Canadian Agriculture and Food Industry Calls for Government Action to Restore Essential Transport and Trade Corridors

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Source: Canadian Meat Council

With the prolonged disruptions at Canada-U.S. border crossings, Canada’s agriculture and food industry is calling for an immediate conclusion of the blockades and for all levels of government to work collaboratively towards action to reinstate integral transport and trade corridors.

Transport of fruits and vegetables, meat, food packaging, feed supplies, livestock shipments, transport equipment, and integral inputs for agriculture and food processing have already been seriously impacted by the blockades. These blockades are impacting the livelihoods of Canadian farm families, the further businesses they are connected to and the timely supply and delivery of essential goods.

Canada and the U.S. have the largest two-way trade of essential goods and each day the blockades continue further strains these integral supply chains and the Canadian economy. In 2020, Canada and the U.S. traded $50 billion CDN dollars of agriculture and food for an average of $137 million per day with Coutts, Alberta, Emerson, Manitoba, and the Ambassador bridge being key trade routes for these goods.

The signatories below are requesting immediate action by all parties to fully reopen Canada’s trade corridors. This is imperative to the livelihoods of Canadian agriculture businesses and key to maintaining Canada’s strong reputation as a stable trading nation.

 

Quotes:

“THESE BLOCKADES ARE AFFECTING THE WHOLE SUPPLY CHAIN, FROM FARM TO FORK. WE NEED SWIFT ACTION TO PUT AN END TO THIS. THROUGHOUT THIS PERIOD OF DISRUPTION, OUR MEMBERS HAVE APPRECIATED THE AGILITY AND FLEXIBILITY OF THE CANADIAN FOOD INSPECTION AGENCY TO ASSIST THEM IN GETTING THEIR PRODUCTS ACROSS THE BORDER AND TO MARKET.”

CHRIS WHITE, PRESIDENT, CANADIAN MEAT COUNCIL

 

We cannot let these disruptions endanger Canada’s reputation as a reliable and stable trading partner. Our sector’s supply chains are highly integrated across the Canada-U.S. border and these vital trade corridors support jobs across Canada. It is time to restore stability in Canada’s most significant and important trading relationship.

Dan Darling, President, Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance

“Maintaining a stable supply chain is critical to Canadian beef production. The evolving situation at the U.S.-Canada border and the transportation delays are resulting in major impacts for the entire beef supply chain and it is now time for this to end.”

Bob Lowe, President, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association

“Governments must recognize the negative impact these recent blockades and convoys are having on Canada’s critical trade infrastructure, which includes the agriculture and agri-food sector, and take immediate actions to restore the supply chain”

Mary Robinson, President, Canadian Federation of Agriculture

“Canada’s fruit and vegetable growers have been faced with considerable supply chain disruptions throughout the past two years, and the recent border blockades have only exacerbated them. Now is the time for government to put an end to the blockades at our trading ports and ensure the uninterrupted movement of fruits and vegetables across the Canada-U.S. border.”

Jan VanderHout, President, Canadian Horticultural Council

Pork industry’s supply chain operates on a structured, just in time delivery system for animal feed, movement of live animals across Canada and the U.S. and many more critical materials that keep our industry providing food for Canadians.  Supply chain delays impact producers’ mental health and the potentially the health and welfare of the animals we are entrusted to care for.  Our industry cannot sustain any more delays.

Rick Bergmann, Chair, Canadian Pork Council

“Companies throughout the fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain continue to navigate the challenges and hardships of the pandemic. The recent blockades have compounded the strain on a fragile system that is working to address food inflation and availability. As trade between Canada and the United States relies heavily on open and fluid transportation corridors, it is essential all levels of government work together to address these issues and allow for the uninterrupted flow of perishable goods with our largest trading partner (the United States).”

Ron Lemaire, Canadian Produce Marketing Association

“The closures and delays caused by the protest blockades have affects all the way back to the farm gate. The beef supply chain has already been disrupted by drought, floods, transportation issues, and more; we need to get both products and animals moving freely across the border for the sake of animal welfare and economics alike.”

James Bekkering, Chair, National Cattle Feeders’ Association

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