The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention Inc., is designated by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs as an incorporated organization within the meaning of the Agricultural and Horticultural Organizations Act.
The convention is organized and produced by a volunteer committee and is a joint effort between the Niagara Peninsula Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association (NPF & VGA) and Horticultural Crops Ontario (HCO). Member associations of HCO include Farmers' Markets Ontario, Harvest Ontario, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association, Ontario Berry Growers Association, Ontario Apple Growers, Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association and Allied Trades.
The first convention was held in 2003 at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. In 2012, the convention moved to its current location, the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
OFVC provides an excellent knowledge base of speaker sessions on a wide array of topics. It has attracted some of the top horticultural specialsts from around the world. The exhibit area, which more than doubled in size in 2012, attracts top companies from across Canada and the United States where they can display their products and coverse about their services in a casual environment. Day 1 features a great late afternoon networking opportunity called Farmers and Friends, where attendees, speakers, organizers, sponsors and exhibitors have a chance to network on the trade show floor while enjoying a glass of local wine, craft beer, delicious cider and finger foods.
This convention is unique as it is a convention organized for producers to benefit producers. Each year, associations, government, and business form a partnership that drives the success of the event. On the financial front, all net revenues generated by this convention are directed straight back into the fruit and vegetable industry in a variety of initiatives including research, marketing and other association identified programs.
Over $1 million has been allocated directly into Ontario agriculture since 2005. Examples of projects/programs that have been funded wholly or partially through the activities of OFVC are listed below.
- OFFMA activity booklets for elementary aged children.
- Promotion of farmer direct sales.
- Ontario Berry Growers promotion of Ontario berry sales through in-store display contest.
- Mechanical Thinning of Peaches.
- Modeling Potassium Fixation & Availability the Dominant Soils for Vineyards in the Niagara Region to Improve Soil Potassium Application Guidelines.
- Management of Volatile Acidity and Sour Rot in Niagara Vineyards.
- Ontario Apple Promotion "Winter Mood-Food".
- DNA Barcode Project.
- Optimizing Pear Maturity, Postharvest Handling and Storage in Relation to Physiological Disorders.
- Management of Black Knot in Plums.
- Phosphorous Requirements of Onion.
- Codling Moth Resistance Trials.
- Garlic Workshop.
- Biofumigant Cover Crop Trial for Reduction of Nematode and Verticillium.
- Life History and Seasonal Movements of the Spotted Wing Dropsphila, Drosophila Suzukii, in a Multi-Crop Setting.
- Potassium Application Guidelines.
- Assessment of the Distribution and Natural Enemies of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug in Southern Ontario.
- Support for Grower information activities.