Meet the faces behind the Ontario produce on your plate! Each year thousands of migrant farm workers make their way to Ontario to work on fruit and vegetable farms around the province. While for many of them this experience is relatively new, some workers have been returning to Ontario farms for over 20 years! From trumpet players to carpenters, they all have a unique story to share. Click the profiles below to learn more about the women and men who play such an important role on our farms.
My name is Ermel Colli. I come from the state of Yucatán. I have been coming to Canada for two years to work. I came here to improve the life of my family. I have three children. One is studying accounting, another is in high school and the other is in elementary school in second grade. I had applied twice to be eligible for the farm worker program before I was accepted.
My name is Gerardo Gutiérrez Medina. I am from Mexico from the state of Morelos. Canada has given me the opportunity to come, I think about 19 or 20 years. I am the longest working employee here. I have seen a lot of changes since I started. At work we are happy if there is a good production, but sometimes God makes it too cold.
My name is Celso Alvarado Ibarra and I come from the state of Querétaro. I have been coming to Canada for four years and this is my first year on this farm. I have a seven-year-old baby and my wife is a nurse. I am very proud of my wife. Thanks to working here in Canada, our family has been able to get ahead. This work gives our family a better future.
My name is Esteban Solís. I come from the state of Durango and we come here to Canada to work. I have been coming to Canada for eight years. I came so my family can have a better life and for my children to get ahead. In Mexico, I work in the field in agriculture, planting corn, wheat, and oats.
My name is Mario Guzmán. I am from Mexico and I have been coming to Canada for 11 years and have worked here for nine. I decided to come to Canada to make some progress with the family; to be able to give our family what they need and to have opportunities that we did not have before. We have taken this opportunity for our family to get ahead.
My name is Wanwipa and I work at Truly Green Farm. I am working in the greenhouse and am a crop worker. I am the Thai leader sometimes, and I also translate English for my Thai people. I chose to come to Canada because it is a nice country. It is a good place to find a job making good money.
I work at Truly Green as a supervisor in the greenhouse. I am from Thailand, and I have been here for 8-9 years now. What brought me to Canada was the English and the opportunity to make more money. I wanted to improve my English at that time and learn new things in another country.
My name is Nataliia Buina and we are in our perfect farm, Truly Green. I have worked here almost six years. I started here in August 2017. I came to Canada from Ukraine. We decided to come to Canada because of the war in Ukraine that was happening in 2014. We decided to find a perfect country for safety and live here like a happy family.
My name is Andre, and I am from Jamaica. I have been coming here for six years. I am an operator on the truck that moves tomatoes. I came to Canada to make life easier for me and my kids. My dream for my kids is to not live the same life as I do, I want to make it better for them.
This is my fourth season. First, I was a crop worker, now I am a picker. I pick Campari tomatoes. Jamaica is a poor country, to come to Canada is a better life for us. Farm work is the best thing to go into to take care of your family and make yourself a bit of money. In Jamaica, I was a construction worker and tradesman.
I am a crop worker and cut tomatoes. I’ve been doing this now for seven years. It is a very good environment to work in, we meet a lot of different people from Thai and Jamaica, and we have a good relationship. I am a carpenter back in Jamaica. It is a very good job, but Canada is very nice, and I love Canada.
My name is Bunjong Jitthai. I work for Truly Green Farms. I’ve been here for two and a half years. My jobs are lowering and deleafing the tomato plants. Working in Canada is a good opportunity for me to make money to support my family back home. My plan is to buy land in Thailand, build a house and a cattle farm and support my family monthly.