GFM Network News


Schoepp: Pandemic an opportunity to rethink food distribution

A highly centralized food system isn't the only option; there's a place for local, too

First- and second-fiscal-quarter earnings for those selling groceries exceeded expectations as consumers stocked up during the pandemic. From small specialty stores to supermarkets, all have reported excellent profits. The idea of centralized retail grocery is relatively recent and yet most societies, regardless of global address, can now relate to shopping at a supermarket. In North […] Read more

CUSMA pact takes effect under cloud of disputes, COVID-19

Deal appears to assure continuity of trade for agriculture

Washington/Mexico City/Ottawa | Reuters — A modernized U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade pact took effect on Wednesday, ensuring continuity for manufacturers and agriculture, but the threat of disputes is exposing cracks in what was meant to be a stronger North American fortress of competitiveness. As the deal kicks in, the Trump administration is threatening Canada with new aluminum […] Read more


Meat leads Canadian industrial producer prices higher in May

Ottawa | Reuters — Canadian industrial producer prices rose 1.2 per cent in May on higher prices for meat, fish and dairy products, Statistics Canada said on Monday, as supply chain disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic and increased demand boosted meat prices. The gain in producer prices followed four months of consecutive decreases and […] Read more

Co-op Refinery, union reach tentative labour deal

Proposal now goes to ratification vote

The operators of one of Western Canada’s biggest fuel refineries have reached a tentative deal with the union representing workers locked out since December. The deal, if ratified in an employee vote, would end the lockout at Federated Co-operatives’ (FCL) Co-op Refinery Complex (CRC), a major bulk fuel supplier to farmers and rural co-ops across […] Read more


U.K. aims to join Trans-Pacific Partnership

London | Reuters –– The United Kingdom announced on Wednesday it would pursue accession to a revamped version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. “Today we’re announcing our intent to pursue accession to CPTPP, one of the world’s largest free trading areas,” Trade Secretary Liz Truss said. The British government said joining CPTPP would help the U.K. […] Read more

Quebec Liberals name new agriculture critic

New leader names former Laval police officer to handle ag file

Quebec’s official opposition Liberals have shuffled their shadow cabinet and moved their labour critic, a former police officer, to the agriculture portfolio. Dominique Anglade, who was named last month as the Liberals’ new leader, on Tuesday appointed Jean Rousselle, MNA for the Laval-area riding of Vimont, as the party’s critic for public safety and for […] Read more


U.S. meatpacking workers often absent after plants ordered to reopen

"There's still so many risks"

Chicago/Washington | Reuters — Smithfield Foods is missing about a third of its employees at a South Dakota pork plant because they are quarantined or afraid to return to work after a severe coronavirus outbreak, according to the workers’ union. Tyson Foods was forced to briefly close its Storm Lake, Iowa plant — a month […] Read more

Federal surplus food program now taking applications

Qualified NGOs sought to move, distribute perishables to 'populations in need'

A federal program to get food to those who need it, using stockpiles of perishables created by the COVID-19-related shutdown of the dining sector, is now taking applications. The $50 million Surplus Food Rescue Program — which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau telegraphed in a funding announcement May 5 — will take applications from “organizations addressing […] Read more


Details on federal food surplus program expected in ‘days’

Ottawa already at work with businesses, minister says

Ottawa — Detailed plans of the federal government’s food buyback program are expected soon, according to Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau. Ottawa tabbed $50 million of its COVID-19 response funds for agriculture to buy surplus food from farmers and redistribute it to communities in need. The challenge Bibeau and her federal colleagues are faced with is […] Read more

Sollio outlines pandemic recovery plan for food sector

Support sought for automation, digitization, telecommunications

Ottawa — One of Canada’s largest agri-food companies has laid out a five-point industry recovery plan for federal politicians to consider. During a meeting Tuesday of the Commons standing committee on finance, the president of Quebec-based Sollio Co-operative Group shared plans to limit consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the agrifood supply chain. Sollio employs […] Read more