Calgary, AB: The Western Canadian Wheat Growers call for an adjustment in the newly invoked travel restrictions that were put in place this week. The new rules put in place to combat COVID-19 are necessarily far reaching, but have also put our food value chain at risk.
It is estimated that Canada needs approximately 60,000 foreign workers for the agriculture sector, over 1,400 specifically for oilseed and grain farming. Most of the TFWs hired for grain farming bring expertise and experience which has been in short supply in rural areas.
“All the same self-isolation measures should continue to be in place for any TFW coming into the country, similar to any Canadian that is returning to Canada,” said Kenton Possberg, Saskatchewan Director. “The challenge is that many remote grain farms cannot operate without Temporary Foreign Workers as a part of their crew. The importance of our food value chain cannot be under-estimated for both our domestic or international markets.”
Seeding season is just around the corner and cannot be delayed. It is imperative that the federal government address this issue immediately.
“The Western Canadian Wheat Growers calls upon the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to bring this issue before the COVID-19 Emergency Response Cabinet Committee,” closed Possberg.
About the Wheat Growers:
Founded in 1970, the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association is a voluntary farmer-run advocacy organization dedicated to developing public policy solutions that strengthen the profitability and sustainability of farming, and the agricultural industry as a whole. For more information, please visit wheatgrowers.ca.