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 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.
My name is Efrain Romero Tellez. I am thirty-six years old. I am originally from the state of Michoacán de Jacona. I have been coming to Canada for six years. For two of those six years, I have worked here on this farm. I am married, I have my wife, three children... a fourteen-year-old girl, another girl that is five years old and a three-year-old boy.
I am Filliberto Magin Alvarado, from the state of Veracruz. I have been coming to Canada for 16 seasons already and I have been on this farm for 11 seasons. My son now comes with me for four years now. The boss has given me the opportunity to bring my son here to work.
My name is Juan Antonio Linares Hernández and I am from Veracruz, Mexico. I’ve been coming to Canada for 13 years. Working here provides me with a better future for me and my family. My wife and I have a son and a daughter. My daughter is fourteen and my young man – my boy - is three. I talk to them every day after work.
My name is Luiz Rodriguez. I come from the state of Veracruz, Mexico. I have been coming to Canada for 22 years, 14 on this market garden farm. My first reason to come to Canada is to give my family - my wife and children - a better life. The sacrifices that each of us have had to make are difficult.
I’m Efreen Sanchez. I come from Mexico in Xcalak. I’ve been coming to work in Canada for 21 years – always on this farm. Here, my work is planting; sometimes driving tractors and trucks. I’ll do any of the work, any of the time. By coming here, I’m giving my family a better way to live.