COVID-19 : the agri-food sector in quebec is calling for a program-specific help

In the Face of “pressure unbearable”, of the major players in québec’s agri-food sector such as the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA), Sollio, Agropur and Exceldor say that there is “urgency to act” on the part of Quebec and Ottawa to support their industry is being undermined by the COVID-19.

With the Association québécoise des industries de nutrition animale and cereal and the Council of the food-processing of Quebec, these organizations have united, Thursday, to demand that the province and the federal assistance program specific.

“The agri-food sector has been able to maintain a continuous supply throughout the crisis. But many companies reach the end of their resilience, said the president general of the UPA), Marcel Groleau, by issuing a press release. The current programs do not meet absolutely no issues outstanding that we are going through. This is to mislead the producers and the citizens that declare the opposite, as do our governments.”

The president of the UPA has called the help of $ 252 million announced last Tuesday by prime minister Justin Trudeau is “significantly below the needs expressed by the whole sector”. He noted that the canadian Federation of agriculture has called an emergency fund, estimated at $ 2.6 billion for the whole of the canadian agri-food industry.

These cooperatives and companies argue that they are in danger due to the collapse of the market for hotels, restaurants and institutions, issues relating to labour from abroad, as well as disturbances in some parts such as abattoirs. All these negative factors caused by the COVID-19 have added a financial pressure, already strong on the industry.

“This uncertainty puts under pressure the integrity of the food supply to the citizens”, have warned.

“The context of unprecedented crisis COVID-19 adds to the pressure already high, that carries the signature of recent international agreements. If governments believe that the food chain is an essential service to the population, it is necessary to be consistent with the companies that provide this service and who have put all efforts, both at human level as at the financial level, to deliver safe food all along the chain,” said Roger Massicotte, president of Agropur Cooperative.

According to him, “the aid programs that do not correspond to reality and must be adapted urgently”.


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