COVID-19 Update: March 27

Dear Members,

Today we had our regular call with Minister Colwell and MP Kody Blois, we had lots of great discussions. We continue to emphasize the need for support for our farmers so that we aren’t bearing all of the risk in ensuring food security for Nova Scotians.

As you probably saw, food and agri-food have been deemed essential service in Nova Scotia, this includes farms and processors. This means that we are exempt from the 5-person rule and the social distancing requirements on the farm and in processing facilities. We do still need to make sure that we are taking every precaution to protect ourselves and our workers so we recommend following the public health protocols as closely as you can, while still being able to work efficiently. We have been receiving lots of questions about the definition of agri-food and have requested clarity – keep you posted!

You may have also heard that the travel restrictions related to Temporary Foreign Workers have been lifted and our provincial government is working on the logistics needed in Nova Scotia for the 14-day isolation period. We will let you know when we know more.

The Farm Loan Board and FCC are available to support farmers through some of these financial challenges and we encourage you to reach out directly to them to find out how they can help. We continue to advocate for strong BRM programs to support our farmers through this.

As of next week, we will be decreasing the number of COVID-19 Update emails we send out in the run of the week. We will provide updates when there is new information that is important to the agriculture industry or if there are new developments. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our office at any time for questions.

Our goal with these updates has always been to keep our members informed, up to date, and hopefully provide some comfort during such difficult times.

I wish you well,

Victor Oulton
Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture