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

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.
Alternative Federal Budget Recovery Plan: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives — Agriculture
"With policy rooted in principles of food sovereignty and agroecology, the AFB Recovery Plan will build a food system that will democratically provide sustainability, security, and stability in our food supply, and fair incomes for food providers and food consumers. In recognition that COVID-19 is not the first or last crisis we will face, our food system will no longer be designed to maximize extraction with “just in time” and “lean” approaches, but instead will build in buffers and reserves that provide resilience.
NFU-O Statement on the Deaths of Two Migrant Farm Workers
We stand in solidarity with the Migrant Rights Network and Justicia for Migrant Workers in their outrage over the death of Bonifacio Eugenio Romero and their efforts to improve migrant workers’ housing, working, and status conditions.
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