February 15, 2023 (OTTAWA) – Food and Beverage Canada (FBC-ABC) welcomes today’s announcement by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau of federal investment in two projects related to the labour needs of Canada’s agriculture and food and beverage manufacturing sectors.
The investment of $13.25M for the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council’s “Growing the Agriculture Workforce of the Future: Cultivating Canada’s Post-Pandemic Recovery” and $8.35M for Food Processing Skills Canada’s “Achieving our Workforce Destination: Qualified People, Successful Careers & Competitive Business”, announced today at FBC-ABC’s annual policy breakfast, will compliment the work of the agri-food sectors National Workforce Strategic Framework for Agriculture and Food & Beverage Manufacturing, launched in 2020.
Labour is the most serious issue facing Canada’s food and beverage manufacturers, with the sector being short an estimated 20% of its workforce. Chronic labour shortages and serious skills gaps undermine Canada’s ability to maintain current levels of food production, threatening local food security and weakening the sector’s future economic development and trade growth.
The National Workforce Strategic Framework for Agriculture and Food & Beverage Manufacturing, an industry-led project with participation from over 65 stakeholders, is identifying the root causes of industry’s shortages and skills gaps, identifying concrete actions to address these shortfalls, and setting meaningful goals and timelines to measure progress in resolving workforce issues. Today’s announcement is welcome as industry continues to work together to address the sector’s labour needs.