The spread of COVID-19 and the response from all levels of government is unprecedented. As more information is shared with the public, we want to update our farmer-members on how Grain Farmers of Ontario is responding to the situation.

Your Grain Farmers of Ontario team is fully functional and operational and will continue to work on your behalf throughout this pandemic.

Government

We continue to speak to government representatives at the provincial and federal levels.  Given the extreme uncertainty and distortions in our grain markets, we need a strong partnership with government to share risk and ensure we can produce the food needed for Canadians. 

Our asks include:

  1. A fully funded RMP program at 100 per cent with the cap removed
  2. An immediate injection of at least 5 per cent of a producers’ 2018 Allowable Net Sales (ANS) into AgriInvest accounts
  3. An increase to AgriStability to 85 per cent for 2019-2020 and remove Reference Margin Limiting
  4. Protection of the supply chain – from seed, to inputs, to processing, to parts and repairs, to retail and exports

It’s important to share our personal stories of potential business and food security impact with our governments. If you have personal stories to share, please reach out via email at members@gfo.ca.

Industry Response

Grain Farmers of Ontario spearheaded an industry call on to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 to the grain sector and to identify the ways that we can all work together to minimize disruptions. Attendees included representatives from seed companies, input suppliers, ag-retailers, processors, exporters, and OMAFRA.

Some common themes during the discussion were the importance of the transportation sector, including the health and welfare of drivers, and the importance of keeping borders open internationally, as well as interprovincially, for agriculture supplies. These calls will continue regularly. 

On-Farm

Many farmer-members are likely in conversation with their seed and input dealers and suppliers. These are not normal circumstances as you head into your planting season, and we urge our farmer-members to plan ahead as much as you can in terms of operations, production supplies, fuel, etc. This is not a time for panic or drastic measures, but it is a time to be prepared for unforeseeable shifts in the food system.  

There will likely be some disruptions, but our governments understand the need to protect Canada’s, and Ontario’s, food security and are working with us to ensure the safe, healthy production of our crops and food.

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