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Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada Celebrates Successful Centennial Annual General Meeting

VANCOUVER, BC - The Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) successfully concluded its Centennial Annual General Meeting (AGM) on March 16, 2023, at the Westin Bayshore Vancouver. The event brought together members, partners, and stakeholders in-person to discuss critical issues that impact the fruit and vegetable industry in Canada. FVGC members were able to listen to and vote at the meetings virtually, if they were unable to attend in person.

The theme of this year’s AGM was “Building on 100 Years of feeding Canada and the world”. The theme reflects FVGC's commitment to continue being the strong, unified voice representing Canadian fruit and vegetable growers. As the Canadian fruit and vegetable industry continues to evolve and face new challenges, FVGC remains committed to supporting its members and promoting their interests. Through its advocacy work and various initiatives, FVGC is dedicated to ensuring the Canadian fruit and vegetable industry remains vibrant and prosperous for many years to come. FVGC reached its 100th year in 2022, but delayed celebrations until this year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

FVGC was glad to welcome many of their past presidents (with service dating back all the way to 1983!) to celebrate their centennial year with them. They joined the current FVGC President, Jan VanderHout, and Executive Director, Rebecca Lee, in cutting the Centennial Cake. FVGC was honoured to have John MacDonald, Ken Forth, Ken Porteous, Murray Porteous, Alvin Keenan, Brian Gilroy, Steve Levasseur, Jack Bates and Marcus Janzen in attendance.

Jan VanderHout, President of FVGC, expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the AGM, stating, "The Centennial AGM provided a great opportunity for our members to reflect together on our achievements and explore solutions for the important issues facing our industry. It was wonderful to see so many passionate individuals gathered in one place to celebrate our 100-year milestone and share their insights on how we can continue to grow and thrive in the years ahead."

Rebecca Lee, Executive Director of FVGC, echoed VanderHout's sentiments, saying, "The success of this year's AGM is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our members, partners and staff. We are grateful for the support we received, and we look forward to continuing our work to promote the interests of the Canadian fruit and vegetable industry."

FVGC members elected the Board of Directors that will serve from March 2023-March 2024. The new Board of Directors is as follows:

President: Jan VanderHout
1st Vice President: Marcus Janzen
2nd Vice President: Albert Cramer
Finance Committee Chair: David Hoekstra
Members for BC: Jason Smith
Members for the Prairies: Beth Connery
Members for ON: Charles Stevens, Quinton Woods
Members for QC: Jocelyn Gibouleau, Pascal Forest
Members for the Atlantic: Gerald Dykerman, Phillip Keddy

At the AGM Banquet, FVGC presented three awards to individuals who have made significant contributions to the fruit and vegetable industry in Canada. The Doug Connery Award* was presented to Deb Hart, Vice Chair of the Seed Potato Sub Committee, for her commitment and passion for the potato industry. The Honourary Life Member Award was presented to David Jones, retiring General Manager of the Canadian Potato Council, for his tireless efforts in advancing issues affecting the Canadian potato industry over the last 11 years. Finally, the Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to Don Brubacher, former Manager of the Ontario Potato Board, for his lifelong dedication and service to the potato industry.

The FVGC congratulates all the award recipients and thanks them for their exceptional contributions to the fruit and vegetable industry in Canada.

In addition to celebrating its centennial year, FVGC was excited to relaunch its Next Gen: Growing into the Future Program this year. The program was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic but is now back in action. The Next Gen program aims to bridge the gap between FVGC's past 100 years of success and its next century of growth and innovation by providing opportunities for young growers to learn and develop skills to become future leaders in the industry. FVGC is committed to investing in the next generation of growers and ensuring that the Canadian fruit and vegetable industry remains strong and prosperous for years to come.

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