Ontario Committing to Agri-Food Workers’ Health

Published on November 16, 2020

Partnering with sector leaders to implement new strategy key to managing COVID-19

The Ontario government has worked with agri-food industry leaders to develop a strategy that will help prevent COVID-19 transmission and contain outbreaks on farms ahead of next year’s growing season.

“We recognize the proactive work that farmers and food processors in Mississauga, and across Ontario, have undertaken in the workplace to date to protect their workers,” said Rudy Cuzzetto, MPP for Mississauga-Lakeshore. “The new joint strategy launched today will build on their efforts to help reduce the risks of COVID-19 transmission.”

Earlier this summer, Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs established a sector leadership group composed of representatives from the agricultural industry, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development to establish best practices and actions for the prevention and control of COVID-19 transmission in the agriculture and horticulture sector, particularly on farms.

The resulting joint government-industry Prevention, Control and Outbreak Support Strategy for COVID-19 in Ontario’s Farm Workers, provides guiding principles and actions on how to ensure enhanced prevention and control on farm operations, farm worker safety and wellness, and maintaining the sustainability and viability of the agri-food sector.

The strategy is founded on three pillars related to prevention and containment: before getting on the farm; on the farm; and farm worker housing. It contains 35 actions and recognizes that all partners — governments at all levels, stakeholder organizations, farmers and workers — have a role to play in preventing and controlling COVID-19 outbreaks on farms.

The strategy will support a sustained effort and longer-term planning to ensure Ontario has the tools needed to protect workers and prevent outbreaks in agri-food workplaces going forward. Partners have already actively started working on the implementation of the strategy.

“Our government understands the impact COVID-19 outbreaks had on farm workers, farms, greenhouses and agri-businesses,” said Minister Hardeman. “Ontario’s agri-food sector has worked hard to address a difficult situation and our new strategy will help them to be even more effective in controlling this pandemic and keeping agri-food workers safe.”

 

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Contact

Office of Rudy Cuzzetto, MPP
Mississauga-Lakeshore
(905) 274-8228