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Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada Welcome Senate Report Findings on Temporary Foreign Workers

Ottawa, ON – The Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) welcomes the balanced findings of the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology’s recent report on temporary and migrant labour solutions.

The report identified six recommendations to improve Canada’s temporary foreign worker (TFW) programs, emphasizing the need for an independent migrant worker commission. This commission would centralize services and address program gaps for both workers and employers, streamlining the current complex network of departments and ministries involved.

“The proposed commission aligns with our long-standing call for more efficient TFW services,” says Marcus Janzen, President of FVGC. “Canadian fruit and vegetable growers’ operations are simply not sustainable without migrant labour, and the current systems are burdensome and complicated for growers to navigate.”

Canada’s fruit and vegetable sector relies heavily on the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) and the TFW program’s agriculture stream. Fruit and vegetable crops often need to be picked by hand due to the delicate nature of the crop and the lack of automated options. Labour shortages have been a constant struggle for Canadian agriculture, and a reliable and efficient  migrant labour program is essential to the long-term sustainability of the fruit and vegetable sector in Canada.

“We appreciate the Senate committee’s recognition of the essential role temporary foreign workers play in sectors like horticulture,” adds Beth Connery, Chair of FVGC’s Labour Working Group. “A balanced approach is crucial to protecting workers while meeting employer needs. Ensuring a positive, safe work experience for all workers is a priority for our industry. We look forward to collaborating on the next steps to evolve these vital programs.”

Food security in Canada is intrinsically linked to the availability of foreign workers. This mutually beneficial relationship not only secures our food supply but also provides these workers with the means to improve their lives back home. Many farms have built enduring relationships with their workers, some of whom return year after year, even spanning generations.

FVGC remains committed to working with the government and all stakeholders to ensure the continuous improvement of temporary foreign worker programs, safeguarding both the sustainability of the fruit and vegetable sector and the well-being of the workers who are indispensable to its success.

Source : FVCG

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