The National Farmers Union (NFU) is uniquely positioned to provide a perspective towards a National Agricultural Labour Strategy that recognizes the common interests of farmers and farm workers and to propose solutions that will increase the economic, social and ecological sustainability of our food and farming system by focusing on improving the conditions and returns to labour.
For decades, Canada’s farm numbers have been going down, farm size has been increasing, and more farms have come to rely on hired workers as a consequence. The ongoing loss of farms and the current shortage of farm labour have the same root cause: a cost-price squeeze that results in inadequate returns to the work of farming, whether done by the farm operators or farm workers. Paying high prices for inputs and receiving low prices for commodities results in farmers subsidizing their farms with off-farm jobs, pressure to keep wages to farm workers low, the exit of skilled people from the sector to pursue more remunerative and less precarious sources of income, and a lack of new entrants to replace retiring farmers. Read more