GFM Network News


For the Voglers, distributors mean they can focus on the crops that work best for their land and business.

The deal with food distributors

By connecting with distributors, ambitious small farms are leapfrogging their way into bigger markets. Is this an opportunity for mainstream farms too?

Reading Time: 7 minutes At peak operation, Andrew Vogler was growing 50 different varieties of vegetables, selling at nine different farmers markets around Abbottsford, B.C., and delivering vegetable boxes to 200 customers in the lower mainland. In other words, his produce farm was a lot like a lot of other startups — a lot of energy was going in […] Read more

Just because the horseradish market is small doesn’t mean it’s volatile, says Mark Vandenbosch. In fact, going artisanal is an advantage. They can be price makers, not takers.

A condiment with a dash of heat

How do you build a thriving business on a crop that consumers use a spoonful at a time?

Reading Time: 6 minutes In Ontario’s Norfolk County, horseradish is a lot like that gawky kid everyone knew in high school who came back from summer vacation one year suddenly transformed with muscles and a cool new look. Where did that come from? Overnight, he’d become a deal. Horseradish has been around forever too, although it’s been nearly 20 […] Read more


A Pizza Pizza storefront in Winnipeg in 2013. (File photo by Dave Bedard)

Blue Cow comes to Pizza Pizza

Dairy Farmers of Canada branding to go on display

Reading Time: 3 minutes Pizza Pizza is the latest brand to sport Dairy Farmers of Canada’s “Blue Cow” certification-of-origin mark in its marketing, putting an old fight over the pizza chain’s cheese provenance to rest. DFC and Toronto-based, TSX-traded Pizza Pizza — which as of March 31 included 622 Pizza Pizza and 103 Pizza 73 outlets across eight provinces […] Read more

File photo of hogs in transit near Red Deer, Alta. (Stefonlinton/iStock/Getty Images)

Alberta hog farmers to get set-aside via AgriRecovery

Producers get funds for feeding held-back market hogs

Reading Time: 3 minutes An AgriRecovery plan announced Friday is set to pay eligible Alberta farmers 95 cents per day per market-ready hog toward the animals’ upkeep during the shutdown of the province’s biggest hog slaughter plant. Olymel, the meat packing arm of Sollio Co-operative, reopened its plant at Red Deer this week after announcing Feb. 15 it would […] Read more


File photo of rye at a grain market in India. (Deepak Sethi/E+/Getty Images)

India’s controversial farm bills become law despite protests

Reading Time: < 1 minute New Delhi | Reuters — India’s president on Sunday approved three controversial agricultural bills amid nationwide protests by farmers who say the new laws will stunt their bargaining power and instead allow large retailers to have control over pricing. Farmers’ organizations say one of the three laws could lead to the government stopping buying grain […] Read more

File photo of rye at a grain market in India. (Deepak Sethi/E+/Getty Images)

Indian cabinet minister quits over farm legislation

Reading Time: 2 minutes New Delhi | Reuters — India’s minister for food processing resigned on Thursday over her opposition to planned laws to allow farmers to sell produce directly to bulk buyers and make contract farming easier, saying the legislation will hurt millions of the country’s farmers. “Proud to stand with farmers as their daughter and sister,” Harsimrat […] Read more


(StockstudioX/E+/Getty Images)

Fraser: In ag marketing, emotions need to start trumping facts

Emotional transparency 'actually goes a long way'

Reading Time: 3 minutes Go to an agricultural event and someone will inevitably point out how bad farmers are at getting their message to consumers. As annoying as it is, those comments underscore an increasingly important theme in Canadian agriculture: communication. It used to be enough to grow and market your crops, but that has changed dramatically over the […] Read more

Red Shed Malting adds value to the farm’s barley by producing premium-quality base malts, plus lightly kilned and roasted specialty malts made from them.

Why marketing is the test, no matter how great your idea

“It’s a mind-shift,” says value-add pro Gary Morton. Success takes groundwork, strategic planning… and money

Reading Time: 3 minutes Branding that identifies you as the producer and connects buyers to your farm product is a key strategy for adding value to farm products, says Halifax-based business consultant Gary Morton with Morton Horticultural Associates. “You are kind of in a sea of sameness,” says Morton, who has worked with all types of farms, not only […] Read more


“For people small and starting out, you have to have relationships,” Ray Price says. “Whether it’s family, friends, bankers or workers… you have to find places to have relationships.”

The look of leadership

Known for Sunterra’s bold, future-looking moves, what traits does Ray Price see in the farmers he thinks can up their game for the 2020s?

Reading Time: 9 minutes If Japan starts handing out honourary citizenships, you better believe Ray Price will be on their short list. Already, the Alberta-born farm boy has been to the Land of the Rising Sun more than 100 times representing Sunterra, the Price family’s storied, successful and diversified business. The Prices export a majority of their pork directly […] Read more

The proposal to increase checkoff funding for Beef Farmers of Ontario passed with a significant majority this year. (John Greig photo)

Ontario beef checkoff to rise by $1.50

Reading Time: 2 minutes Ontario beef farmers have approved an increase of $1.50 in checkoff per animal to fund an ambitious industry-wide marketing effort for Ontario beef. Producers at the Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) annual meeting in Mississauga on Wednesday voted 87 per cent in favour of the plan. A similar plan was rejected at last year’s annual […] Read more