Government of Canada supports new tools to manage Canada's agricultural workforce

Fruit and Veggie magazine
February 05, 2019
By Fruit and Veggie magazine
The agriculture and agri-food sector is a major contributor to Canada's economy, employing approximately 2.3 million people in 2017. Reliable access to labour is vital for the sector to ensure it can continue to create high-quality jobs and meet the growing demand for top-quality products for Canadians and consumers around the world.

Member of Parliament for Mission–Matsqui–Fraser Canyon Jati Sidhu, on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay, recently announced an investment of up to $279,223 to the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) to lead the International Phase of the Quality AgriWorkforce Management Program.

This project, funded through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program, is designed to clarify best practices for recruiting and retaining international workers. CAHRC's activities will involve developing and delivering communications and training products for employers, including guides, website content, webinar and workshop training materials and, promotional materials.

Research has shown that each international worker who is hired, following a stringent process to ensure qualified Canadian workers do not wish to apply, results in two to four full-time Canadian agriculture related jobs up and down the Agri-Food supply chain.

Contributing $304 million per day to Canada's economy (over $111 billion annually) and employing approximately 2.3 million people the Agri-Food sector accounts for close to seven per cent of Canada's GDP. With Canadian Agri-Food enjoying global recognition and unprecedented demand due to the high quality of the products coupled with equally high safety standards this critical business sector is poised to increase significantly its economic contribution to Canada by almost double by 2025.

"Farm employers participating in the International Phase of the Quality AgriWorkforce Management Program are putting time and effort into learning the evolving process, the rules, and best practices to support their farm workers. International workers are an important part of the diverse Canadian AgriWorkforce team. CAHRC is proud to provide this new program supporting the hiring and management of international workers, improving the understanding that agriculture is a trustworthy industry that safeguards its workers,"
says Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst, executive director of the CAHRC.

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