industry during Prime Minister Trudeau's food affordability roundtable.

Accompanied by other food industry leaders, including Canadian representation by James Milne, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of categories at Oppy, the roundtable was a key opportunity for CPMA to highlight the efforts of the Canadian fresh produce industry to keep healthy food affordable and available for Canadians all year-round.

In addition to innovation and food affordability, the industry outlined concerns with the Canadian government's proposed regulations which could adversely impact food affordability and availability. These include the ban on fresh produce PLU stickers and the application of highly restrictive and market-disrupting fresh produce packaging targets within the proposed Pollution Prevention Plan Notice for Primary Food Packaging. This complements CPMA’s significant advocacy with parliamentarians, the offices of the prime minister, the minister of environment and climate change canada, the minister of agriculture and agri-food, the minister of innovation, science and economic development Canada, and all levels of public service since the announcement of regulations and policy related to fresh fruit and vegetable packaging.

Says Colin Chapdelaine, CPMA chair: “Our industry stakeholders from across the global fresh produce supply chain are ready to work with government officials to help them understand the industry’s efforts to provide Canadians with affordable fresh produce, support industry efforts to develop and adopt sustainable packaging technologies, and fight the rising costs of food.”

“Canadians are concerned about growing food prices,” says Ron Lemaire, CPMA president. “The Canadian fresh produce industry is aggressively working to make sure healthy food remains affordable and available in all regions of the country - from major urban centers to remote and rural communities. Since 2019, our efforts have included improving global produce supply chains, adopting more sustainable forms of packaging, and collaborating with policymakers and regulators to ensure we move forward in a systems approach that aligns programs and regulations to support a sustainable food system in Canada.”

Given the Federal Court of Canada's decision on November 16, 2023, declaring the cabinet order enabling the ban of single-use plastics "unreasonable and unconstitutional," Canada's fresh produce industry is calling on the Canadian government to take a none regulatory approach and work hand-in-hand with the industry to leverage its existing sustainable packaging efforts and help support a global approach to accelerate the development of the portfolio of sustainable packaging solutions and technologies.

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