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

Canada should reject compromise proposal on TRIPS waiver in its present form: civil society groups
Canadian organizations concerned with vaccine equity and the TRIPS waiver negotiations at the World Trade Organization are urging the Canadian government to not accept a compromise counterproposal negotiated by the United States, European Union, India and South Africa, but to work with WTO members to fix its deficiencies. For more on the TRIPS waiver, see https://policyalternatives.ca/newsroom/updates/trips-covid-19-waiver.
Letter: Budget 2022 – Economic Dignity for Farmers
While global crises multiply and intensify it is clear that we can no longer afford a food and agriculture system designed to maximize the ability of the most powerful to extract value with “just in time” and “lean” approaches while leaving farmers, workers and consumers and our communities to absorb mounting costs and burdens. Budget 2022 is the perfect time to begin building a policy framework that provides the economic dignity and resilience Canadians need to navigate our interdependent future with confidence.
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
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