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Federal Ag Minister Focusing On Food Supply Chain

Keeping Canada's Food Supply moving during the COVID-19 outbreak is one of the priorities for Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau.

She notes Canada's food supply is extremely safe.

Where her concerns are is around our human capacity, as obviously workers can get sick.

“Our food processors want to take special measures to protect their employees and to make sure that after they have done you know, some adaptation of their ways of working, then there will be more confident that their production will be rolling as normal as possible.”

She notes Alberta is working with the federal government on training provincial meat inspectors to work in federally licensed plants.

“Alberta was the first one to sign on and I know that many provinces will follow very shortly. So, we are offering provincial inspectors special training from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. So we can share resources, and we can be more flexible to accommodate the industry and all the plants.”

Producers remain concerned about cash flow and being able to pay bills.

Bibeau says this is why they gave more capacity to Farm Credit Canada (FCC) and other private financial institutions.

She says they see it more as a support to manage cash flow rather than increasing debt.

“But we understand the issue and I can assure you that right now with my colleagues we're working on different scenarios, and different ways that we could support more significantly and more directly farmers across Canada.”

She notes they also continue to work with Team Canada on keeping goods moving nationally and internationally, making sure Americans understand just how integrated our food industries are.


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