COVID-19 Update: March 25

Dear Members,

I come to you with more updates related to COVID-19.

In Nova Scotia, food and agri-food businesses are considered an essential service. This means that agri-food businesses are able to stay open and are exempt from the five-person rule. We must do everything we can to ensure we as an industry, and on our own operations, are meeting the protocols set out by public health. These are necessary actions to safeguard the health of our families, our workers and the community.

For full details relating to the designation of food and agri-food businesses as an essential service, please consult the order issued by Dr. Strang. You can view this order by clicking here.

While we have been informed that temporary foreign workers will be able to come into Canada, we are still awaiting the details on the timeline and the protocols that will be in place. We are hoping to provide you with an update soon. Please know that CFA is working hard to ensure the protocols put in place by the federal government will be attainable by farming operations across the country.

We recognize that our farms will be facing delayed labour and labour shortages this season. NSFA is advocating for programs to be in place to support and supplement the labour force that will be impacted this year.

We are aware of the financial strain that this pandemic is having on our farms and the amount of risk our members are taking in order to prepare for the season. Please know that we are doing everything we can to advocate to ensure that the financial programs that will be made available to farmers are not just extra debt – we don’t want to see farmers carrying the full burden of this. Whether it be interest free deferrals, funding grants, etc.

Today we had our regular call with Minister Colwell and MP Kody Blois, I would like to personally thank them for the hard work they are putting in to support the agriculture industry through these tough times.

I would also like to thank our Federation staff, they have been working around the clock to keep us all up to date and informed on their actions, and announcements that impact us.

The agriculture industry is a tight knit group, we are all facing significant challenges as a result of COVID-19. It’s important that we all come together and stand together as one industry now and always. Check in on your neighbours, your friends, your family, and yourself. We are all in this together.

Until tomorrow,

Victor Oulton
Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture