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Check out what events are going on in the industry and around Alberta at http://www.albertabeef.org/page/events.
Grass Routes News

In this issue

  • ONE.
  • TWO.
  • THREE.
  • FOUR.
  • FIVE.
  • Filling jobs and keeping the food supply safe
  • Cargill statement on COVID-19 at High River plant
  • New COVID-19 resources available for beef producers
  • Canada Beef marketing and communications update
  • Supply chain monitoring - CCA needs your input

Filling jobs and keeping the food supply safe

The Alberta government has launched an online resource to help strengthen the food supply chain and fill agriculture and agri-food jobs.

Keeping Alberta’s food supply chain safe and intact is a priority. The new Agriculture Jobs Connector website is a tool for Albertans to find essential agriculture work opportunities and for essential agriculture businesses to find workers.
 
Currently, some farms in Alberta rely on a federal temporary foreign workers (TFW) program to hire seasonal workers. However, with travel restrictions, typical users of this program are concerned about the availability of foreign workers.
 
With so many Albertans now out of work due to no fault of their own from COVID-19, there is an opportunity for the needs of both employers in the agriculture sector and Albertans wanting work to connect.
 
“There are great job opportunities on Alberta farms and ranches. There is definitely a greater appreciation for Alberta’s agriculture sector, and this new website will help Albertans find an exciting new job in this essential service.”
Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
 
Agriculture and food employers and workers can access hiring, job search and farm safety resources through the new Agriculture Job Connector at alberta.ca/AgJobConnector.
 
Agriculture employers are encouraged to post available jobs on the connector so the positions can be filled by hard-working Albertans who will help keep the food supply chain operational.
 
In the U.K., due to COVID-19, thousands of seasonal foreign workers were no longer available and a “land army” of thousands of British people came out to work on farms. This website will help connect an Albertan “land army” of non-traditional agriculture workers enter a new and important labour market.

Cargill statement on COVID-19 at High River plant

As we continue to prioritize the health and safety of Cargill employees, we have decided to temporarily reduce shifts at our High River protein plant. This will allow us to minimize the impact of COVID-19 and continue follow health department guidelines. This was a difficult decision for our team, but our values are guiding our actions.

We want our employees and the community to know we care. We’ve taken extra steps to focus on safety and remain operational – including temporary wage increases, bonuses and waiving co-pays for COVID-19 testing. We also implemented additional safety measures like temperature testing, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing, prohibiting visitors, adopting social distancing practices where possible and offering staggered breaks and shift flexibility. Our facility will be back to operating at full capacity as soon as is it is safe to do so.

Every person affected is a valued member of our team. Our employees are working hard to keep food on tables in local communities. While this location is working at reduced capacity and we adapt to operating during a pandemic, our work doesn’t stop. Cargill provides an essential service to the world—providing the ingredients, feed and food that nourishes people and animals. We are working with farmers and ranchers, our customers and our employees to supply food in this time of crisis and keep markets moving.

Jon Nash, Cargill Protein – North America Lead

New COVID-19 resources available for beef producers

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association has prepared a Guidance to Beef Operations on Prevention and Response to Suspect or Confirmed COVID-19 Employees to share best practices for maintaining the health and safety of farm/ranch employees, while continuing safe and secure business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. This resource is for information purposes only and due to the rapidly changing circumstances surrounding COVID-19, it is important that individuals consult their local public health authorities for the most current recommendations/protocols.
 
You can view this resource, along with others, under latest news at www.albertabeef.org/producers/home

Canada Beef marketing and communications update

Given the new COVID-19 reality, Canada Beef consumer marketing efforts have shifted with the ever-evolving landscape. Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, Canada Beef had developed two parallel consumer marketing campaigns themed CRAVE and TRUST launched in March 2020. CRAVE speaking to the culinary enjoyment of beef and TRUST speaking to the cattle producer and systems that produce our high-quality beef.

With current self-isolation practices, consumers have stocked up on beef and are now at home cooking in their kitchens more than ever. They are needing recipes, inspiration, distraction and cooking know-how information. Consequently, Canada Beef has modified the CRAVE campaign to emphasize the elements that highlight home preparation and build culinary skills.

To follow along on the CRAVE: The One & Only Beef campaign, click here.

To follow along on the TRUST: #MyCanadianBeef campaign, click here.

Reassuring consumers and meat professionals 
Since the first known case in China on December 31st, 2019, COVID-19 illness has now been reported in 184 countries/regions. The rapid emergence of the pandemic has impacted global supply chains and the normal daily routines of much of the world’s population. Canadian consumers are experiencing a sense of uncertainty that has resulted in stocking up on meat and other essential supplies.

To help address this reality, Canada Beef has worked collaboratively with the national associations representing beef, veal and pork. The resources outlined here have been developed for Canadian consumers and for meat professionals in domestic and international markets. The focus has been to provide reassurance around the safety of meat and our ability to maintain a stable supply by safeguarding the health of Canadians working in the sector. In addition, Canada Beef’s Marketing team has developed programs to help consumers cook and serve the Canadian beef they have on hand.

There is a COVID-19 page for consumers at canadabeef.ca/covid19updates with updates, industry information and helpful government links. There is another page that focuses on Food Safety Essentials.

Supply chain monitoring - CCA needs your input

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), along with other industry stakeholders, are conducting a weekly survey to determine any potential shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic that could disrupt the Canadian beef supply chain. We will work with government and industry partners to provide support to avoid shortages and address any should they occur.

Going forward, our goal is to provide weekly updates to the Government of Canada. If possible, please complete the survey before 10 a.m. (EST) on Tuesdays. If you submit your survey after this time, the information you share will be included in the following week’s update. If you have any questions, please contact feedback@cattle.ca.

To complete the survey, click here.

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