GFM Network News



Ontario pledges farm recruiter crackdown as COVID-19 outbreaks grow

Ford rips 'fly-by-nighters just trying to make a quick buck'

Toronto | Reuters –– Ontario will crack down on “fly-by-night” recruitment agencies sending workers on to farms, the premier said on Monday, after a testing blitz identified a major coronavirus outbreak on a farm in southwestern Ontario. “We’re reaching out to all the farmers, we’re getting a list of these recruitment agencies. We found out […] Read more


Tam seeks details on Ontario’s COVID-19 farm worker guidelines

Windsor-Essex area reports six ag-related outbreaks as of Thursday

Ottawa/Toronto | Reuters — Canada’s top public health official said on Thursday she plans to seek more information from Ontario about the province’s plan to allow some COVID-19 positive people with no symptoms to return to their jobs — a risky policy, according to workers’ advocates and some doctors. Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, issued […] Read more

Farm workers cram daily into U.S.-Mexico border tunnel

Labourers line up hundreds deep for hours despite contagion risk

Mexicali | Reuters — Every night, hundreds of farm workers in Mexico crowd for hours in a cramped tunnel to a border station to reach day jobs in Imperial Valley, California, with no social distancing enforced despite coronavirus cases saturating hospitals in the region. By 2 a.m. on Tuesday, tense men and women with cloth […] Read more


Trump administration aims to buy milk, meat to help farmers, Perdue says

Homeland Security to ease visa rules for ag workers

Reuters — The U.S. government plans to buy milk and meat from farmers as part of an initial US$15.5 billion effort to help them weather the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Wednesday. The decision comes amid rising pressure from the U.S. farm lobby for government purchases as growers and […] Read more

Farmers to know soon whether new wage supports work for them

Top-up also en route for low-wage essential workers; CERB also tweaked

Ottawa — Agricultural employers may soon find out whether changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program, and other new federal supports on the way, will result in more workers for the sector. Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau on Wednesday said officials are reviewing requests from employers to see which ones will qualify to have 100 […] Read more


Canadian, U.S. farms face crop losses on foreign worker delays

Winnipeg/Chicago | Reuters — Mandatory coronavirus quarantines of seasonal foreign workers in Canada could hurt that country’s fruit and vegetable output this year, and travel problems related to the pandemic could also leave U.S. farmers with fewer workers than usual. Foreign labour is critical to farm production in both countries, where domestic workers shun the […] Read more

Take extra steps to keep farm workers safe during COVID-19

Add biosecurity practices, or ramp up the ones you already employ

Farmers concerned about the spread of COVID-19 can learn from the hog sector on the matter of protecting themselves and their workers, says a leading expert on biosecurity in the pork industry. “This is the world of biosecurity that the swine industry deals with on a daily basis,” said Dr. Egan Brockhoff, veterinarian counsellor for […] Read more