Updates for COTA Members Re: COVID-19 from Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada/Canadian Food Inspection Agency
The Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA), as the national voice of Canada’s organic sector, is continuing to participate in regular conference calls being hosted by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), as well as watch for other important government announcements. Our objective is to keep information flowing between industry and government – to provide critical information to assist you all in guiding your businesses during COVID-19 measures being in place.
Wednesday, April 15th
AAFC programming for agriculture and agri-food sectors. AAFC continues to rebut requests for ad-hoc programs, instead insisting that the current suite of Business Risk Management (BRM) programming should have sufficient breadth and scope to respond. Specifically, regarding the financial concerns related to extraordinary costs and income loss, the government is looking at options to make Agri-Stability more responsive and to look more closely at the Interim payment options which have traditionally not seen wide uptake.
Temporary Foreign Worker Program- Financial support. This week, the government announced new measures to provide financial support to employers bringing in essential temporary foreign workers to maintain their operations or get spring operations underway. The government announced a new $50 million program to provide up to $1500 per employee to assist with the financial burdens of the mandatory 14-day quarantine period. See the government’s announcement here. Also, as provided previously, here are the latest Q&As related to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program Temporary Foreign Worker FAQs. You are encouraged to check back often as programs continue to shift and change.
CFIA Update. CFIA continues to provide further guidance to employers and to regulated industries regarding how to operate and ensure on-going inspection activities in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. The latest is the guidance to food manufacturing plants. This guidance document is intended to supplement the previously released Meat Processors Guidance document.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact COTA’s Manager of Policy and Research, Brian Lemon at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 613-482-1717 ext. 206.