GFM Network News


(Sollio Co-operative Group video screengrab via YouTube)

Workers call strike at Olymel hog plant in Quebec

Producers urged to prioritize heavier hogs when shipping

Reading Time: 2 minutes Talks toward a new contract for unionized employees at meat packer Olymel's hog slaughter and processing plant in Quebec's Beauce region have ended in a strike. The Syndicat des travailleurs d'Olymel Vallee-Jonction-CSN, which represents over 1,000 staff at Vallee-Jonction, about 60 km southeast of Quebec City, called an "indefinite" strike effective Wednesday morning, the union […] Read more

A worker at Cargill’s London, Ont. chicken plant demonstrates the deboning process for a 2014 McDonald’s video on the meat used to make McNuggets. (McDonald’s Canada video screengrab via YouTube)

Cargill shuts Ontario chicken plant against COVID

Other packers being sought to take birds

Reading Time: 3 minutes Agrifood firm Cargill is seeking slaughter space for Ontario chickens at other processors after temporarily closing its London poultry packing plant Tuesday against an outbreak of COVID-19 among workers. The company said Tuesday it was "taking this step out of an abundance of caution as our local workforce deals with the community-wide impacts of COVID-19." […] Read more


(CNW Group/Sugarleaf photo)

Canopy Growth to buy rival Supreme Cannabis

Deal comes as pot demand lights up

Reading Time: 2 minutes Reuters -- Canopy Growth Corp. said Thursday it will buy rival Supreme Cannabis for $323.3 million, as the world's biggest cannabis producer bolsters its portfolio to tap surging demand. Shares of Canopy, up 15 per cent this year, fell around 4.6 per cent to $36 after it announced the cash-and-stock deal for Supreme, which owns […] Read more

(Dave Bedard photo)

USDA plans more pandemic programs for disadvantaged farmers

Review found disparities in farm aid distribution

Reading Time: 2 minutes Chicago | Reuters -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Wednesday it will dedicate at least US$6 billion to help smaller-scale and socially disadvantaged farmers who were hurt by the pandemic, along with producers of organic food and other specialty crops. The agency said it would also increase by approximately $5.6 billion payments made […] Read more


(LIVINUS/iStock/Getty Images)

New quarantine rules lined up for temporary foreign workers

Private transport would allow workers to skip immediate hotel stay

Reading Time: 2 minutes Temporary foreign workers coming to Canada for work in the farming or food processing sectors might not have to immediately check into government-approved hotels for COVID-19 quarantines along with other arriving travellers. The federal government on Tuesday announced new rules for TFWs taking effect starting Sunday (March 21). Like other arrivals, TFWs will still be […] Read more

Members of the Regina Pats during a May 20, 2018 game against New Brunswick’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan at Brandt Centre in Regina. (CHL photo by Marissa Baecker)

Ag equipment maker buys WHL’s Regina Pats

Brandt takes full ownership of hockey club

Reading Time: 2 minutes Regina-based machinery manufacturer the Brandt Group is levelling up from partner to full owner of the Western Hockey League's Regina Pats. Brandt, which since 2005 has held the naming rights to the Pats' home arena, Brandt Centre -- formerly the Regina Agridome -- said Friday it has approval from the league's board of governors and […] Read more


(Sollio Co-operative Group video screengrab via YouTube)

Olymel restarting hog slaughter at Red Deer

Work to resume at pork plant this week

Reading Time: 4 minutes Meat packer Olymel plans to restart slaughter operations Thursday at one of Canada's largest hog plants following a major outbreak of COVID-19 among employees. Olymel, an arm of Sollio Co-operative, said late Wednesday it had recalled "employees that are needed to ensure that the gradual restarting of operations goes smoothly" at its Red Deer, Alta. […] Read more

(Stephen Ausmus photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Risk of human spread of H5N8 bird flu deemed low

Seven people infected but asymptomatic, WHO says

Reading Time: < 1 minute Geneva | Reuters -- The risk of human-to-human spread of the H5N8 strain of bird flu appears low after it was identified for the first time worldwide in farm workers in Russia, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. A separate influenza strain, H1N1, that emerged from pigs and spread rapidly worldwide among humans […] Read more


(Bob_bosewell/iStock/Getty Images)

Farmers’ net cash income improves as crop prices soar

Reading Time: < 1 minute Winnipeg | Reuters -- Canadian farmers reaped record profits last year and are on track to do the same this year, the federal agriculture ministry said on Thursday, as prices for its top crops soared. Prices of canola hit all-time highs this month, rallying with oilseed rival soybeans, on brisk Chinese buying to produce feed […] Read more

Tom Vilsack speaks to farmers at a rural agricultural co-operative at Guira de Melena in Cuba on Nov. 13, 2015. (Photo: Reuters/Alexandre Meneghini)

U.S. Senate confirms Vilsack as Biden’s ag secretary

Pandemic leaves USDA 'a lot of work to do'

Reading Time: 2 minutes Reuters -- The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Tom Vilsack to head the Department of Agriculture, returning the former Iowa governor to the job he held under ex-President Barack Obama. The 100-member Senate approved Vilsack 92-7. He needed a simple majority in the Democratic-controlled chamber to be confirmed. As secretary of the sprawling department, Vilsack […] Read more