Canada Farmers of Canada (CFC) says that the government does not fully understand what they need to mitigate specific impacts caused by COVID-19.
The organization notes that farmers have lowered their production by 12.6% for May and June and by 11% for July and August to address the concerns of their value chain partners and give the system a bit more breathing room.
“We’re not looking for compensation for our reduced production,” said Benoît Fontaine, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada, “We’ll take care of this ourselves. The issue arises with the potential of having to depopulate flocks. What we’re asking for is a commitment to cover both the value of the birds and the costs related to any required depopulations due to COVID-19.”
CFC says the entire value chain has worked to avoid having to depopulate flocks, by rerouting birds when plants have had to close due to COVID-19 outbreaks.
The group notes the uncertainties resulting from COVID-19 are in addition to the financial stress farmers were already facing with the ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Transpacific Partnership (CPTPP). Farmers lost a significant portion of their domestic market and have been waiting on the government to announce programs to strengthen the long-term sustainability and competitiveness of the sector for over a year.