Grocery Prices are Rising and Farmers’ Share Declining as Corporate Processors and Retailers Take More and More
Swift Current, SK—Retail food prices are rising. To explain these increases, many commentators point to rising prices for farm products and cite drought, other production problems, the pandemic, or supply-chain issues. This is not an accurate explanation. Public data shows that corporate food processors and retailers have relentlessly, for decades, pushed up retail prices even Read more
Taking Stock of Abattoir Regulations
How provincial rules help or hinder regional meat production
The NFU's Taking Stock of Abattoir Regulations report reviews provincial regulations on slaughter, meat processing (cut/wrap), and marketing across Canada. It highlights common points and differences among the regulations, and identifies where specific aspects of these regulations (or how they are applied) create barriers to local and regional meat production, as well as those pieces that support thriving local and regional food systems and local producers. Read more
Op-Ed: Regenerate Canada’s beef sector by addressing corporate concentration
By Iain Aitken In a recent report from Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), its president Bob Lowe stated that there is a critical need for better Business Risk Management tools for the beef sector. In addition to improving coverage for cow/calf producers by seeking the removal of the reference margin limit, he calls for raising the Read more
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. Read more
Union Farmer Quarterly: Summer 2020
In this issue … Messages from the Editorial Committee, NFU President Katie Ward (bilingual), Women’s President Coral Sproule and Regional Reports Articles: Catching up with Martha Robbins, new (returning) International Program Coordinator and Darrin Qualman who joins NFU to work on climate change and ag NFU National and Regional Conventions amid COVID-19 (bilingual) The NFU’s work during COVID-19 Read more
Letter – Time to rebuild our meat processing system
Smaller, safer slaughter plants in each province would disperse threats to food security. If one plant was forced to close it would not disrupt the food chain across the entire country. Providing safe secure food from local farms to local consumers is entirely possible without putting meat packing workers at risk. Bigger is not always better.  Read more
COVID emergency funds can help build a more robust food system
The pandemic shines a spotlight on vulnerabilities in our food system, providing the opportunity to use emergency supports to create the foundation for a more robust and resilient food system. Read more
Meat packing concentration makes Canada’s food system vulnerable
The National Farmers Union (NFU) offers heartfelt condolences to family and friends of the Cargill beef packing plant worker who lost her life  to COVID-19 on April 20. The COVID-19 pandemic is revealing many vulnerabilities in Canada’s food system. The excessive concentration of ownership and centralization of beef processing has put the health of workers, Read more
COVID-19 shuts down half of Canada’s beef supply
A COVID-19 outbreak in a Cargill plant at High River, Alberta has shut down almost half of Canada’s beef supply, leaving many farmers with no place to sell their cattle. Nearly all beef produced in Canada is processed by three high-volume, high-throughput meat packing plants: Cargill’s High River facility, the JBS plant in Brooks, Alberta Read more
Union Farmer Newsletter: October – November 2019
Inside this issue … Seed Synergy update: Seed industry groups are preparing to consolidate power in one big organization —  Five of the six Seed Synergy groups are trying to merge into one big group as part of their push to get control of Canada’s seed regulatory system. GM Herbicide-Tolerant Crop Concerns — Bayer is Read more
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