The following piece is from our sister publication, the Alberta Seed Guide.
At 74 per cent nearly three-quarters of Canadian agri-businesses owners working more hours to make up for lack of staff, a new report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) said. Nearly half of agri-businesses have had to turn down sales or contracts due to labour shortages, while 41 per cent have had to decrease service offerings.
In a news release on the report CFIB said it urges policymakers to address chronic labour shortages in agriculture by focusing on the underlying issues exacerbating the problem.
“We need policies that will support our farmers and agri-businesses to ensure the agriculture sector is competitive and productive and the current shortages of labour are prioritized. In a recent survey we found that almost two-thirds (61 per cent) of agri-business owners turned to their existing employees to work more hours due to lack of staff,” Jasmin Guenette, vice-president of national affairs at CFIB, said in the report. “The prevailing labour shortages in agriculture must be addressed. It limits productivity and growth and is putting Canada’s food supply at risk.”
The report also found 94 per cent of agri-businesses said the rising prices of inputs have impacted their business. Supply chain challenges are also causing difficulties for 83 per cent of agri-businesses.
The CFIB urges policymakers to:
- Reduce the total tax burden on agri-businesses, including payroll taxes and the federal carbon tax
- Streamline and simplify the Temporary Foreign Worker and immigration processes and programs to get more workers into Canada faster
- Provide tax relief for the hiring of older workers and other underrepresented groups
- Stimulate automation in agri-businesses through programs or tax credits
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