By Brenden Gibbins
Paul de Jong wins 2013 Forage Master honour, Tories criticize over Heinz closure.
Ontario's Conservative agriculture critic suggests provincial policies helped lead to the closure of the Heinz plant in Leamington.
Ernie Hardeman points to a survey done last year with food processors.
It says many farmers and agri businesses complained about the high cost of doing business in Ontario -- especially hydro costs.
Hardeman says Heinz also complained about the increasing red tape.
In fact, more than 75 per cent of Ontario food processors told the Conservatives about the problems with red tape.
The closure by Heinz affects 700 full-time and nearly 400 part time employees.
A Dundalk farmer has been named Ontario's Forage Master for 2013.
Paul De Jong beat more than 160 other participants.
De Jong had to complete a field evaluation and provide a hay sample before the top four finalists were then asked to make a presentation.
One other finalist was Mark Ireland of Teeswater.
De Jong will now represent Ontario in the American Grassland and Forage Competition in Memphis, Tennessee in January.
Americans' shift toward fresh foods is kicking Campbell Soup right in the can.
The company said this week that its quarterly profit fell 30 per cent -- hurt by a later Thanksgiving, weaker demand for its biggest products and a rise in marketing costs.
A recall of its recently acquired Plum Organics products also hurt results and the company cut its outlook for the year.
And the United States and Japan have agreed to make it easier to import each other's organic products.
The agreement will allow producers to sell their products in both countries without going through the lengthy process of getting certified twice.