(Quebec) From now on, it will be merchants and grocers to voluntarily indicate their fruits and vegetables of Quebec products.
Since early August, the Product of Quebec is no longer mandatory for vegetables and fruits in the province, said the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ).
For cons, the origin of the goods arriving from other Canadian provinces and other countries should always be highlighted.
This identification requirement Quebec products was not retained when the abolition of the portion of the regulation on the various categories of fruits and vegetables, to allow the sale of products ugly.
The regulation, now abolished, meant that 10% of the production of fruits and vegetables was rejected, causing losses for producers, says the MAPAQ.
“Everyone wins. Companies can diversify their offer and agricultural entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to sell more of their output. Consumers will have more choice, while being assured of obtaining more cheaply healthy products that meet safety standards, “said the minister Pierre Paradis at the end of July.
For the consumer, if the origin of products is not indicated, this would mean that they are from Quebec. But there are nuances, as highlighted in the agricultural magazine La Terre de chez nous, “When it appears that the fruits or vegetables can be grown in the Belle Province, as is the case for oranges or pineapples, identification of the source is then not required in the stalls. ”
MAPAQ sees no confusion for consumers because merchants are already used to show that such fruits or vegetables such were produced in Quebec to promote the sale. According to the ministry, since consumers are fond of Quebec products, traders should continue to identify them without being forced by regulation.
It adds that there is still the label Aliments du Québec and Prepared Foods in Quebec to inform consumers.
The bell sound different for The Producers in Quebec greenhouse. In his newsletter from July ( www.facebook.com/SyndicatDesProducteursEnSerre/ ), Andre Mousseau, president of the organization, argues that the amendment of the regulation is a blow for the producers. He believes instead that this will cause confusion among consumers.
“Look therefore the logo” Aliments du Quebec “and other certifications and locally sourced brands for some of the source of your food, and demand from your producers a clearer identification of their products,” he advises Quebecers .
Ambiguity adds to the confusion, according to UPA
The disappearance of identification Product of Quebec disappoint the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA). Consumers will not be as well informed about the provenance of their produce if left free merchants to do what they consider good to be done.
“We have not had time to gather feedback as the abolition of the obligation is very recent. And all of our producers are currently in the fields. Certainly, it’s a shame, “said Patrice Juneau, spokesman for the UPA.
According to him, it does not seem certain that the MAPAQ has measured the impact of the abolition of identification. For the UPA, it adds ambiguity to the confusion that may already exist in Quebec consumers.
While buying local is becoming more space and that local products are popular, the UPA believes that identification remains an important point that should not have disappeared without consultation. MAPAQ has never sought the opinion of the UPA, we are assured.
“We hope that producers understand that this is an important advantage for marketing. We trust that producers will continue to affix identification Product of Quebec, even without obligation to stand out products from elsewhere, “continues Mr. Juneau. By cons, without this obligation, many would forget to mention.
Consultations will take place on this subject at the end of August to take the pulse of the producers. Until now, only the greenhouse growers have responded.