Monday, April 27, 2020

On Friday, CSTA sent a letter to Dr. Gilles Saindon, Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Technology Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. CSTA has offered to help support STB’s research activities throughout 2020, to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the important research AAFC does. You can read the full letter here.

Below, please find AAFC’s latest updates on international supply chains:

  • United States: On April 18, 2020, Canada and the U.S. agreed to extend border restrictions for another 30 days. Last week, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced $20.72 billion in support of the U.S. agriculture sector – (this includes $16 billion in direct payments and $4.72 billion in commodity purchases).
  • Mexico: The Mexican government has announced that the suspension of non-essential activities due to COVID-19 will be extended until May 30th in regions classified as high-transmission. These regions include large cities such as: Mexico City and its surroundings, Monterrey, Guadalajara and Puebla.
  • India: The Government of India has extended its lockdown period for an additional three weeks (until May 3, 2020). There have been previous reports of delays in testing and clearances at customs for non-essential shipments. However, the Government of India has now confirmed that ports and inland container depots for cargo transport will operate 24/7, easing restrictions to facilitate transportation of all agricultural goods (essential and non-essential).

Here is a round up of several recent government announcements:

  • Foreign technicians deemed essential. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has confirmed that technicians specified by manufacturer or the manufacturer warranty to maintain or repair equipment necessary to support critical infrastructure, including food, are deemed essential workers and are not subject to the 14-day mandatory isolation period. By order of the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, these individuals must present an exemption form upon entering Canada. More information available on PHAC’s website.
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) Calculator. On April 21, 2020, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) launched the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy calculator to support employers as they prepare to apply for the CEWS.
  • AAFC Inventory: Economic support available to the agriculture and agri-food sector.  Click here to view the inventory of economic support available to the agriculture and agri-food compiled by AAFC.
  • AAFC job portal is now live – Step up to the plate – help feed Canadians. On April 21, 2020, AAFC launched a website that serves as a portal for more information on national and provincial job campaigns and sector resources.