Yesterday, FBC-ABC Co-Chair Daniel Vielfaure, Deputy CEO, Bonduelle Group & CEO, Bonduelle Americas, represented Canada’s food and beverage processing sector at an industry roundtable with federal-provincial-territorial Agriculture and Food Ministers. Daniel highlighted that food and beverage manufacturing is as a critical component of Canada’s food supply chain, noting that the industry has experience a series of shocks this year – shocks that risk destabilizing Canada’s food system. Daniel stressed the need to focus on fundamentals: resolving labour issues, rebalancing relationships with a Grocery Code of Conduct and ensuring our front line food workers are recognized and prioritized.
Canada’s Agriculture and Food Ministers are holding their annual Conference on November 20 and 27. On November 20th, the Ministers discussed a number of initiatives to help Canadian producers and processors including:
Improvements to Business Risk Management (BRM) programs for producers;
The contributions of essential agriculture and food workers during COVID-19 and the importance of working to prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19 to provide safe and healthy workplaces; and
The need to be ready for the potential that long-standing labour challenges are compounded by COVID-19-related disruptions in the upcoming 2021 season.
The Ministers agreed that labour will remain a top priority in the next agricultural policy framework and that they will work with their respective ministries of labour to help ensure the continued availability of labour to support the agriculture and agri-food sector, and highlight the opportunities that exist for Canadians looking for work.
The Ministers will meet again this Friday, when they will discuss industry’s call for a Grocery Code of Conduct.