The BC Fruit Growers’ Association said the federal aid package announced on May 5 is ‘underwhelming’. (Black Press file photo)

‘Underwhelming’ support for agriculture industry: BC Fruit Growers’ Association

The association said the federal government doesn’t address the sector’s immediate needs

The BC Fruit Growers’ Association (BCFGA) is disappointed with the lack of support from the federal government.

The association released a statement claiming the financial support package for the Canadian agriculture industry announced on May 5 is underwhelming.

“The announcement today addresses the immediate needs for the beef and livestock producers and processors, but has not addressed the immediate needs of the fruit, vegetable and grain sectors,” BCFGA president Pinder Dhaliwal said.

“We can’t underestimate the urgency of the need for immediate financial assistance to prevent the devastation of our industry sector. Our members are at a point where decisions are being made about whether they can afford to produce their crops this year.”

According to the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, the industry needs $2.6 billion in support, but the federal government announced a $256 million agricultural aid package. The BCFGA explained this is less than 10 per cent of what the sector needs to survive.

While the association appreciates previous actions and financial supports from the federal and provincial governments, there are still challenges in terms of increased costs and securing enough labour.

“The Canadian government needs to recognize that the reliable supply of food from other countries is at risk, and now more than ever there is a need to support a secure, safe food supply produced in Canada,” BCFGA general manager Glen Lucas said.

“We will continue to work with Agriculture Minister Bibeau, but our expectation is that she and her government will take a stronger stand to protect our agriculture production capacity in this country.”

READ MORE : Feds to buy up surplus from Canadian agrifood producers as part of $252M investment

READ MORE: Vancouver biotech company discovering antibodies for COVID-19 treatment


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

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