Addressing Labour Shortages in the Agriculture and Agri-food Industry through a Workforce Action Plan

May 11, 2015

2. Workforce Action Plan Communications Work:

Farm management survey results and observations "Almost 80 percent indicated that they struggle to attract and retain employees" (survey from Canada’s Farm Progress Show in Regina 2016) by Terry Betker, Western Producer | July 14, 2016 (

Cap on temporary foreign workers firms can hire frozen at 20 per cent by Joanna Smith
The Canadian Press/ Globe and Mail | June 23, 2016

Feds cancelling a July 1 decrease, freeze temporary foreign worker levels by Kelsey Johnson,
ipolitics |  June 23rd, 2016

Committee report on temporary foreign workers delayed until September: Mihychuk decision on July 1 deadline hinged on report's contents by Kelsey Johnson, ipolitics Monday |  June 20th, 2016

Ottawa considers modifying 10 per cent cap on temporary foreign workers by Alia Dharssi, Calgary Herald, June 20, 2016

Keep temporary foreign worker program by Editorial Board, Winnipeg Free Press | June 18, 2016

Canada may delay foreign worker limits as packers, farms face squeeze, Reuters/Globe and Mail by Rod Nickel | April 28, 2016

Shortage of farm workers costly, Peace Country Sun by Post Media Network | April 1st, 2016

Agricultural labour shortage will worsen, new report says by Lorraine Stevenson, Manitoba Cooperator  | March 28, 2016

Farmers need boots on the ground to become food super power by Brenda Kossowan, Red Deer Advocate | February 19, 2016, Page 3

RELEASE: CAHRC News Release: Canadian Agricultural HR Council hosts collaboration of industry and gov’t on ag labour shortage | February 12, 2016

RELEASE: CAHRC News Release: Canadian Agricultural HR Council works to employ new Canadians in the ag sector| February 4, 2016 

Seasonal agricultural worker program generates jobs for Canadians too, study says by Susan Mann, Better Farming | February 2, 2016 (Click here for Seasonal Ag Worker Study)

OP-ED: Agriculture and Agri-Food Labour Task Force Column: Let’s get to work on a Canadian agriculture and agri-food workforce action plan, by Mark Wales and Mark Chambers LTF Co-Chairs, Hill Times | November 9, 2015

Help Wanted: Oilfield slowdown not creating farm worker flood by Mary MacArthur, Western Producer | September 17, 2015

Let's talk farming: ag groups want more election discussion  by Amy-Jean MacLean, Pembina Valley Online  | September 14, 2015

Changes to temporary foreign worker program generate labour shortage by Eric Atkins, Globe and Mail |  August 06, 2015

Food sector struggling against temporary foreign worker reforms by Eric Atkins, Globe and Mail  | July 29, 2015

Drought of agriculture workers raises concern by Paige Parsons, Edmonton Journal | June 19, 2015

Labour Task Force Looks To Improve Permanency For International Agriculture Workers by Cory Knutt, Pembina Valley Online | June 16, 2015

Food processors want foreign workers that can become Canadian citizens by John Cotter (Cdn Press), Winnipeg Fre Press | June 12, 2015

RELEASE: CAHRC News Release: Agriculture and Agri-Food tackle ag labour shortages |  June 9, 2015

Thousands of skilled ag jobs will likely go unfilled ; Right now, no one can say with certainty just how great the demand will be (Ontario Farmer) by Alex Binkley | June  9, 2015

RELEASE: CAHRC News Release: Labour Market Intelligence: CAHRC getting down to work|  June 2, 2015

Federal government pursues new rules for temporary foreign workers (Western Producer) by Barbara Duckworth | May 14, 2015

Meat industry facing ‘acute, chronic’ worker shortage (ipolitics) by Kelsey Johnson | May 11, 2015

Labour shortages a risk for agriculture (MB Cooperator) excerpt from Senate Testimony, Mark Wales | April 30, 2015

Canadian Ag HR Council recent testimony at the Standing Senate Commitee on Agriculture and Forestry | March 24, 2015

Worker shortage handicapping ag sector : Plants have jobs but not enough Canadians interested in them (Alberta Farm Express); by Jennifer Blair | March 3, 2015

Help wanted: The job crisis in Canadian agriculture (ipolitics); by Kelsey Johnson  | March 9, 2015

Changing the Rules: Feeling the Pain of Canada's Temporary Foreign Workers (GrainsWest Magazine) by Scott Rollans  | Spring 2015

RELEASE: CAHRC News Release: Ag Labour Task Force elects new Chair | Jan. 28, 2015) 


3. Workforce Action Plan Provincial Strategy Work:

Alberta, Oct. 30/14, Presentations from Agriculture Industry Labour Council of Alberta (AILCA) 2014 Agriculture Labour Summit – Putting the ‘Action’ in the National Labour Plan

Conference Board - Labour Market Trends: Structural Shifts and Agriculture Specific Issues (Michael Burt)
Canadian Ag HR Council - Agriculture and Agri-Food Labour Action Plan (Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst)
Skills and Career Development Panel
Agri-Talent, On-line Tool for finding Agricultural Training and Education, Canadian Ag HR Council (Debra Hauer)
Olds College Presentation (Dan Daley)
Lakeland College Presentation (Josie Van Lent)
Recruitment Strategies and Challenges: Lessons from the Oil and Gas Industry (Cheryl Knight)
Temporary Foreign Worker Panel
Mosaic - Working with the new Temporary Foreign Worker Program (Cassandra Conacher)
Cargill - Temporary Foreign Workers Opportunities and Challenges (Paul Wannet)
Consulate of Mexico in Calgary - 2014 Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP) Presentation (Isadora Espinoza)
Industry Supports Panel
Canada-Alberta Job Grant Introduction & Eligibility Criteria (Kelly Johnson)
Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (Kevin Smiley)
Alberta Works (Nicole Lorrain)
Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (Ron Volk)
Paskal Cattle Company (Cristo Hurtado)
Sunhaven Farms Story (Frank Novak)

 It’s time for action!  Click here to find out how to get involved.



September 2014

The Labour Task Force is actively engaged in disseminating the Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food Workforce Action Plan and responding to questions about the current agriculture labour market challenges. The group is focused on ensuring the implementation of all strategy recommendations and at this time is seeking funding mechanisms to support progress.

Since October 2012, the Labour Task Force (LTF) has been focused on examining the issues of labour management and the challenges of shortage for the agricultural and agri-food sector including the seafood sector. The LTF was formed out of concern by the eleven sector-specific Value Chain Roundtables (VCRT) supported in part by Agriculture and Agir-Food Canada (AAFC). The VCRT identified labour as an impediment to the competitiveness of Canada’s agricultural and agri-food sector in a rapidly changing global economic environment and requested that the LTF examine the issues for all commodities within the industry.

In October 2013, the LTF presented their recommendations report Addressing Labour Shortages in the Agriculture & Agri-Food Industry through a National Workforce Action Plan (WAP). In March 2014, the LTF transitioned from an AAFC VCRT committee to become a committee of the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) Board of Directors.