Proposed amendments to Ontario Regulation 125/04 (Apples - Marketing) under the Farm Products Marketing Act.
Ontario Regulation 125/04 (Apples – Marketing)
Bill or Act:
Farm Products Marketing Act
Summary of Proposal:
The Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission is proposing to make amendments to Ontario Regulation 125/04 (Apples - Marketing) which adjust timelines for the negotiation of annual agreements between the Ontario Apple Growers (OAG) and juice apple processors.
O. Reg. 125/04, includes an annual requirement to establish a negotiating agency to negotiate an agreement on minimum prices for juice apples as well as terms and conditions for the sale of juice apples. The negotiating agency is comprised of OAG appointees and the appointees of apple juice processors.
The regulation currently requires the agreement take effect by September 1st annually. If the agreement is reached through negotiation, there must be an agreement by the fourth Wednesday of August. If the agreement is determined through arbitration, the process must be concluded by August 31.
The negotiating agency relies on global crop estimates and market conditions in order to determine the price of juice apples. This data is made available at the Annual Outlook Conference by U.S. Apple.
Prior to 2016, the Annual Outlook Conference was held during the third week of August. The negotiation timelines in O. Reg. 125/04 were set up to accommodate this schedule. Since 2016, the conference has been held one week later which has been creating challenges for the negotiating agency to meet the timelines in the regulation.
In separate letters in September 2017, the OAG and the primary purchaser of orchard apples for juice processing in Ontario submitted requests to the Commission to amend the negotiation timeline and deadlines in O. Reg. 125/04.
Specifically, the industry request proposes amendments to section 8 of the regulation that would:
(1) change the date the negotiating agency must notify the Commission it has failed to reach an agreement to August 31, or the next business day, from the fourth Wednesday of August; and
(2) change the latest date for the arbitrator's decision to September 15 from August 31.
Further consequential amendments that were not included in the requests would adjust the negotiating period in section 7(1) to correspond with the above notification to the Commission and change the effective date of the agreement to September 16 from September 1.
O. Reg. 125/04 is a Commission-made regulation in which the Commission has authority to amend.
January 23, 2018
Comments Due Date:
March 9, 2018
Farm Products Marketing Commission
1 Stone Rd W, Guelph, N1G 4Y2