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Norfolk County is overflowing with apples. Nearly two months into the harvest, farmers in one of Ontario’s top apple-growing regions say yields are up 15 to 18 per cent over last year. “We’ve had a really great crop this year,” said Casey Cleaver of Cleaver Orchards, who grows 45 apple varieties on 130 acres near Simcoe.
Fall harvest season is in full swing on many of Ontario’s fruit and vegetable farms. For migrant farm workers who come to Canada every year as part of the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP), this means it’s almost time to go home and rejoin their families. t’s a highly anticipated time of year for workers who, while welcoming the opportunities that farm jobs in Canada offer
Courtney Davis picks apples in Canada, but he established his agricultural roots in Jamaica. His family has grown tomatoes, pumpkins, sweet peppers, yams and bananas on their land for generations, but farms in Jamaica are not as big as the one he works on in Norfolk County. Davis recently shared his experience as an international foreign agricultural worker during Farm and Food Care’s first in-person farm tour since the pandemic began.
Ben Froese, a third generation farmer, is the Grape Grower of Ontario’s sixth Grape King. At just 39 years of age, he is operating two farms under the name Willow Lake Ventures, one of which was his father’s, and the other in St. Davids, which he purchased when he decided he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps.
When Russian troops moved into the Crimean Peninsula in 2014, Nataliia Buina and her family began looking for a safe country they could move to. They settled on Canada, applying for study permits for Buina’s husband and their two children. Buina herself was accepted into the agricultural stream of the federal Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program and in August 2017, began working at Truly Green Farms in Chatham.
When you ask Ontario fruit and vegetable farmers about the international workers they employ, they often mention that many of those workers have been coming to work here for years, even decades. It’s that opportunity to work in Canada, through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) and the agriculture stream of the federal Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program...
Each year, over 40,000 migrant workers come to Canada legally to work on farms. Now, a new initiative that’s putting the workers front and centre is shining a spotlight on their stories. More than a Migrant Worker is a website and media campaign supported by the Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association in partnership with several commodity groups.
What a weekend it was for greenhouse workers in the Leamington area. The inaugural Greenhouse Cup Tournament put on by the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) with support from the Migrant Worker Community Program proved to be an awesome event full of friendly competition and appreciation. The soccer tournament presented a great opportunity to bring […]
There are thousands of migrant workers working on Canadian fruit and vegetable farms. They come from many different countries and some stay only for the season before going home for the winter, whereas others stay year-round. Regardless of their circumstances, though, there’s one thing they all have in common: their motivation for working in Canada is to build a better life for themselves and for their families back home.
It was 2008, the first time Myron Martin came to Canada to work on a Niagara Region tender fruit farm. He’d done some farming in Jamaica, so joining the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) made sense for him – and he’s been returning to the same farm every year since then.
The drive to build a better future for his family has been bringing migrant worker Raymond O’Connor to Canada every year for almost a decade. Because of his job on an apple orchard in Norfolk County, the Jamaican construction worker has been able to send his kids to school, build a home for his family, and pay for medical care.
When the world shut down in March 2020, Canada quickly realized it couldn’t shut travel down completely. Only days after the borders were closed, the government reversed course for one group of people: migrant farm workers. Despite fears over a new and unknown virus, the labour those workers provided was too important.