Alberta Mirror

Monday, January 17, 2022

Highly transmissible variant a problem for Canadian food production, farm groups state

Alberta

Key takeaways: 

  • Strains already showing countrywide, from pork and chicken factories to mushroom farms and better.
  • Production at dairy farms, greenhouses, and mushroom farms could be impacted ifs big numbers of employees ought to stay home sick with the Omicron variant, states the Canadian Federation of Agriculture.

Dairy farms, greenhouses and mushrooms might be impacted by the Omicron variant: 

Canada’s chronically understaffed agriculture industry is cautioning that raised absenteeism linked to the highly infectious Omicron variant could hardly stress this nation’s food production systems.

Already, there are indications of strain. A slaughterhouse in Quebec opted to euthanize thousands of chickens that couldn’t be processed this week, accusing climbing COVID-19 diseases among employees as well as federal holds processing temporary foreign worker applications for its protracted staff lack.

Mushroom farms across the nation are dealing with “unprecedented” levels of absenteeism that risk some operators’ very survival, according to Janet Krayden, workforce expert with The Canadian Mushroom Growers’ Association. Source – cbc.ca

Read more: Alberta students will return to offline education on Jan. 10

Food production may be impacted by the highly infectious Omicron Variant

And Western Canada’s beef industry is near watching the status of Alberta’s big meat processing plants, which so far stay active in this latest wave of the virus, but which were the site of some of the nation’s biggest outbreaks of disease in 2020.

Temporary foreign worker access restricted to a crawl

Mary Robinson, president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, stated there are very rare parts of food production that aren’t helpless to COVID-related labour needs and interruptions.

“Dairy farms are a matter. The cows have to be fed, have to be milked, have to be cared for,” she stated. “The pork industry is a worry — you can’t stop a sow from farrowing. You’re going to have thousands and thousands of animals being born, you can’t restrict that down.” Source – cbc.ca

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