GFM Network News


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

Canada sees no beef shortage, but prices may rise due to coronavirus

JBS plant at Brooks dials back to one shift

Ottawa/Winnipeg | Reuters –– The Canadian government is not expecting a beef shortage despite the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in certain meat-packing plants, though prices may rise, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday. Trudeau added that beef producers are placing a priority on supplying the Canadian market before exporting products. Canada, one of


‘Elbow to elbow:’ North America’s meat plant workers fall ill, walk off jobs

Supply chains struggling to keep pace with surging demand

Chicago/Winnipeg | Reuters — At a Wayne Farms chicken processing plant in Alabama, workers recently had to pay the company 10 U.S. cents a day to buy masks to protect themselves from the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to a meat inspector. In Colorado, nearly a third of the workers at a JBS USA beef plant stayed

Steve Mackenzie-Grieve pulls harvested wheat from a grain bin at the Yukon Grain Farm near Whitehorse February 19, 2020.

Wheat in Whitehorse: How climate change could open a new frontier

Will the Great White North become the Great Green North?

After failing to grow wheat in Canada’s subarctic Yukon territory 15 years ago, farmer Steve Mackenzie-Grieve gave it another shot in 2017. Thanks to longer summers, he has reaped three straight harvests. This spring he plans to sow canola on his family’s 450-acre farm near Whitehorse, a city not much farther from the North Pole

Canadian, U.S. farms face crop losses on foreign worker delays

Winnipeg/Chicago | Reuters — Mandatory coronavirus quarantines of seasonal foreign workers in Canada could hurt that country’s fruit and vegetable output this year, and travel problems related to the pandemic could also leave U.S. farmers with fewer workers than usual. Foreign labour is critical to farm production in both countries, where domestic workers shun the


Alberta’s Harmony Beef halts slaughter on positive COVID-19 test

CFIA pulls inspectors after plant employee tests positive

Ottawa/Winnipeg | Reuters — Harmony Beef, an Alberta packing plant, halted cattle slaughter on Friday after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) kept some inspectors from work, due to a positive test for COVID-19 by a Harmony worker, the company said. The partial closure follows a positive COVID-19 test by a worker at U.S. chicken

Farm suppliers race COVID-19 spread for planting season

Winnipeg/Chicago | Reuters — North America’s biggest farm suppliers are accelerating shipments of fertilizer, seeds and agricultural chemicals to crop-growing regions in an unprecedented race against the coronavirus that threatens to disrupt planting season. The timing could not be worse for farmers preparing to plant crops. Disruptions in deliveries of fertilizer, seeds or chemicals could

North America’s millers, bakers scramble to satisfy bread binge

Chicago/Winnipeg | Reuters — North American flour mills and bakeries are rushing to boost production as the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus leads to consumer stockpiling of staples such as bread and pasta. The virus’ spread prompted orders to stay at home in some U.S. states, including New York, California and Illinois last week, following


Wheat in Whitehorse: How climate change helps feed Canada’s remote regions

Newfoundland and Labrador also pushing to expand arable land base

Winnipeg/Ottawa | Reuters — After failing to grow wheat in the Yukon territory 15 years ago, farmer Steve Mackenzie-Grieve gave it another shot in 2017. Thanks to longer summers, he has reaped three straight harvests. This spring he plans to sow canola on his family’s 450-acre farm near Whitehorse, a city not much further from

Canada to cut speed limits for trains hauling dangerous goods

New curb follows another Saskatchewan crash, fire

Ottawa/Winnipeg | Reuters — The federal government said Thursday it would impose temporary speed limits on trains hauling dangerous goods after a Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) crude oil train derailed and caught fire. The accident, which happened in the early hours of Thursday near Guernsey, Sask., about 40 km south of Humboldt, was the second