GFM Network News


A road sign directs traffic to Smithfield Foods’ pork-processing facilities in Smithfield, Virginia.

Smithfield Foods plots new course

New CEO has shaken up management team of world’s largest pork processor amid COVID challenges

Smithfield Foods has unveiled a management shakeup as the world’s largest pork processor and its new chief executive deal with the ripple effects of a pandemic-led drop in restaurant meat consumption and coronavirus infections among workers. The pandemic has reduced demand for meat at restaurants, cafeterias and other food-service outlets, delivering an economic shock to

Trump administration mulls industry-wide biofuel waiver

Comment period would end after Trump's exit

New York | Reuters — The Trump administration is considering requests from the oil refining industry and its backers for a sweeping nationwide waiver to exempt them from their obligations to blend biofuels, a measure they argue would help them weather the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. President Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency


USDA unveils more COVID-19 aid, mostly for livestock farmers

Funds earmarked for farmers under contract

Chicago | Reuters — The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday it will pay an additional US$2.3 billion in COVID-19 aid to farmers, directing more money to livestock producers suffering from disruptions in slaughtering and restaurant demand for meat. The aid, which comes from money allocated to USDA from previous pandemic stimulus legislation, follows

The familiar crowds of Ag Days are on hold this winter.

Innovations Showcase heads up reined-in Ag Days

The ag sector will have to make do with a few online efforts and a special publication this year

It’s going to be yet another quiet week at Brandon’s Keystone Centre, when normally there would be tens of thousands of visitors. On Aug. 18, Manitoba Ag Days announced that it would be cancelling its in-person show for 2021, due to COVID-19. Despite speculation on how some form of the show might go ahead online,



Railways were able to overcome a bad start to the shipping year after capacity opened up due to the COVID slowdown.

COVID surprise comes to grain movement in 2020

How the pandemic helped Canada set a grain shipping record and what’s to come

When it comes to the grain transportation file in 2020, it was a story of extremes. Record western Canadian grain shipments in the 2019-20 crop year ending July 31, belies poor rail performance, much of it beyond their control, during the first six months of that period. “When we were in week 28 (Feb. 9-15,

It was a year for the history books, indeed, and certainly filled with major food-related stories.

Comment: The top 10 food stories of 2020

It was an action-packed 12 months for the agriculture and food sector

The year 2020 was as unusual as they get, with no shortage of stories. Some flew under the radar because of the pandemic, but this list is based on how some food-related stories will probably have long-term implications, whether they were related to COVID-19 or not. At number 10, the apparent end of Tim Hortons’

Manitoba to consolidate and shut agriculture, MASC offices

Province announces 'new rural service delivery model'

Updated, Jan. 7 — Manitoba’s agriculture and resource development department and crop insurance and ag lending agency will close their offices in 21 communities and consolidate others this spring, in a bid to reduce their “physical footprint.” Agriculture Minister Blaine Pedersen on Wednesday announced what the province billed as “a new rural service delivery model


Ontario extends lost-labour production insurance

COVID-related coverage held over for 2021 program year

A temporary expansion of Ontario’s AgriInsurance program, to cover losses caused by COVID-19-related short-handedness on the farm, will be held over. The province and federal government on Dec. 22 announced the expansion of coverage will be extended to cover the 2021 program year — and that it will insure production of “additional commodities.” Further details

Taxes and food rarely mix well together. If it doesn’t hurt those who provide us with food, it will eventually hit consumers, one way or another.

Comment: Households are getting sandwiched

Many Canadians are stuck between rising food prices and stagnant-at-best wages

Canada’s Food Price Report 2021 was released recently and brought some disconcerting news to Canadians. We could see food prices go up by as much as five per cent in 2021, the highest increase ever predicted by the authors, a group of 24 scholars from four different universities. For a family of four, the food bill could go