Last week the United States Department of Homeland Security, along with Secretary Sonny Perdue, designated significant portions of U.S. fertilizer supply chain as “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.”
Fertilizer Canada is urging the Canadian federal government to do the same, as it is necessary for the agricultural industry to have access to fertilizer headed into spring seeding, and would provide relief to workers who face expiring training certificates — with an ask for an extension on expiry dates where it is safe to do so.
The organization is recommending the list of essential services to include the entire Canadian fertilizer supply chain, from manufacturing in plants, to transportation, to ag retail locations that allow farmers to receive their products.
Protection from any sort of supply chain disruption is critical as the country and the world continue to recover from COVID-19, says Fertilizer Canada.
“The next two months are critical, both for the Canadian response to the COVID-19 pandemic but also to our farmer customers who are already beginning preparations for the spring planting season,” says Garth Whyte, president and CEO of Fertilizer Canada. “The federal government must maintain our national food supply chains and, mirror the actions in the United States of America, draft a list of essential critical infrastructure workers that could be used by federal departments and provincial and territorial governments to make decisions.”
At a time when the situation is rapidly changing, and new policies are being brought in on a continual basis, it is important that governments do not create unintended consequences for the agriculture industry, the organization says.