Categories
Agriculture Policy

Agri-Food Pilot to ensure Food Security in Canada

The Agri-Food Pilot is conceptualised to build resilience in the agriculture sector, which sees thousands of jobs go unfilled each year. It helps address the labour needs of the Canadian agri-food sector. The pilot provides a pathway to permanent residence for experienced, non-seasonal workers in specific industries and occupations. It will run until May 2023.

The three-year pilot is an experiment by definition and that the federal government is open to ways they can improve the program and “ensure that it’s meeting the objective of recognizing those contributions — the value of the work on farms when it comes to food security — by providing a clear way [migrant workers] can establish permanent residency in Canada.”

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said the pilot will accept 2,750 applications annually. Eligible industries and eligible jobs under the pilot are listed below:

  • Meat product manufacturing: Retail butchers, Industrial butchers, Food processing labourers, Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • Greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production, including mushroom production: General farm workers, Harvesting labourers, Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • Animal production, excluding aquaculture: General farm workers, Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers

Foreign workers fill an important role in the Canadian agriculture sector, where 59,000 positions went unfilled last year, according to a study from the Senate committee on agriculture and forestry. The report found that the number of unfilled positions could hit 114,000 by 2025.

Read more at iPolitics

Categories
Agriculture Education

Agriculture Training Support Program in Alberta

Agriculture Training Support Program is intended to offset costs for COVID-19 safety and training, including the costs for personal protective equipment and to remove any barriers to getting Albertans safely working. As part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership Risk Management programs, this program will improve the agriculture and agri-food sector’s ability to anticipate, mitigate and prepare for risks that could have a major financial impact on the livestock and plant industries, or affect human health and safety.

By providing up to $5 million in support to farmers, agri-businesses and food processors, the program helps offset the cost to train new employees safely in new agri-food roles.

The maximum government contribution under the program is $2,000 per new employee, up to a maximum of $50,000 per employer. Grants will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis until available program funding is fully allocated. In addition, approximately $1 million in funding will be targeted for meat processors to provide support for new hires to undertake meat-cutting training.

Read more at Canada.ca

Categories
Food Safety Supply Chain

It’s not the food supply chain that’s breaking, it’s the meat supply chain

Supply lines across the food industry have been impacted by the coronavirus. Shuttered restaurants, university dining halls, workplace food providers, and more have all strained the food supply chain. In particular, the meat industry has suffered the hardest hit. In addition to closures of many of its largest purchasers, COVID-19 outbreaks inside meatpacking facilities have forced largest meat processing plants to shut down. The cold, damp conditions and crowded workstations in meatpacking plants make infectious diseases particularly hard to control.

On April 26, Tyson Foods Inc., the biggest U.S. meat processor, closed at least six major plants. Similar covid-19 outbreaks were reported at Danish Crown A/S, a huge pork producer; Goikoa, of Spain; Sanderson Farms Inc., America’s third-largest poultry producer, and Cargill’s High River slaughterhouse outside Calgary. The whole situation is an incontrovertible nightmare. But the pandemic is an opportunity to ask more probing questions about the nature of our system of animal agriculture.

Since COVID-19 began, we’ve seen plant-based product sales growth exceed that of animal-based products, both in meat and dairy categories. In the United States, sales of vegan meat jumped by a staggering 280% and sales of oat milk jumped by 477% in the second week of March compared to the same period last year, as the country became the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. This meat crisis has become a big opportunity for plant-based protein companies that have developed healthier, safer and more environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional animal products.

Choosing a plant-based diet is one of the best things you can do for the environment as plant-based diets are kind to the earth and kind to animals. As is the case with plant-based meat, plant-based dairy supply chains are much better poised to respond in real-time to changing market conditions and are not vulnerable to the type of disruptions inherent in industrial animal agriculture.

Categories
Milk

Consumer preference for Milk in Europe and America

Americans prefer chilled milk, while Europeans store their milk outside the refrigerator. The difference arises due to different taste/ flavor preferences of consumers and the pasteurization technologies used by dairy industry in these two geographies. Pasteurization, here means, heat-treatment process that destroys pathogenic microorganisms in certain foods and beverages.The treatment also destroys most of the microorganisms that cause spoilage and so prolongs the storage time of food.

In the U.S. and Canada, milk manufacturers use high-temperature short-time pasteurization, or HTST. HTST is efficient but results in milk that expires relatively quickly—usually within a week and requires storage in a refrigerator. That’s because the temperature used (about 161°F for 15 seconds) is enough to kill most bacteria, but some will proliferate if the milk hangs around long enough.

In Europe, another technique called ultra-heat-treated pasteurization, or UHT, is used. Milk is exposed to higher temperatures of 284°F for three seconds, decimating virtually all the bacteria and making it shelf-stable for a couple of months if left unopened. (Once opened, it has to be refrigerated.) Because it’s “cooked” at high heat and burns off some of the sugar, UHT milk also has a slightly different flavor.

Read more at MentalFloss

Categories
Policy

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership opens up E-Business opportunities for agri-food

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership) is a five-year federal- provincial-territorial initiative to strengthen the agriculture, agri-food and agri- products sectors, and increase their competitiveness, prosperity and sustainability. The Governments of Canada and Ontario are supporting the agriculture, agri-food and agri-products sectors to capture online e-business opportunities that will help create new, expanded or enhanced markets and open new retail channels to help generate new revenue streams for future growth.

The Agri-Food Open for E-Business targeted intake will help businesses/organizations quickly expand their marketing channels and respond to new market challenges, increase online sales in the sector and provide consumers with access to more local food. This targeted application intake features two funding streams:

  1. Bring Your Business Online: Provides a grant of up to $5,000 to eligible organizations/businesses to help establish an online presence.
  2. Develop Online Business Opportunities: Provides cost-share funding for up to 90 per cent of eligible costs to a maximum of $75,000 to develop e-business opportunities on a larger scale.

Eligible agriculture, agri-food and agri-products businesses/organizations (such as farmers, processors, individual farmers markets, on-farm markets, retailers, garden centres, greenhouses, nurseries and agricultural associations) that are looking to bring their business online quickly can apply to receive a grant of up to $5,000 in order to capture business opportunities and address marketing challenges through a new, expanded or enhanced online e-business and marketing presence.

Read more at OMAFRA

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Uncategorized

European vegetable producers are asking to open the Russian market for export

The Association of European Fruit and Vegetable Manufacturers (Eucofel) called on the European Commission to open export to the Russian market. An open letter asking to resume dialogue with Russia was signed by representatives of the fruit and vegetable sector of Spain, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland and Portugal. In addition, producers of fruits and vegetables are asked to introduce temporary support measures for producers, which would guarantee an adequate level of product prices, restore market balance and eliminate violations.

Now Russian counter-sanctions, restricting the supply of certain types of agricultural products from the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia, Norway, Albania, Montenegro, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Ukraine, apply to almost all types of vegetables and fruits, with the exception of potato, onion, pea and corn, as well as frozen and dried vegetables imported for the production of baby food.

Read more at Potato System

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Uncategorized

North American agri suffers as beef processing plants close

The increasing closure of meat processing plants in the US and Canada amidst the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, will have a marked impact on the agricultural economies in those countries. The meat processing and packing plants were reportedly closing down because staff members were testing positive for COVID-19. This included plants run by some of the industry’s largest stakeholders, including Tyson Foods, Smithfield Foods and JBS USA.

The recent closures of several meat processing plants could mean a significant change in how companies looked at inventory. Companies had evolved into a just-in-time inventory system, in order to reduce costs, increase efficiency and speed. This could change in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and restricted access to food supplies.

Read more at Farmer’s Weekly

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Uncategorized

Agri-food industry to receive federal support for migrant workers in Canada

$50-million has been allocated to help farmers, the fish industry, and meat processors put in place measures to be able to provide migrant workers the ability to isolate for 14-days. Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau says the food and supply chains are essential for maintaining fresh foods and vegetables for all Canadians. Bibeau says these rules do come with a cost to businesses, one that the federal government aims to cover by new federal support that provides employers with $1,500 per worker to ensure they are complying with the strict public health requirements. This support will be in place as long as the Quarantine Act is enforced, and the isolation protocol has to be followed.

Categories
Uncategorized

Half Your Plate

Ever thought, “Gee, I should eat more veggies, but I have no time!,” or “I have no clue how to cook a squash, I’ll just stick with salad” ? Then Half Your Plate was developed for you! Half Your Plate is a healthy living alternative empowering Canadians of all ages to more eat fruits and veggies to improve their health while providing simple and practical ways to add a variety of produce to every meal and snack. The campaign emphasizes how fun, practical and easy it is to prepare a wide variety of fruits and vegetables for meals and snacks at home, at school, at work, eating out or on the go!

Read more at CPMA