Every year in early June, Ontario sets aside one full week, designated as Local Food Week, to celebrate and recognize the abundance of fresh, affordable local food we are privileged to have access to across the province. This year, the Local Food Week celebration runs June 1-7, 2020.
If there is one thing that has remained constant throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that farmers are experts at adapting to evolving situations and persevering through uncertainty. The resiliency of Ontario farmers to move forward and conduct business in a crisis environment was exemplified in the Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s (OFA) latest survey results.
The importance of farm safety cannot be overstated, especially during the busy planting and harvesting seasons. Across the agri-food industry, we’ve all been touched by on-farm accidents and injuries. While farmers across the province are working tirelessly to plan and prepare for the upcoming growing season, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) encourages everyone to make farm safety a priority.
There’s no denying Ontario’s agri-food sector has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Farmers across all commodities have been greatly impacted by this crisis and have experienced loss of market access, increased production costs, supply disruptions, processing challenges and revenue loss. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) understands commodities are facing urgent situations and without immediate government support, these farm businesses may face financial jeopardy.
If your farm business is anticipating financial hardship this year due to the impacts of COVID-19 or for any additional reason, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) believes this might be the year for Ontario farmers to strongly consider enrolling in the AgriStability program.
In phase two of an online survey with our membership, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) gathered valuable input on the current state of issues and concerns of farm businesses and the agri-food sector in Ontario. The survey, which was launched as a follow up to our March 2020 benchmarking survey, was conducted in an effort to find out how members are coping, what their concerns are and how they are managing their farm business situations throughout these challenging times.
Food has always been a key ingredient in bringing people together. And during these uncertain and challenging times when so many of us are apart, food is still helping us connect with each other.
As spring rolls on and the pressures of COVID-19 unfold, Ontario farmers are bracing for the full impact of this pandemic. Many sectors within the agri-food value chain are already dealing with significant ramifications of the virus – from labour shortages, excess product supply and reduced processing capacity, to raw dairy products being dumped, cancelled or reduced contracts and prolonged delays in feed and supply deliveries.
Our distribution network is one of the keys to keeping our agri-food system functioning in normal and extraordinary times and we rely heavily on the trucking and transportation industry to make that happen. The trucking and transportation system is entrenched in the strength, safety and viability of our entire food value chain.
We’re all living in a new reality as the changes and challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic continue to play out. Last week, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) checked in with our members to find out how they expect this pandemic will impact their farm businesses. Already, 74% of members surveyed online indicated they are anticipating change in their operations due to COVID-19.