BCFB continues to work closely with Food & Beverage Canada (FBC) on key federal advocacy issues as well as address regional issues directly in Victoria. Here’s a recap of recent developments;
- This week FBC held meetings of its Executive Committee and its Policy & Advocacy Committees. Key issues for discussion included the recent announcement of Prime Minister Trudeau’s Federal Cabinet and FBC winter advocacy strategy, FBC’s continued leadership in the Design Committee for a Canadian Food Industry Code of Practice, and the food and beverage manufacturing sector’s ongoing labour crisis.
FCI Canada Industry Data Platform
- BC Food & Beverage is working with FBC and the other provincial industry Associations on the development of a national food and beverage data platform. Launched in August, this extensive project has 2-years of funding support from federal supercluster Protein Industry Canada. Stay tuned as BCFB begins outreach in the development of the BC portion of this national database.
Spotlight on Labour
- FBC its provincial association members including BCFB will hold a face-to-face discussion with Federal Provincial Territorial (FPT) Agriculture Ministers at their upcoming meeting on November 9. The one-hour panel will be chaired by FBC CEO Kathleen Sullivan and include Michael Burrows, CEO Maple Lodge Farms, Daniel Vielfaure, Deputy Group CEO Americas, Bonduelle, and Rosemary MacLellan, VP, Strategy & Industry Affairs, Gay Lea Foods. Securing an opportunity to appear before and speak directly to the FPT ministers is a significant accomplishment for the sector and an important opportunity to encourage government engagement and collaboration on this critical issue.
Food and Beverage Canada present before the Board of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG)
- On October 25, Kathleen Sullivan had an opportunity to provide a presentation on FBC to the Board of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG). Topics of discussion included labour, the food industry code of practice and the importance of working across industry groups and segments.
Conservatives call on Liberal government to address rising food prices
- On October 27, Lianne Rood (MP for Lambton – Kent – Middlesex, and former Conservative critic for agriculture and agri-food) released a statement regarding “the rapidly rising cost of food prices across Canada and the stability of our food supply chain”. The Conservatives are urging the government to take immediate steps to lower food costs, including preventing labour shortages by making it easier to bring seasonal workers without red tape.
Looking Forward: FBC Advocacy
- With the 2021 Election now behind us, FBC will now begin work on our advocacy priorities, framing our efforts to align with the Liberal government’s stated priorities (such as the development of an Agricultural Labour Strategy, and establishing a Trusted Employer system). Over the next several months, we will brief new Ministers offices, as well as Parliamentary Secretaries, opposition critics, and committee members. We will be again planning lobby days for our Board of Directors, seeking to participate in House and Senate Committee’s, and participating in the 2022 Federal Budget consultations. Finally, we will be launching a webinar series, with government participation, with further details to follow. If you would like to participate in FBC’s outreach activities contact Kathleen Sullivan.
Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)
- FBC is working with several primary processing companies to examine on-going issues with TFWP administration for seasonal workers, in advance of the 2022 season. FBC-ABC has held preliminary discussions with ESDC to work through issues such as application delays and prevailing wage rates. For more information contact Kathleen Sullivan.