Canada's Food Supply Chain Working

WINNIPEG - Apr 16/20 - SNS -- Canada's grain supply chain is working as expected during the current COVID-19 or coronavirus pandemic, assures Cam Dahl, President of Cereals Canada.

"It is important to underscore that there are strong supplies available of Canadian grain, including wheat, durum, barley and oats," Dahl wrote in an editorial for the association's website.

"Canada farmers and grain handlers continue to be in a strong position to keep meeting demand both in Canada as well as abroad. Shipments of Canadian grain are currently moving at a rapid pace with no interruptions at inland elevators where farmers deliver their grain or at port terminals where vessels are loaded. No delays are anticipated."

With seeding getting started, Dahl said there is no reason to be concerned about the ability of farmers in Canada to access seed, fertilizer and other crop inputs.

He emphasized that "shippers and exporters, along with the businesses that support them (e.g., railways and port operations) have established protocols to minimize the risk of infection to their employees. The health and safety of all workers of paramount concern.

"Farmers delivering grain recently will have seen some of these measures in action, such as restricted access to elevator offices. This is a departure from normal business practice, but the proactive steps taken today will help ensure that these facilities remain open tomorrow. The protocols put in place by links along the supply chain will also help ensure ongoing operations and minimize disruptions should infections occur."

He added, "The Canadian grain industry is well-positioned to help to meet the world?s demand for a secure food supply. Our supply chain is highly efficient and resilient, which is especially important and valuable during this time of crisis.

"Significant infrastructure investments by all parts of the value chain in recent years have added to the strength of our system. Delivering food and agricultural products a priority for the industry, the Government of Canada and provincial governments. This priority and our commitment to meeting our customers' needs are not going to change."