GFM Network News


Direct Farm Manitoba calls for changes to meat regulations

Direct sales of meat have increased, but the capacity to ramp up production isn’t there, producers say

Direct Farm Manitoba is calling on the province to increase capacity for local meat sales in light of recent meat plant closures. Direct sales of meat like beef and roasting chickens have risen since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Manitoba, said Phil Veldhuis, Direct Farm Manitoba president, but producers have limited ability to capitalize on the

“We still don’t know what this pandemic will cost, but we do know it’s trillions,” says one rancher. “The next one will cost us even more — maybe everything.”

Comment: Don’t chain me down

Food chains are too unreliable, the coronavirus reveals

For over a month now, nearly anyone who can lift a fork has asked what the “new normal” in agriculture will be. Six weeks later, we now have a pretty good idea that ag’s new normal will look like ag’s old normal. That should give everyone deep concern. If no food supply chain is strong


Cargill to shut Montreal-area meat plant temporarily

Company says 64 workers tested positive for COVID-19

Ottawa | Reuters — The Canadian arm of U.S. agribusiness Cargill said Sunday it would soon temporarily shut a Montreal-area case-ready meat plant after 64 workers tested positive for COVID-19. The plant is at Chambly, a South Shore suburb of Montreal, one of the worst hit cities in Canada. Cargill said it was winding down

Trudeau pledges $252 million in COVID-19 aid for farmers, processors

Dairy commission's credit line extended for storage program

Ottawa | Reuters — Canada will invest $252 million to help some of the country’s farming and food processing sectors weather the coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday, adding more money could come later if needed. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture, one of Canada’s biggest farm groups, asked Ottawa last week for an

B.C. health officials order two more poultry plants closed

Over 50 COVID-19 cases found at Superior Poultry

Health officials in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley have ordered two more poultry processing plant closed after multiple cases of COVID-19 were confirmed among employees. Fraser Health announced April 24 it had ordered Superior Poultry Processors of Coquitlam to close after two employees of the chicken processing plant tested positive for the coronavirus. The health district


As meat plant infections rise, Canada lets packers choose when to close

Beef plants at heart of Alberta's largest COVID-19 community outbreaks

Winnipeg | Reuters — In Cargill’s High River, Alta. plant, supplier of more than one-third of Canada’s beef, 391 workers were sick with COVID-19 when the company suspended operations, according to provincial health officials. But Maple Leaf Foods decided to idle a poultry plant for eight days, in Brampton, Ont., after just three workers were

Trump orders U.S. meat processing plants to stay open

Advocates call for protective equipment for plant workers

Washington/Chicago | Reuters — President Donald Trump on Tuesday ordered meat-processing plants to stay open to protect the food supply in the United States, despite concerns about coronavirus outbreaks, drawing a backlash from unions that said at-risk workers required more protection. With concerns about food shortages and supply chain disruptions, Trump issued an executive order

Piglets aborted, chickens gassed as pandemic slams meat sector

"We have to have less hogs somehow"

Chicago | Reuters — With the pandemic hobbling the meat-packing industry, Iowa farmer Al Van Beek had nowhere to ship his full-grown pigs to make room for the 7,500 piglets he expected from his breeding operation. The crisis forced a decision that still troubles him: He ordered his employees to give injections to the pregnant


Vancouver health officials shut poultry processor

COVID-19 hits at least 28 employees

Health officials in Vancouver have closed a federally inspected poultry plant in that city after confirming an outbreak of COVID-19 so far affecting over two dozen employees. The public health arm of Vancouver Coastal Health, the regional health authority for the greater Vancouver area, on Tuesday declared a COVID-19 outbreak among staff at United Poultry

Editorial: Farmers should tread carefully when seeking more aid

There is one stabilizing force for agriculture amidst all the uncertainties as the effects of pandemic management ripple through the food chain like an electrical shock to everything it touches. The recently released Farm Credit Canada report on land values, based on 2019 transactions, shows the value of farmland in Canada continues to rise, albeit