Few stand for Ontario vegetable board elections

Ontario’s 450-odd processing vegetable growers have put up just three people to fill four open spots on the board of their marketing organization.

The Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers (OPVG) on Friday announced the results from an election meeting for two District 1 directors, held Thursday evening in Chatham.

Tomato and bean grower David Epp of Leamington and onion and tomato grower Pascal Jennen of Dresden are elected to serve two-year terms representing District 1 on the OPVG board.

A District 2 meeting scheduled for Friday evening in Strathroy is cancelled, however, as just one candidate, bean and green pea grower Mike Lenders of Ilderton, let his name stand for nomination by the Sept. 18 deadline.

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Lenders thus has been acclaimed to fill the one available District 2 spot, also for a two-year term.

A District 3 meeting, which had been scheduled for Tuesday (Sept. 26) in Courtland, was also cancelled when not even one candidate was nominated by the Sept. 18 deadline.

The OPVG’s new general manager, Cathy Lennon, said the organization “will look into the next steps necessary in order to find a director to fill this empty position.”

The makeup of the OPVG’s board became a contentious issue this spring after the previous board was dismissed by provincial Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal. The dismissal followed an impasse in contract talks between processing tomato growers and Ontario’s main processors.

Leal then appointed a trustee to assume the association’s power to negotiate contracts with processors for processing tomatoes for 2017.

Ontario’s Farm Products Marketing Commission (OFPMC) in June set up a process to form a new OPVG board, starting with a commission-appointed chair, four commission-appointed directors and four grower-elected directors.

The OFPMC-appointed directors will serve one-year terms and are expected to be replaced by four more directors in elections next year, also for two-year terms.

The OFPMC this week named Suzanne van Bommel of Belmont as chair and growers Eric Allaer, Michael Denys, Tom Hebblethwaite and Chris Stewart as the four board appointees. — AGCanada.com Network

 

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