Blog: The Wheat Sheaf

Minister Dreeshen on minimizing impacts of COVID-19 on beef processing plants and overhaul of the AFSC board

Business Resumption Protocol

On Friday April 17, Agriculture and Forestry Minister, Devin Dreeshen, held his weekly update with farm groups, including all major crop and livestock commissions. In this meeting Minister Dreeshen highlighted major initiatives of the past week, including the development of a Business Resumption Protocol to respond to confirmed cases of COVID-19 at meat processing plants such as Cargill Beef in High River and JBS Food in Brooks.

 The Alberta and federal governments, with the input and assistance of industry and worker representatives have developed a plan to respond to confirmed cases of COVID-19 in food processing plants.

The goal of the response plan is to protect workers, while ensuring limited impact to our essential food supply during this pandemic. Specific, effective mitigation measures have been put in place that outline a cooperative approach and streamlined process for provincially or federally regulated food processing facilities in Alberta to keep the food supply strong.

Together, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Alberta Health Services and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have established an intergovernmental business resumption protocol which, in principal were applied at Cargill Beef when the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed. Now the process has been formalized and will allow for agility in responding to any further cases.

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Changes to the Agriculture and Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) Board of Directors

On Tuesday, April 14, Ag and Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen announced a shakeup to the board of directors of the Agriculture and Financial Services Corporation (AFSC). Minister Dreeshen says the changes are aimed at improving the responsiveness and service levels of AFSC, which administers Alberta’s crop insurance program. “AFSC will continue to offer business risk management programs and loans to farmers, but the new board’s mandate will be to improve service standards. We want farmers and ranchers to be proud of AFSC,” the Minister said.  The changes come in the aftermath of one of the most difficult harvests in recent memory, with 11 per cent of Alberta’s crop still in the field. 

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AFSC Board appointments will improve responsiveness

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