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Canada's Food Supply Chain Should Be An Essential Service

Alberta's Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen is putting in an official request to Ottawa to have the entire food supply chain considered an essential service.

He says while Alberta’s supply chain is responding well he wants to ensure our food supply systems are maintained.

“An essential service, ultimately, just goes to show the importance of that industry. So that if they were to be shut down that would have broader economic effects that would ripple through society. So that's obviously food, being so essential that we all need to eat.”

He notes hoarding puts additional pressures on our food system, including food banks which have seen a substantial rise in requests for support.

Dreeshen says our food supply will remain safe, secure and accessible.

“We are working with Alberta's farmers, ranchers, and farm groups to ensure there are no additional barriers to primary production throughout this pandemic. Retail demand for food is high however all four components of our food supply chain are fully functioning, including producers, processors, food retailers and distributors. And again, I would like to reiterate to Albertan’s that you do not need to stockpile food and supplies.”

He says the Province’s food production and distribution systems are diverse and stable.

“We are focused on maintaining a strong and open trade relationship between Canada and the US for the movement of essential goods across our border. We are working to maintain functional rail service and commercial trucks and systems within Canada and North America, to enable the movement of essential goods.”

The Provincial Operations Centre is communicating daily with the entire food supply chain to ensure their getting what they need to keep products moving and on the shelf.

Overall, Dreeshen says Alberta’s food supply is well established and it will maintain.

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