GFM Network News


China is desperately trying to restore its image with its own population. As a risk manager, Beijing has not always looked good – far from it.

Comment: The Chinese enigma

As the country where coronavirus first occurs shores up its reputation, there is collateral damage for food producers

As the numbers of COVID-19 cases reach new heights these days, China is jubilant. In the country where the pandemic began less than a year ago, there have been 91,000 cases of COVID-19 recorded, with a total of about 4,800 victims. Data from the World Health Organization also tells us that China has conducted more

Strong soybean performance is primarily what bolstered a record August.

Comment: China making good on Phase 1 trade deal

U.S. farm exports to China hit new August record thanks to soybeans

U.S. agricultural exports to China had a sluggish start to 2020 relative to the lofty expectations set forth by the Phase 1 trade agreement, but the August value soared substantially over that of the prior months owing to strong soybean shipments. U.S. cotton exports to China hit a 7-1/2-year high in August, while corn shipments

We are just coming out of an era in which we have been bent on buying the cheapest food products.

Comment: Higher grocery bills a fact of life

Many grocery categories have seen price increases at a rate much higher than general inflation

Every month, Statistics Canada reminds us that life is getting more expensive. But for food, the situation has been unique over the last few decades. Based on numbers released recently, the price of a typical grocery basket has increased by about 240 per cent since 2000. Some will think that such a percentage is expected,

With little recourse, most of the browbeaten and scared workers went back to work. As a result, says ProPublica, more than 43,000 were sickened by COVID-19 and “at least 195” died.

Comment: The Big Meat Gang is getting awfully smelly

This U.S. lobby rewrote its country’s COVID response with a bit of pressure on the White House

In a year of too many dark days, Monday, Sept. 14 was a particularly dark day for two reasons. First, on Sept. 14, ProPublica, the non-profit, investigatory news group, published a 3,100-word exposé on how global meat packers used their clout this spring to get a White House order to keep workers on the job

Comment: Delay to federal-provincial meetings disappointing but necessary

There were never many reasons to be optimistic federal and provincial governments would find a short-term solution to long-held concerns over Canada’s business risk management (BRM) programs. Another delay to a meeting of federal and provincial agriculture ministers to discuss the issue shouldn’t change this. Originally scheduled to happen in July, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted


The past century has seen agricultural equipment become more high tech, efficient, and safer.

Comment: Right to repair machinery, not modify

Modern farm equipment can be dangerous or easily damaged when improperly modified

For the most part, agriculture in Canada has survived the COVID-19 pandemic better than expected. Weather and commodity prices have played a big part of that. Perhaps the only negative we see is that the coronavirus created major disruptions in the inventory and parts supply chain. Equipment manufacturers and dealers are addressing the issue to

Los Angeles County firefighters patrol the front fire lines Friday night from the Bobcat Fire near Juniper Hills, California on Sept. 18, 2020.

Comment: As California burns, so does our winter lettuce

Canada has always relied on imported fresh fruits and vegetables in the winter months

California is on fire. Although most of the fire-affected territory has nothing to do with agriculture, the smoke is so intense that it could damage many crops. As the fall approaches, the California fires could affect our food supply in Canada for the coming months. Like the labour issues affecting farmers this summer domestically, this

Comment: Wait to see green economic restart before criticizing

It makes little sense to criticize a plan before any details are available. What Canada’s new finance minister means when she speaks of a green restart to the economy will largely remain a mystery until the Sept. 23 throne speech – but government has signalled the post-pandemic economy will be heavily influenced by climate change.


By allowing U.S.-grown grain of all types into our grain-handling and export system, we can also expect impacts on our grain transportation system.

Comment: Will Canada’s grain farmers be collateral damage?

The rush to pass Bill C-4 saw a number of under-the-radar changes shoehorned into the legislation

Canada is confronting an unprecedented crisis as we deal with the global COVID-19 pandemic. On March 12 Prime Minister Trudeau and at least two other MPs had to self-isolate after being exposed to the virus. The following day, Parliament decided not to carry on business as usual, and moved to recess until April 20. At

The pandemic has clearly shown the need for a resilient national labour strategy.

Comment: COVID-19 shows Canada’s need for an agri-food labour strategy

In a complex economic sector, many solutions are needed for this intractable problem

Canadian agriculture has had problems with insufficient and unstable labour supply for decades. In 2019, primary agriculture brought in over 60,000 temporary foreign workers and still had over 16,000 vacancies. In 2017, on-farm agriculture had the highest job vacancy rate of any industry at 5.4 per cent. The current labour gap is 63,000 employees and