Resources for Farmers

There are many resources to help farmers manage the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Click on Need Help? for up-to-date information about federal and provincial support programs to help with the practical, financial and economic challenges of the pandemic. The Need Help? page also lists mental health support services available in every province. #StaySafe!

NFU response to COVID-19 disruptions

COVID-19 has highlighted how vulnerable Canada’s agriculture system is, and how strongly Canadians value our food producers. The NFU is advocating for emergency support to help farmers through the pandemic crisis while laying a foundation for a more robust and resilient food system. The NFU is actively engaged with the Federal government (AAFC) consultations on COVID-19, speaking out on behalf of the needs and interests of farmers.

The NFU successfully called for elimination of the minimum payroll requirement for the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA), so now owner-operator farmers are eligible. We advocated for support to allow migrant workers to safely come to Canada and contribute their skills and labour to produce food. NFU was key to getting New Brunswick’s to reverse its exclusion of temporary foreign workers. The NFU pressed to keep farmers markets open during the lock-down by having them declared essential services. We continue advocating for more regional abattoir capacity to help livestock farmers and reduce dependence on Cargill and JBS. Along with other farm organizations, we are pushing for changes to federal Business Risk Management programs to make them more equitable and workable for the majority of farmers.  A survey of our members has informed our understanding of how the pandemic is affecting farmers. We continue to work in a responsive, timely manner to address issues as they arise.

Here is what we have been working on:

The Big Picture

Emergency funding

Meat & Abattoirs:

Farmers Markets

Migrant Workers

Most Recent News and Views

Producers need immediate action on BC’s meat processing crisis
The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed a meat processing crisis in BC. Abattoirs are critical for small-scale livestock producers, but provincial policy and regulatory structures currently prevent them from meeting the high demand for local, sustainable, and niche meat products. The critical shortfall in abattoir and cut/wrap capacity is making it impossible for farmers to provide
A vibrant small-scale meat industry for British Columbians
NFU recommendations to BC Ministry of Agriculture
The Ministry of Agriculture has recently released an Intentions Paper on “Rural Slaughter Modernization.” We are very excited to see the MoA tackling the complex issues facing the meat processing sector in BC and welcome the opportunity to influence the thinking of the MoA as they work to address the critical policies, regulations, and financial
Urgent need for support to increase local and regional abattoir capacity
The increase in demand for locally produced food, particularly meat, in response to COVID has been widely reported all across Canada. This has the makings of an economic success story – a silver lining in the pandemic’s very dark cloud – but serious, targeted investment in to create and expand its infrastructure is needed to allow this emerging source of local prosperity to become well established.
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