With the prolonged disruptions at Canada-US border crossings, Canada’s agriculture and food industry issued a joint statement calling for an immediate conclusion of the blockades and for all levels of government to work collaboratively towards action to reinstate integral transport and trade corridors.
Transport of fruits and vegetables, meat, food packaging, feed supplies, livestock shipments, transport equipment, and integral inputs for agriculture and food processing have already been seriously impacted by the blockades. These blockades are impacting the livelihoods of Canadian farm families, the further businesses they are connected to and the timely supply and delivery of essential goods, said the statement.
Canada and the US have the largest two-way trade of essential goods and each day the blockades continue further strains these integral supply chains and the Canadian economy, said the farm groups. In 2020, Canada and the US traded CDN$50 billion in agricultural products and food for an average of $137 million per day. Key trade routes include crossings at Coutts, Alberta; Emerson, Manitoba; and the Ambassador Bridge.
Industry groups, including those that represent the interests of Canada's livestock producers, voiced their concerns and requested immediate action to fully reopen Canada's trade corridors.
“We cannot let these disruptions endanger Canada's reputation as a reliable and stable trading partner," said Dan Darling, President, Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance. "Our sector's supply chains are highly integrated across the Canada-US border and these vital trade corridors support jobs across Canada. It is time to restore stability in Canada's most significant and important trading relationship.”
"Maintaining a stable supply chain is critical to Canadian beef production," said Bob Lowe, President, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. "The evolving situation at the US-Canada border and the transportation delays are resulting in major impacts for the entire beef supply chain and it is now time for this to end.”
“Pork industry’s supply chain operates on a structured, just-in-time delivery system for animal feed, movement of live animals across Canada and the US and many more critical materials that keep our industry providing food for Canadians," added Rick Bergmann, Chair, Canadian Pork Council. "Supply chain delays impact producers’ mental health and the potentially the health and welfare of the animals we are entrusted to care for. Our industry cannot sustain any more delays.”
“These blockades are affecting the whole supply chain, from farm to fork," said Chris White, President, Canadian Meat Council. "We need swift action to put an end to this."
“The closures and delays caused by the protest blockades have affects all the way back to the farm gate," added James Bekkering, Chair, National Cattle Feeders’ Association. "The beef supply chain has already been disrupted by drought, floods, transportation issues, and more; we need to get both products and animals moving freely across the border for the sake of animal welfare and economics alike.”