The NFU-O is a strong and growing organization of family farmers; together we build successful, sustainable farms and vibrant rural communities.
Our members develop farmer-friendly policy through our grassroots, democratic approach, and we advocate boldly for that policy at all levels of government: locally, provincially, and nationally.
NFU-O push makes Artisanal Chicken program a reality
The NFU-O continues to work for a supply management system that ensures a liveable income for farmers without being an unfair barrier to new farmers. In 2016, our sustained advocacy helped bring the new Artisanal Chicken program into effect in Ontario. This program has allowed new and small farmers to grow up to 3000 chickens without quota and enjoy income from that stable market; they can sell at the farm gate or anywhere they like.
NFU-O defends Vegetable Growers’ bargaining powers
The NFU-O led the charge to defend the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers (OPVG) from Geri Kamenz, former OFA President and head of the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission, who described himself as a government “hit man” and tried to strip the OPVG of its bargaining powers. “The only people who will benefit are the corporations,” warned NFU-O Board member Karen Eatwell. “Consumer goods will not see a decrease in price.” Our actions stopped this plan, and in the aftermath Kamenz resigned.
NFU Local 318 helps start farmer-run abattoir in Eastern Ontario
The loss of local processing infrastructure like small abattoirs has been a huge challenge to small and medium-sized farmers across the province; the NFU-O works for the recovery of that infrastructure. With the active support of NFU-O Local 318, a new farmer-directed abattoir has been opened in Eastern Ontario, the Farmersville Community Abattoir. We are pushing for more local infrastructure, as well as provincial and funding policy to support small processors.
To learn more about the facility and its services, visit www.farmersvilleabattoir.com.
NFU-O Local 362 members save Central Experimental Farmland
At the beginning of 2016, 60 acres of the Central Experimental Farm—Canada’s hub for publicly-funded agricultural research—were on the chopping block due to planned expansion of an Ottawa hospital campus. But dedicated action by members of Local 362 convinced the National Capital Commission to move the planned expansion.
“The lives and livelihoods of farmers would have been directly affected by the loss of the public research at the farm,” said NFU-O Board member Katie Ward. “Without the team effort by NFU-O members, this situation would have had an entirely different outcome.”
President Huszka challenges the Canadian Senate on access to land for young farmers
With farmland prices increasing astronomically, the NFU-O has made it a priority to ensure that young and new farmers can afford to have their own farms. NFU-O President Emery Huszka challenged members of the Canadian Senate to take action on the issue when he addressed them in December 2016.
Ecological and financial sustainability
The NFU-O has been a leader on farm sustainability since our founding, and we continue to work for policies that reward farm stewardship. Right now, we’re working hard to promote a framework of programs which would offer financial incentives to farmers for the ecological services that our farms provide.
We have big plans for 2017.
We’ll be announcing new projects and events shortly to build on our 2016 accomplishments.
Stay tuned by joining our e-newsletter, visiting an NFU-O Local meeting, or joining us at the NFU-O 2017 AGM & Convention in Ridgetown, from March 3-5. And don’t forget: