GFM Network News


(Dave Bedard photo)

Cost index up for CN, down for CP in grain revenue formula

CP expects lower labour costs, CN higher

Reading Time: 2 minutes Expected labour costs were the major difference in a new ruling on the index that determines how much revenue each of Canada’s big two railways get to keep in the coming crop year from hauling Prairie grain. The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) on Thursday announced its decisions on the volume-related composite price index (VRCPI) for […] Read more

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Beef cattle sector weighs in for federal food processing study

Cattlemen's Association makes recommendations to Commons' ag committee

Reading Time: 2 minutes The House of Commons’ standing committee on agriculture will soon be wrapping up its study into Canada’s processing capacity. Since November, MPs have heard from more than 50 witnesses on the matter — including representatives from the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, whose president Bob Lowe and executive vice-president Dennis Laycraft testified at a committee meeting Tuesday. […] Read more


File photo of an Ontario cherry orchard. (UpdogDesigns/iStock/Getty Images)

Ontario extends lost-labour production insurance

COVID-related coverage held over for 2021 program year

Reading Time: 2 minutes A temporary expansion of Ontario’s AgriInsurance program, to cover losses caused by COVID-19-related short-handedness on the farm, will be held over. The province and federal government on Dec. 22 announced the expansion of coverage will be extended to cover the 2021 program year — and that it will insure production of “additional commodities.” Further details […] Read more

(Scott Bauer photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Ontario to insure for crop loss due to lack of labour

AgriInsurance offering hailed as a first in Canada

Reading Time: 2 minutes Ontario’s federal/provincial AgriInsurance program has been temporarily expanded to include coronavirus-related labour shortages as a covered cause for crop loss. Producers already enrolled in an eligible production insurance plan and hit by crop losses due to labour disruptions during the 2020 growing season will be able to get further insurance coverage, the Ontario and federal […] Read more


An image created by Nexu Science Communication, together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus, the type of virus linked to COVID-19. (Nexu Science Communication via Reuters)

COVID-19 cases, deaths lead Ontario to test migrant farm workers

Reading Time: 2 minutes Toronto/Ottawa | Reuters — Ontario has started testing about 8,000 migrant farm workers for COVID-19 in a hard-hit rural region of the province after two young workers died and the coronavirus was found on at least 17 farms, according to the local public health authority. The Ontario outbreak has centred on farms in the Windsor-Essex […] Read more

File photo of a small greenhouse operation in Quebec. (ManonAllard/E+/Getty Images)

New pilot program for agri-food labour welcomed

Meat processors, greenhouse and mushroom growers, livestock producers get first crack at program

Reading Time: 4 minutes Ottawa — Federal officials hope a new pilot program will help stabilize ongoing labour issues in certain sectors of the agri-food value chain, while also providing citizenship to some foreign workers. Critics, however, contend more support is needed. “This pilot will help to ensure that farmers and processors have the much-needed skills, experience and labour […] Read more


(Staff photo)

Sollio outlines pandemic recovery plan for food sector

Support sought for automation, digitization, telecommunications

Reading Time: 2 minutes Ottawa — One of Canada’s largest agri-food companies has laid out a five-point industry recovery plan for federal politicians to consider. During a meeting Tuesday of the Commons standing committee on finance, the president of Quebec-based Sollio Co-operative Group shared plans to limit consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the agrifood supply chain. Sollio employs […] Read more

(RGtimeline/iStock/Getty Images)

Labour shortages persist, hort sector says

Horticultural Council warns sector output will drop for lack of workers, support

Reading Time: 2 minutes Ottawa — The Canadian Horticultural Council warns the federal government is using inaccurate numbers to describe how many temporary foreign workers are currently in the country. During a virtual meeting of the Commons standing committee on agriculture and agri-food, CHC president Brian Gilroy said food security continues to be threatened as a result of labour […] Read more


(File photo by Dave Bedard)

Cargill’s High River plant reopens with two slaughter shifts

Cutting line to resume Wednesday

Reading Time: 2 minutes Cargill’s southern Alberta beef packing plant, estimated to be responsible for over a third of Canada’s beef processing capacity, restarted Monday after a two-week COVID-19-related shutdown — but at a quicker pace than previously expected. The company said in a statement Monday it is resuming operations at the High River plant “with two shifts” in […] Read more

(Lightguard/E+/Getty Images)

CFA seeks $2.6 billion in support for producers

Federal officials sought specific numbers from ag industry

Reading Time: 3 minutes Ottawa — Canada’s agriculture industry is seeking an initial $2.6 billion in COVID-19-related emergency relief funding from the federal government. Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) officials put in the ask to the federal government on Thursday. According to second vice-president Chris van den Heuvel, federal officials asked the CFA “to go and put hard numbers […] Read more