GUELPH, ON (March 18, 2020) – Grain Farmers of Ontario, the province‘s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario‘s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean, and wheat farmers is working with federal and provincial governments to identify and mitigate potential food security issues as a result of COVID-19 protection measures in Ontario
Grain Farmers of Ontario has met with both the federal and provincial governments and has raised potential supply chain issues. The organization and the government continue to work together to proactively examine potential risk to crop production from travel or commercial trade restrictions that may be needed to fight the spread of the coronavirus in Canada and Ontario.
“At the end of the day, our farmer-members need to get a fully supported crop in the ground in the next few months. They need to have access to seed, nutrients, pest management tools, fuel, and more. That‘s how we get the crops that the province needs for food security, and fuel,” said Markus Haerle, Chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario. “Farmers are the greatest factor in filling grocery shelves with food.”
Many of the production tools and products used by grain farmers in Ontario are imported and Grain Farmers of Ontario is adamant that commercial border crossing not be impacted by other restrictions
“We are incredibly lucky to live in Ontario, a place that provides a wide array of food for the province and the world. Our varied soils and weather allow for different crops and other food to be grown and raised here. While there are not food security concerns at the moment, the supply chain which includes planting, processing and transportation, needs to be stabilized as much as it can through these times. Planting a crop is the beginning of that process,” continued Haerle. Given that these are unprecedented times farmers need to take control of as many of their inputs as reasonably possible.
For information about coronavirus and Grain Farmers of Ontario activities around this issue, please visit: www.gfo.ca/covid19.
Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.