GFM Network News


Hog farmers face prolonged pain as pandemic gives way to glut

Canadian Pork Council takes new tack on AgriStability reform

Winnipeg | Reuters — North America’s hog farmers face prolonged pain beyond the COVID-19 pandemic that has interrupted packing plants , as a pig glut in the U.S. holds prices low and pressures producers to downsize. Many North American hogs had nowhere to go in spring as slaughter plants suspended production due to workers becoming […] Read more

North American ammonium nitrate laws best in world, Nutrien CEO says

Winnipeg | Reuters — North America’s regulations for handling ammonium nitrate, a potentially explosive product used in fertilizer and in the mining industry, are the strictest in the world, the CEO of Canadian fertilizer producer Nutrien said Tuesday. An ammonium nitrate stockpile exploded last week in Beirut killing at least 171 people, injuring 6,000 and […] Read more


Canadian canola prices spike as shippers find back door to China

'Profits are extravagant... It is like gold oil now'

Winnipeg/Beijing | Reuters — Canadian canola prices have soared to the highest in nearly two years, despite a diplomatic dispute between Ottawa and Beijing, as exporters find roundabout ways to reach top oilseed buyer China. Chinese authorities have since March 2019 blocked canola shipments by two Canadian exporters, an action they took after Canadian police […] Read more

Alberta loosens animal slaughter rules after pandemic hit packers

Reuters – Canada’s main cattle-producing province, Alberta, said on Wednesday it would allow the slaughter of animals on farms for meat sales to consumers, loosening regulations after the coronavirus pandemic interrupted production at its biggest packing plants. Alberta previously restricted the consumption of meat from animals slaughtered outside of government-inspected plants to farmers and their […] Read more


Ontario investigating 17 temp agencies after virus outbreaks on farms

"We stand firm against exploitation in our province"

Toronto/Winnipeg | Reuters — Ontario is investigating 17 temporary recruitment agencies, the province’s labour ministry said, after health officials warned that agencies that move workers from farm to farm could be contributing to COVID-19 outbreaks. Canadian farms rely on some 60,000 people who come to Canada on temporary work permits every year, typically living and […] Read more

TFW program to be overhauled after COVID-19 outbreaks on farms

"The piece that's missing is enforcement"

Winnipeg | Reuters — Canada is overhauling its temporary foreign worker program, a government spokeswoman said on Friday, after coronavirus outbreaks on Ontario farms sickened hundreds and led Mexico to demand assurances of proper safeguards. As part of the review, surprise inspections of working and living conditions on farms will immediately increase, Ashley Michnowski, communications […] Read more


Grain exports flow fast as pandemic lockdowns clear rail capacity

Traffic accelerates on lower coal, crude volumes

Winnipeg | Reuters — Canadian grain exporters are boosting sales in a slumping global economy, as demand for commodities like oil weakens and frees up railway space. Brisk crop movement in a country that relies heavily on rail is a bright spot during pandemic lockdowns, which have hammered most industries. “We’ve had an almost unlimited […] Read more

As meat plant infections rise, Canada lets packers choose when to close

Beef plants at heart of Alberta's largest COVID-19 community outbreaks

Winnipeg | Reuters — In Cargill’s High River, Alta. plant, supplier of more than one-third of Canada’s beef, 391 workers were sick with COVID-19 when the company suspended operations, according to provincial health officials. But Maple Leaf Foods decided to idle a poultry plant for eight days, in Brampton, Ont., after just three workers were […] Read more


Canada sees no beef shortage, but prices may rise due to coronavirus

JBS plant at Brooks dials back to one shift

Ottawa/Winnipeg | Reuters –– The Canadian government is not expecting a beef shortage despite the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in certain meat-packing plants, though prices may rise, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday. Trudeau added that beef producers are placing a priority on supplying the Canadian market before exporting products. Canada, one of […] Read more

‘Elbow to elbow:’ North America’s meat plant workers fall ill, walk off jobs

Supply chains struggling to keep pace with surging demand

Chicago/Winnipeg | Reuters — At a Wayne Farms chicken processing plant in Alabama, workers recently had to pay the company 10 U.S. cents a day to buy masks to protect themselves from the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to a meat inspector. In Colorado, nearly a third of the workers at a JBS USA beef plant stayed […] Read more