News release. (PDF click here)
Former OFVGA Chair honoured for contributions to fruit and vegetable industry
Brian Gilroy receives Industry Award of Merit
Guelph ON 22 February 2023 – The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (OFVGA) has honoured one of its own with the 2023 Industry Award of Merit. Former OFVGA chair Brian Gilroy received the award at the annual OFVGA industry banquet in Niagara Falls on February 21.
An apple grower from the Meaford area, Gilroy has been involved with the OFVGA board in various capacities since 1990 and was chair of the organization from 2010 to 2012.
“Brian loves agriculture, people and farming and he’s harnessed those passions for the betterment of our industry through his more than three decades of service to this industry,” says OFVGA Executive Director Alison Robertson. “He’s never shied away from taking on the often unappreciated behind the scenes work that plays such a key role in encouraging collaboration and bringing people together to achieve outcomes that will benefit all growers.”
During his time on the OFVGA board, Gilroy has also served as vice chair and as a director representing the Ontario Apple Growers. His most long-standing role with the organization, however, has been as chair of the OFVGA property section, whose mandate has expanded over the years to include property, Infrastructure, energy and food safety.
Outside of the OFVGA, Gilroy has been held leadership roles with a variety of organizations, including as chair of the Ontario Apple Growers, president of the Canadian Horticultural Council (now Fruit & Vegetable Growers of Canada), and chair of Farm & Food Care Ontario. He’s also a long time director with the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
Following the dissolution of the Ontario Apple Marketing Commission in 2001, Gilroy worked tirelessly to ensure Ontario apple growers had an organization to represent their needs, which ultimately led to the formation of the Ontario Apple Growers as a marketing board with mandatory fees to ensure its financial viability. At the national level, his knack for behind-the-scenes consensus building have helped open international market opportunities for Canadian apples and ensure stable pricing by securing orderly domestic marketing of apples.
Gilroy is also a champion of public trust in the food system, and he’s dedicated countless volunteer countless hours to consumer outreach through his roles with Farm & Food Care Ontario and as a director with the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Earlier this year, Gilroy was also announced as a 2023 inductee into the Ontario Agriculture Hall of Fame.
The OFVGA is the voice of Ontario’s 3,500 fruit and vegetable farmers on issues affecting the horticulture sector. The sector grows produce in fields and greenhouses across the province for fresh and processed consumption. Visit www.ofvga.org, or follow @OntFruitVeg on Twitter or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ofvga.
For more information:
Alison Robertson, Executive Director, 519-827-5716 or firstname.lastname@example.org