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 Read more
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 Read more
Union Farmer Quarterly: Fall 2020
In this issue … Part 1 Messages from the Editorial Committee, NFU President Katie Ward (bilingual), Women’s President Coral Sproule and Regional Reports Articles: Part 2 National Convention information The winds of change are blowing harder: COVID-19 update on peasants, rural workers and other marginalized groups Is Gene Editing the End of GMOs?  —by Lucy Sharratt Read more
Union Farmer Newsletter: October 2020
Articles in this issue: Seed Canada vote signals farmers can’t be taken for granted; Hairy canola— a big deal!; Solving climate crisis key to saving family farms: NFU has lead role in both struggles; More local, regional abattoir capacity needed; Alberta changes legislation to allow more on-farm slaughtering 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