GFM Network News


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

Timelines to redistribute excess food supplies will vary on the types of food being delivered.

Feds roll out Surplus Food Rescue Program dollars

Seven groups will distribute excess food to those in need

Food Banks Canada and seven other organizations have been selected by the federal government to redistribute excess food supplies to communities in need. The Surplus Food Rescue Program was created in May with $50 million in funding as part of Ottawa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We wanted the projects to be all inclusive, from


Cargill’s beef plant in High River, Alta., was among those closed temporarily due to COVID-19 this year, prior to the Emergency Processing Fund being announced.

Feds commit first $10 million to support food processors

The first funds will be flowing out of the Emergency Processing Fund promised to packers in May for upgrading COVID-19 prevention

The first spending round of a $77.5-million fund to help food processors in the wake of COVID-19 is being rolled out by the federal government. On Sept. 4, Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced 32 projects have been approved for up to $10.54 million in federal funds to help mitigate impacts of COVID-19. Money,

File photo of 10-pound sacks of potatoes loaded on pallets at a Canadian distribution centre.

Editorial: Surplus food purchases symbolic of broader discussion

On the surface, the $50-million Surplus Food Rescue Program recently launched by the federal government is simply a sensible response to highly unusual circumstances. The government is buying up surplus fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and seafood from farmers and fishers who would normally supply the foodservice sector and distributing it to Canadians suffering from food

U.S. farm aid began shooting up in 2018 thanks to Washington’s ‘market facilitation program’ but will go sky high this year after President Donald Trump pledged $16 billion for farmers hurt by the pandemic.

Farm aid is raining down south of the border, but not in Canada

These farmers say they don’t want bailouts — but effective risk management programs are needed

American farmers will receive record-high amounts of farm aid this year, but Canadian producers say they don’t want a handout — just a business risk management program that works. The current programs, such as AgriStability, don’t function well, said Sexsmith, Alta.-area farmer Greg Sears. “It’s not predictable, it’s not timely, and it rarely pays out —


Plant-protein processor’s new processing plant gets grant

Feds, province put up cash for new equipment

The federal and Manitoba governments have added a seven-figure contribution to their support for a new facility to process plant proteins from canola and peas. Merit Functional Foods will put the additional money toward “new equipment purchases that will support the transformation of raw inputs into value-added goods.” The unspecified new technology is expected to

Manitoba food processors get help to mitigate COVID spread

The program will contribute a maximum of 50 per cent of eligible project costs up to $25,000 per applicant

Manitoba agricultural processors, food distributors and agri-food industry organizations can get government money to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the federal and Manitoba governments said in a news release July 20. The new program will contribute a maximum of 50 per cent of eligible project costs, up to $25,000 per applicant for the following: Personal

Federal committee sends BRM recommendations to Bibeau

The letter from the Commons agriculture committee trod on some familiar ground

The parliamentary committee studying business risk management (BRM) programs has highlighted potential changes in a letter sent to Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau. Chair of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, Liberal MP Pat Finnigan, wrote the letter in advance of the July 3 enrolment deadline for AgriStability so that Bibeau could work


Manitoba farmers say grain drying costs are significant and the carbon tax is adding insult to injury.

According to ag-minister Bibeau, carbon tax on grain drying insignificant

"It comes back to competitiveness and what makes sense and it seems in this industry and in this country right now we are just shooting ourselves in the foot..." – Warren McCutcheon

“Frustration.” That’s the word Bill Campbell and Warren McCutcheon both independently used to describe their reaction to federal agriculture minister Marie Claude Bibeau saying the carbon tax collected from farmers’ drying grain is so small an exemption isn’t warranted. “It’s frustrating when she asks for the data (on grain drying costs) and she won’t be

If expenses are adding up and you’re looking for financial support, one of these programs could help your situation.

Fifteen COVID-relief programs for farmers and their employees

A KAP seminar listed and explained the many programs designed to help farmers weather the effects of the pandemic

Many federal and provincial programs exist to help producers pay employee wages or recoup lost income because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but with the speed those have rolled out and evolved, farmers may not know which is best for them or how to apply. “It can be a little overwhelming to keep track of that