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Certified Greenhouse Farmers continues membership growth in Canada

Certified Greenhouse Farmers approved six new members from British Columbia. With these new members and those companies currently pending membership certification, CGF will grow to more than 50 greenhouse operations in Canada, Mexico and the United States this year.

The new CGF members are BJ Farms of Abbotsford, Canadian Valley Growers of Aldergrove, Delta View Farms of Delta, Peppertree Farms of Abbotsford, Sunnybay Greenhouse of Delta and Millennium Pacific of Delta.

“Our growth continues as we work to distinguish vegetable greenhouse production from other systems by clearly defining growing standards and practices for this innovative industry,” Ed Beckman, CGF president, said in a press release.

To become a member of CGF, producers must meet the strict definition for controlled-environment greenhouses as well as undergo a rigorous, third-party audit against the association’s standards. These standards include structural and environmental controls, food safety, water resource management, integrated pest management procedures, ecosystem management and integrated waste management. After passing the certification audit, members can place a CGF seal on their products and packaging.

“The investment that these greenhouse growers must make requires them to differentiate their production systems and that means coming together, speaking with a unified voice and joining with other producers who share their vision,” Beckman said.

CGF addresses international trade, pest management, phytosanitary, and regulatory issues for its members. “With interests in Canada, Mexico and the United States, the organization seeks harmonization of those issues which impact farmers who grow or market greenhouse vegetables in these countries,” Beckman said. “An example is our coordinated effort with regional grower organizations in Canada to ensure that we have a uniform definition for greenhouse-grown vegetables.”

Interest in the organization has been strong across Canada. “We’ll continue to see growth in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. in 2013 as growers seek certification now in advance of the 2014 marketing season,” Beckman added. “For example, Sun Select, a major greenhouse pepper grower in British Columbia that is expanding into California, has applied for membership and will undergo certification audits this fall.”

Beckman reminds retailers to monitor the CGF website for member additions and certification status of pending members.

Total CGF membership acreage is now up to 1400 acres in Canada, Mexico and the United States.