Canadian Farmer: Jeff Gill's "Inconvienient Truth"
Barry Artiste, Now Public Contributor
Canadian Farmers, the backbone of Canada, are in jeopardy when cheap food imports flooding the Canadian Market sometimes makes one wonder if it is worth getting up at the crack of dawn to put food on Canadians table.
Canadian Farmers like the Gill's are much like our Armed Forces Fighting Men and Women, they put more sweat and hard work by 6am than these rest of us put in an entire day.
In an environment, where carbon footprint, environmentalism is the catch word, does it make any sense to buy cheap food imported into this country, when Canadian Farmers like the Gills work their asses of to provide local produce, thus being one of the true environmentalists?
Something to think about, when you're making that strawberry smoothie for breakfast.
If we do not support all our Canadian Farmers, we have only ourselves to blame when eventually local farmers will be put out to pasture.
Once Canadian Farmers are out of the picture, Importers will have a monopoly and be able to raise their prices, because all their Canadian competiton will have been plowed over.
And that is the "Inconvienient Truth"
Metro Vancouver strawberry growers make plea for local supportVancouver SunPublished: Friday, May 30, 2008
VANCOUVER -- Fraser Valley strawberry growers, squeezed in recent years by cheap imports and rising costs, have their fingers crossed this year.
Though a cold spring has delayed the crop, growers' fields are in full bloom promising a bumper crop, which they're hoping will be snapped up fresh by British Columbians who are becoming more conscious about where their food is coming from.
"We need big support from locals to keep our industry alive," grower Jeff Gill, owner of Gill Farms in Delta.
"The season is only a month long, and if everyone knew that and supported our local producers, it would go a long way."Henry Wiens, manager of the Fraser Valley Strawberry Growers Association, said a lot of farms have gotten out of strawberries.
In the processed market, B.C. farmers can't compete with cheap California imports.Wiens estimates that the harvest that used to go into the processed market for jams and frozen berries has shrunk to 1.4 million kilograms in the last couple of years from 6.8 million kilograms several years ago.
Farmers are, however, increasing the amount they're selling fresh to farmers markets, fruit stands and directly to consumers who come out to pick them directly from their fields.
Wiens estimates the fresh portion of the market has grown to about 1.4 million kilograms a year from as little as 900,000 kilograms a decade ago.