Friday, October 30, 2020

Temporary foreign workers catch a break

Some temporary foreign workers now in the country will become eligible to apply for permanent residence status, the first step towards citizenship.

The policy change was announced as part of new immigration targets.

Canada will welcome 401,000 permanent residents in 2021, up from a previous target of 351,000; 411,000 in 2022, up from 361,000; and 421,000 in 2023, the government said.

The new plan assumes that international travel will return to normal next year.

Normally temporary foreign workers must return to their home countries when their visas expire. There are between 50,000 and 60,000 of them working in agriculture.

International students at Canadian colleges and universities may also be eligible to apply for permanent-resident status.

And asylum claimants who have found work and established ties to their communities may be eligible to apply.

Every year thousands of people fleeing intolerable conditions in their home countries make their way to Canada and apply for asylum. 

Usually they have to wait two years until their applications for official refugee status can be heard, and in the wake of COVID-19, that has become even longer.

Many of these people find work in agriculture, such as at meat-packing plants.

My wife and I have been thrilled to help one such family from Honduras where their lives were threatened by thugs. She is now working at Conestoga Meats.

Olymel fighting another COVID-19 outbreak

Hard on the heels of a major outbreak of COVID-19 at its packing plant in the Beace Region, Olymel has had another one at its Princeville hog slaughtering plant.

Fourteen of the 370 employees tested positive.

The company has cancelled all gatherings at the plant and all carpooling to get to and from work.

Taylor Selig heading AgScape

Taylor Selig has been promoted to executive director of AgScape.

He has been development manager for the past six years where oversaw the development of the website and new reporting metrics for programs “that have substantially improved how we share impacts with our supporters,” said Jordan Sloggett, AgScape’s manager of marketing and communications.

Selig also took ‘the lead in developing a number of key new partnerships and has been a natural leader within the organization,” he said.

He studied international development, history and anthropology and has “worked extensively within the not-for-profit sector in a wide range of roles from fundraising and marketing strategy to relationship management, event planning, and public outreach.”

Sloggett said “here at AgScape we think that 2020, especially the stresses and worries about our food supply chains during the onset of the pandemic, have demonstrated the need for a public that is well educated about our food system.

“Through our various programs and initiatives made possible by donations from our supporters, we are trying to reach the two million students across Ontario- and ignite interest in the food and agriculture industry.”

Fonterra inks deal for U.S. market

Fonterra, a monopoly company that controls dairy exports from New Zealand, has signed a five-year distribution deal Land O’ Lakes of Wisconsin of Minnesota.

Under the deal, Land O’ Lakes will distribute cream cheese and UHT (ultra-high-temperature) cooking cream to its food service customers.

Fonterra global director of food service Paul Harvey said the U.S. is the largest and most competitive dairy food service market in the world.

Land O’ Lakes is a farmer-owned business that is more than 100 years old and had sales of $14 billion US last year and profits of $207 mililon.

Harvey said Fonterra hopes to expand the range of products it will market via Land O’ Lakes.

Why U.S. farmers would sign a deal that brings foreign competitors into its business is somewhat of a mystery to me.

Container shortage reducing Canadian exports


There is a global shortage of shipping containers and it’s hampering Canadian agriculture exports.

The shortage has arisen because China is catching up on its exports in the wake of a slump when it was hit by the first outbreak of COVID-19.


German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd announced last week that it was temporarily suspending overseas ag container shipments from North America.

 Other container lines are also curtailing containers for agriculture exports from North America.

There is a growing urgency to send empty containers back to China as soon as they are unloaded rather than waiting to fill them with agricultural goods for the backhaul, according to Canadians caught in the shortage, such as the pulse industry.

A steamship line makes about $5,000 hauling a container from China to Vancouver, but only about $1,000 on the backhaul.

Grape Grower plan amendments proposed

Two house-keeping changes to the plan for Grape Growers of Ontario have been posted on the website for the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission.

One would change producer district boundaries and the allocation of district delegates to the Grape Growers' Committee and of directors to the Grape Grower of Ontario's board of directors.

The other would update the name of the Wine Council of Ontario to Ontario Craft Wineries and of the Winery and Grower Alliance of Ontario.

The proposals are open to public comment until Dec. 11.

Anita Stewart dead at 73

Anita Stewart, a prolific author of food-related books, passionate promotor of local food and popular radio and television commentator, has died. She was 73.

From her position at the University of Guelph, she contacted thousands of people in the food industry, collecting recipes and encouraging restaurants to source their food from local farmers and processors.

She was appointed to the Order of Canada.

Her publishing included:

·       The Food, The Recipes, The Stories (HarperCollins Canada, Toronto, 2008)

·       The Flavours of Canada: A Celebration of the Finest Regional Foods (Raincoast, Vancouver, 2000 / 2006)

·       Great Canadian Cuisine: The Flavours of Canadian Pacific Hotels (Douglas & McIntyre, Vancouver 1999)

·       A Taste For Comfort: A Scenic Tour of Pacific Northwest Inns (C&D Publishing, Portland, Oregon, 1993)

·       Canada's Great Country Inns: the Best in Food and Lodging (Random House / Fodors Toronto / New York 1992)

·       From Our Mothers' Kitchens (Random House, Toronto 1991)

·       The Country Inns Cookbook: Revised Edition (Stoddart Publishing, Toronto 1990)

·       The Gray Rocks Story (Weiser & Weiser, New York,1989)

·       The St.Lawrence Market Cookbook (Stoddart Publishing, Toronto 1988)

·       The Lighthouse Cookbook (Harbour Publishing, Vancouver 1988)

·       The Country Inns Cookbook, (Stoddart Publishing, Toronto 1987)

·       Northern Bounty: A Celebration of Canadian Cuisine (Random House Canada, Toronto 1995)

·       The Farmers' Market Cookbook (Stoddart, Toronto 1984)

·       The Ontario Harvest Cookbook: An Exploration of Feasts and Flavours (Macmillan Canada, Toronto 1995)



Corn harvest skips DON

This year’s corn crop has dodged a bullet from DON (deoxynivalenol) mycotoxin.

It infected cobs soon after silking period when moisture levels were great for promoting crop growth, but stalled when the weather turned dry again later in the season.

The result, according to a province-wide survey, is DON levels similar to the 10-year average and well below last year’s disastrous infection rates.

The results from 245 samples turned up only one with more than five parts per million of DON: 89 per cent had less than two parts per million.

The project involved field crop specialists from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Grain Farmers of Ontario and the Ontario Agri-Business Association.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

TVO drops milk program tweet

TVO, the Ontario government’s television channel, has dropped a tweet promoting its partnership with Dairy Farmers of Ontario to deliver education programs for school children.

On the weekend it said its partnership would bring educational activities and resources to Ontario parents, teachers, and students with topics ranging from food and nutrition to food regulations and more!”


By Monday evening, the tweet was deleted,  reports Toronto Star’s Jessica Scott Reid, with TVO vaguely citing “unhealthy discourse” in the responses. 

“It appears a lot of people weren’t pleased to learn that a lobby group is being given access to children in order to sell a product under the guise of education, especially a product as problematic as dairy,” she wrote.

Actually, this is only the tip of an iceberg. All kinds of lobby groups offer "education" materials to schools and teachers, including pesticide manufacturers and many farm organizations.

Some call it great education. Others call it brainwashing.



Don Mazankowski dead at 85

Former federal Agriculture Minister Don Mazankowski has died. He was 85.

He was born and raised in central Alberta and entered politics after being inspired by former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker.

He served as Member of Parliament for Vegreville from 1968 to 1993.

He held many positions in Ottawa, including House Leader, Finance Minister, Transport Minister, Minister Responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, Minister Responsible for Alberta, and deputy Prime Minister to Brian Mulroney.

He farmed and owned two auto dealerships at Innisfree and Vegreville.

In retirement, he helped with the merger that resulted in the Conservative Party.

He was agriculture minister from 1988 to 1991, taking over from the late John Wise of Elgin County.

Conestoga College training farm equipment operators

The federal and provincial governments are giving Conestoga College $180,000 to offer a course to train farm equipment operators.

Classes will be run from the college’s campus in Brantford.

“As well as addressing critical workforce needs in Ontario’s agriculture and food sector, the Agriculture Equipment Operator training initiative will provide opportunities for local residents to develop in-demand skills, advance their careers and contribute to the success and well-being of the community,” said John Tibbits, president, Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

India’s dairy farmers oppose free trade deals

India’s dairy farmers have become a major stumbling block in free-trade negotiations with the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, China and others.

India has been trying to conclude a number of bilateral trade deals after pulling out of a China-backed regional pact because of opposition from dairy farmers.

Citing sources close to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’, news media in India say he’s reluctant to go against the powerful dairy lobby.

At stake is the livelihood of millions of small-scale dairy farmers who are not big or modern enough to withstand competition from imports.

Trade negotiations are also being explored with Australia and New Zealand.

The dairy industry is a major component of the proposed India-European Free Trade Association, which includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, the sources inside Modi’s government said.

The latest casualty of domestic opposition is a proposed ‘limited’ India-U.S. trade deal, which is being negotiated since 2018 to resolve pending issues, the sources said. 

The pact, which was almost firmed up, is stuck on the insistence of the U.S. on more dairy concessions and India’s reluctance to do so due to the industry’s aversion, they said.

“We will never allow it,” said R.S. Sodhi, managing director of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, the nation’s biggest dairy cooperative that sells its products under the Amul brand. “We will oppose it tooth and nail,” he said.

None of this is surprising. Dairy farmers all around the world owe their livelihoods to government subsidies, protection and regulations.

Dairy farmers appeal to tribunal

Jason and Melissa Wesselson of Embro have filed an appeal with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal.

The appeal against the Dairy Farmers of Ontario marketing board is scheduled to be heard via video conference on Dec. 16.


Bavarian Meats loses federal licence

Bavarian Link Meat Products Ltd. of North Bay has lost its federal licence for failure to comply with Canadian Food Inspection Agency standards.

Its licence was suspended in March and after a hearing, was cancelled effective Oct. 22, the CFIA said on its website.

Neonic decision delayed until spring

A decision on neonicitinoid seed-treatment insecticides has been put off until spring, the federal health department said on its website recently.

It said the COVID-19 pandemic delayed its evaluations of the controversial pesticide which bee keepers in particular have complained about.

On its website, the Pest Management Review Agency division of Health Canada said:

“Due to the vast amount of new information received, and the measures taken related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the scientific reviews have encountered delays.

“Health Canada is now expecting to publish these decisions (aquatic special reviews of clothianidin and thiamethoxam, and the general re-evaluation of imidacloprid) in spring 2021.”

Feds propose minimum housing standards for workers

The federal government is proposing minimum housing standards for temporary foreign workers, but isn’t telling the public what they are.

Instead Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough and Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said they will be consulting provincial and territorial governments on the proposals from now until Dec. 22.

And during that time, the federal government will also be conducting a survey of workers and employers about housing.

There are about 50,000 to 60,000 temporary foreign workers coming to Canada every year. 

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union estimates that about 1,300 of them tested positive for COVID-19.

In July the federal government provided $58.6 million for programs related to the temporary foreign workers. 

Of that, $35 million was earmarked for improving health and safety on farms and in employee living quarters, and $16.2 million to “strengthen the employer inspections regime.”


Feds renew support for wheat and barley research

Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau has made a renewed commitment to research for wheat and barley.

“The recently signed Core Breeding Agreements between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Wheat Research Coalition and the Canadian Barley Research Coalition represent a continued commitment to work together,” she said in a news release.

It’s a five-year commitment for plant breeding and genetic improvement. 

Bibeau also reminded people that the federal government has put up $6.3 million for barley and $13.9 million for wheat research plus a new Barley Research Building at Brandon and renovations at the Swift Current Research and Development Centre.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Tim’s sales plunge

Tim Horton’s revenues dropped by 13.7 per cent in Canada for the third quarter, ended Sept. 30.

That dragged down total sales and profits for its owner, Restaurant Brands and profits for its owner, Restaurant Brands international Inc., which includes Burger King, Popeye’s and Louisiana Kitchen.

Net income was $223 million, down from $351 million for the same quarter last year and total revenue declined by 8.3 per cent to $1.3 billion.

Restaurant Brands diverted attention from the poor results by announcing that it is installing new menu boards for drive-through service from all of its restaurants.

The initiative is being led from head office in Toronto.

Restaurant Brands is controlled by a combination of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway investment company and 3G of Brazil which is in charge of management.

I think it was only a matter of time until Tim's revenues would decline because that is part of the pattern with the 3G guys. First they kick out all of the experienced managers, bring in their own young bucks who cut, cut, cut. And profits go up - very short term - and then decline as sales go down.

I wonder if and when Buffet will pull the plug, either on the whole business or just on Tim's. It was bought once before by Wendy's and then sold back to Canadians.

Maybe Buffer will also bail on his partnership with 3G in Heinz-Kraft where the familiar 4G pattern is also playing out.

Chicken pricing negotiations fail

Ontario’s chicken marketing board and processors have failed to reach agreement on a new chicken pricing formula, leaving it to the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission to impose a solution.

The commission said on its website today that the producers and processors reached agreement on about 75 per cent of the issues, but continue to disagree on the rest.

In January, 2015, the commission imposed a pricing formula that included reductions for volume efficiencies. Ontario’s production has steadily increased.

The volume-related price reductions were applied annually.

In its website statement, the commission said it “is considering changes to all components of the current formula, including the items, values and designation in Table 1, and the potential elimination of annual adjustments.”

Earlier in the negotiations, the processors pressured the Ontario Broiler Chick and Hatching Egg Commission to reduce its labour component in its new cost-of-production formula.

The chicken board passes on cost increases for poults via its cost-of-production formula which is chick costs plus feed costs plus a margin for producers minus the volume-efficiency adjustment.

Crisco sold to New Jersey company

B+G Foods of New Jersey has agreed to pay $725 million to buy Crisco and vegetable oils business from J.M. Smucker.

The sale includes Smucker’s oils and shortening business in Canada.

B+G is best known for making Cream of Wheat.


Smucker’s bought Crisco, the vegetable oils and shortening business and JIF peanut butter from Proctor and Gamble.

Rabobank foresees rocky fall

Rabobank foresees a rocky fall season because of COVID-19, the failure in the United States to pass funding and the election next week.

It says beef-cattle prices are under pressure and that any hiccup could disrupt the return to normal in the hog sector.

Poultry production and processing have settled down to year-ago levels.

While the backlog of market cattle has been cleared, weights are still about 20 pounds heavier than a year ago, Rabobank researchers report.

Hog marketings are now current.

Cambridge yogourt company expanding

A yogourt business founded in their home by brothers Francis and Erik Lo while they were students at the University of Guelph is moving into new quarters in Cambridge that will increase production capacity five-fold.

They began making yogourt from soybeans about 20 years ago, following in the footsteps of their grandfather, K.S. Lo, who was the first to make yogourt from soybeans in 1940 in Hong Kong.

Now they make yogourt from soybeans, coconut, almonds, cashews and this summer a sugar-free yogourt from oats.

Their grandfather’s business has grown to Vitasoy Holdings marketed on a global basis.

Their new facility in the north-eastern part of Cambridge is 24,000 square feet on two acres compared with 9,000 square feet in the previous location.

The business employs 30 people.

Maple Leaf sales, profits soar

Maple Leaf Foods Ltd. sales increased by 6.2 per cent during the third quarter ended Sept. 30 to $1,052 billion.

Profits were $66 million compared with less than $14 million for the same quarter last year.

So far this year the company has spent $304 million in capital improvements, most of it for a new poultry processing plant at London, Ont.

The company reported that meat sales increased by 6.4 per cent with strong retail demand and more exports to the United States and Asia.

Plant protein sales increased by 9.3 per cent, even though COVID-19 disrupted production. The plants are in the United States.

The company’s costs for COVID-19 were $19 million during the third quarter.

Monday, October 26, 2020

More farmers eligible for COVID-19 relief

The federal government is offering more farmers access to the Canada Emergency Business Account by allowing those who have not had a business bank account to qualify if they now open one.


“This has been an important ask from farmers and will help ensure the financial strength of the thousands of small agricultural businesses across the country,” said a news release from federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau.


This follows the October 9th announcement that increased the limit to $60,000 and doubled the non-repayable forgivable portion to $20,000. 


This change will add to the more than 85,000 farm businesses that will have access to interest-free CEBA loans. If everyone applies, it will add up to $5.1 billion – one-third of which – i.e. $1.7 billion - is forgivable, the government said.

All of which pales in comparison to what U.S. farmers are getting from their federal government.

Canadian agriculture faces tough challenges

Canadian agriculture faces daunting challenges, mainly to do with trade, according to a new paper from agricultural economists Al Mussell and Douglas Hedley at Agri-Flood Economic Systems. 

The United States is ramping up production, fuelled by hefty subsidies and a trade agreement with China,  but any hiccup could end up swamping the Canadian market with what can’t be exported to China.

China is also playing hardball, using trade restrictions to drive its political agenda, such as disrupting Canadian canola and pork exports to pressure Canada on the extradition issue with Huawei’s executive and Australia’s barley exports after it challenged China’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Mussell and Hedley note that China needs food imports because it’s about 18 per cent short of self-sufficiency, yet it’s disrupting imports. 

They say China may be trying to disrupt supply chains to weaken companies that it can then buy at discounted prices. 

That would give China more control over food supplies from overseas.

In earlier papers, Mussell and Hedley have outlined how the World Trade Organization used to be a place where smaller countries, such as Canada, could rein in the clout of the United States and now China by negotiating trade agreements with rules and penalties for violations. 

That’s now gone because the World Trade Organization’s disputes-settling panels are crippled by the U.S. refusal to appoint people.

That means Canada is left to make the best of the situation by taking full advantage of market opportunities, especially in China, and bracing for disruptions.

They note that Canada’s exports to China are concentrated on six commodities with relatively little in processed food products.

They recommend an increase in processed foods with a strong Canadian identity, making it more difficult for China to impose nuisance trade restrictions.

But they also note that a great deal of Canada’s food-processing sector is owned by foreign companies and companies are hesitant to invest in today’s uncertain climate.

To counter the challenge of nit-picking trade bans, they say that “in a politically charged environment, small errors like mistaken entries on an export certificate present an opportunity to halt exports and pressure Canada. 

“Assistance to upgrade compliance can minimize the likelihood of this. 

“Secondly, if these barriers arise, provision can be set aside to support storage and/or alternate marketing of displaced product. 

"This recognizes the fact that barriers erected by China against Canadian imports are ultimately transitional and temporary, and that Canadian production/processing capacity must be secured,” they wrote.

“Under the current structure of agri-food trade with China, Canada has been missing the growth segments, which are processed foods- meats, cereals, vegetables, and others. 

“Further processing and value-adding is usually conceived from an economic development perspective, but in the current environment it is also defensive - an investment in market access protection. 

“Practically speaking, as product origin or (better yet) brand becomes recognized, it becomes more difficult to unilaterally stop imports,” they wrote.




Saturday, October 24, 2020

Retailers plead for government help to counter giants’ clout

Food suppliers are pleading for government intervention after Loblaw Companies Limited flexed its muscles to squeeze more money out of suppliers.

“It continues to escalate,” said Michael Graydon, chief executive for Food and Consumer Products Canada referring to Loblaw’s move weeks after Walmart Canada squeezed its suppliers.

They’re creating an inflationary environment. ... It’s absolutely brutal behaviour, and further demonstrates why government needs to step in and put some fair practices in place,” Graydon said.

Loblaws is Canada’s largest supermarket chain which increased its purchasing clout when it added the Shopper’s Drug Mart chain.

Loblaws is increasing its fees by 1.2 per cent, its delivery fees from 0.85 per cent to 0.97 for deliveries to its distribution centres and from 0.26 to 0.3 per cent for deliveries to stores.


It is also pressuring its largest suppliers to spent more of their marketing and advertising budgets with Loblaw Media.

Loblaw Media uses PC Optimum loyalty program data to target ads to shoppers. Those larger suppliers were asked to sign new “customer marketing initiative contracts” by Dec. 1.

 Loblaw president Sarah Davis reminded suppliers in letters sent on Thursday that the company plans to invest $6-billion over the next five years to improve its stores and e-commerce operations.

These guys' greed and arrogance knows no bounds.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Martin Farming makes deal with U.S. company

Martin Farming of Paris has made a deal to be a delivery point for Scoular Co. of Omaha, Neb., which has contracts with Ontario grain growers.

Martin has recently built a facility that can hold up to 22,000 tonnes of grain.

Scouler said the deal it has with Martin allows it to buy direct from Ontario farmers and have it handled and stored by Martin Farming.

Scouler has operations in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Impossible Foods doubles research budget

Impossible Foods is doubling its research budget, seeking improvements to its Impossible Burger introduced in 2016 and to plant-based milk. 

It plans to use $700 million in raised from investors this year.

Impossible Foods has five researchers working on a milk substitute, already working for two years to develop a product can be cooked, heated, even used to produce cheese.

Chief executive officer Pat Brown bills Impossible Foods as a saviour of the environment by reducing the cow population that emits greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

“There are 1.7 billion cows on the planet, a significant fraction used in dairy production. Cows are so incredibly inefficient,” he said during a recent news conference.

The plant-based milk category has seen consistent double-digit increases in sales even as cow’s milk consumption has declined, according to a Nielsen study in June 2018. 

But, Brown said: “The plant-based milks out there are inadequate. [We want] to make something that for a dairy milk lover is better than anything that comes from a cow.”

Among plant-based milk competitors on the market are ones made from oats, rice and nuts.

Alan Bjerga, senior vice president of communications for the National Milk Producers Federation, said that Impossible’s attempted incursion is more likely to affect those other plant-based producers.



Province announces $6.52 million for UG

The province has announced that its annual funding for research at the University of Guelph will be $6.52 million. It did not say how this compares with previous years and neither the province nor the university could be reached for comment.

(I asked OMAFRA for last year's figure. What I got for an answer was a repeat of the news release saying $6.52 million "is consistent with previous years." Why won't they give us a figure? Maybe we prodded a skunk and are raising a big stink.

Of course, it would be if this year's figure is less than last year, showing Hardeman's (and Premier Ford's) lack of commitment to research.")

Today I got the answer. Last year's funding was $5.01, so there is a significant increase this year. It's nice to see that Hardeman and the Ford government recognize that research is one of the best investments they can make in agriculture.

The news release from Ontario Agriculture Minister Ernie Hardeman said the money will be for research into:

• Enhancing integrated pest management for leaf diseases in onions

• Using breeding and genomic approaches to develop disease-resistant soybeans for Ontario’s changing environment

• Identifying market conditions for small scale on-farm anaerobic digestion to produce biogas or nutrient-rich fertilizer

• Improving outcomes for Ontario apple producers though precision agriculture and labour efficiency strategies

• Digital mapping of soil carbon and nutrients in the Great Clay Belt to better understand effects of land conversion on agricultural practices

• Establishing a baseline for provincial soil properties that will support better soil health assessments

• Assessing herbicidal tolerance of cover crops during years with adverse weather

• Improving food rescue and recovery in the province’s industrial, commercial and institutional sectors

• Investigating noise impacts of grain dryers on neighbouring land uses

• Examining the current state of drainage infrastructure in Ontario.


Hardeman said "the research we’re investing in is vital to helping Ontario’s hardworking farmers and food businesses remain competitive and profitable.

“Now, more than ever, we need to support innovative

solutions that improve production practices, protect our environment and stimulate growth in our agri-food sector.”

One dead, about 80 sick, but Olymel keeps plant running

One worker has died of COVID-19, the union says about 80 have tested positive, yet Olymel is resisting the union’s call to temporarily shut down the pork processing plant and an associated pork, veal and poultry distribution centre.

The worker died Tuesday, one day after testing positive. The company said it is still investigating the cause of death.

The plant is at Vallee Jonction, a rural area in the Beauce Region of Quebec and it employs about 1,200 people. 

The province had declared the region a red zone for the virus.

"People are still working, but they're worried. There are some who are still waiting for test results," said Martin Maurice, president of the Syndicat des travailleurs d'Olymel Vallée-Jonction.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Saputo pondering another Australian takeover

Saputo has admitted it is pondering the purchase of Lion Dairy and Drinks, an Australian company owned by Japanese company Kiri.

Kiri withdrew a previous deal to sell Lion to China’s Mengniu Dairy Co. because it felt strained relations between Austalia and China might skupper the deal.

Last year Saputo bought Lion’s cheese business.

Since first buying Murray Colbourne co-operative, Saputo has grown to become one of Austalia’s largest dairy businesses.

It is Canada’s largest dairy, has extensive holdings in the United States, especially cheese companies, and in Argentina.