Ontario Flue-Cured Tobacco Growers' Marketing Board
Directors and staff of the Ontario Flue-Cured Tobacco Growers' Marketing Board for 1967-1968 are shown in June 1967 after the directors elected George Demeyere chairman for the sixth time and Remie Miggens vice-chairman for the third time.
They are (from left, standing) Peter G. Newell, district 14; William G. Vamos, district 13; J. A. Leathong, assistant secretary; J. A. Sprau, district 12; Joseph Csubak, district 11; Victor VanElslander, district 8; Ernest Duckett, district 1; R. E. Strobbe, district 5; George Lysy, district 4; Anthony Pleli, district 10; Stanley C. Smith, district 3; Donald Burgess, district 6; William Grant, operations manager; and (from left, sitting) Roy Growcott, treasurer; Henry Brunet, district 2; Mr. Miggens, district 9, vice-chairman; Mr. Demeyere, district 7, chairman; C. N. Heath, secretary; Alvin Lindsay, R. R. 2, Aylmer, new director representing share-growers.
St. Thomas Times-Journal fonds, C8 Sh2 B2 F4 18.
Sanctioned by the Government under the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Act, the Ontario Flue-Cured Tobacco Growers' Marketing Board (the Marketing Board) was established in 1957 to replace the troublesome Ontario Flue-Cured Tobacco Growers' Marketing Association. It was initially made up of one representative each from 14 different district committees. The Marketing Board issued quota, known as Basic Market Acreage (BMA), to producers in order to control the production in order to meet the demand. This demand and also the base price were negotiated with the buyers by the Marketing Board. The tobacco would then be sold to buyers at a Marketing Board controlled auction warehouse. Three of these were built, one each in Delhi, Tillsonburg and Aylmer.
In order to prevent overproduction, the Marketing Board would limit production to a percentage for a grower's quota. This would ensure that no one grew more than was necessary to meet the demands of the buyers and as a result would prevent a reduction in price. In 1960, the Marketing Board stopped issuing further quota in an attempt to reduce the likelihood of a price reduction. This made quota very valuable and some farmers even took to selling off their quota and exiting the industry all together.
In 1974, quota was separated from farmland and became a Basic Production Quota (BPQ). This made quota more flexibile in its application as opposed to a right assigned to a specific acre of land. Further actions were taken to control overproduction and in 1978 the Marketing Board changed the BPQ from acreage to poundage. This meant the farmers could grow more per acre and reduce some of their expenses. Also, BPQ could be rented out to other farmers if they were short that year and if another farmer felt their production was going to be too great.
The Marketing Board also served as an advocate of the tobacco producers. Helping to protect their interests, they became very involved in various legislative processes around tobacco control and anti-smoking initiatives. They also were involved in buyer relations, helping to ensure fair market prices for the tobacco at the auctions and resolving any issues that might result in a decrease in demand.
As the years progressed, there was a decline in the demand for Ontario grown tobacco. Illegal cigarette trade had cut into manufacturers' profits, anti-tobacco legislation had shed a negative light on the industry in the sphere of public opinion and costs and expenses had increased. As the demand decreased, farmers were forced to produce less and less of their quota. The Marketing Board was a major factor in securing government funded transition aid for farmers wishing to get out of the tobacco industry.
In 2009 the quota system was abolished due to a decrease in demand in locally produced tobacco. It was replaced by a licensing system in which a farmer could be a licensed grower if they could secure a contract with a buyer for a specific amount of tobacco. No tobacco could be produced if it did not have a contracted buyer to purchase it. Many farmers opted not to get licensed and instead took a federally funded purchase of their quota in exchange for their rights to secure a license to grow, exiting tobacco forever. The Marketing Board is now in charge of issuing the licenses and ensuring that the rules of the new licensing system are being followed.
Elgin County :
- In The Field
- Into the Kiln
- Crop Damage
- The Workers