It has been a very difficult two months for beef producers in Canada due to the COVID-19 market disruption, but they are not alone. At the centre of the plant shutdowns has been the packing plant workers, hundreds of whom have fallen ill or not known if it was really safe to go to work.
While truck drivers, grocery store workers, and nurses have been celebrated for their critical front line work, packing plant workers are somewhat forgotten in the mainstream narrative. The beef industry has been making a significant effort to make sure this group of essential workers is recognized for its contribution to ensuring Canadian consumers have food on the grocery store shelf.
Bob Lowe, president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association addressed the importance of plant workers while speaking to the house agricultural committee:
“I would like to express our deep gratitude to the workers within these plants who are integral members of our community and critical to the foundation of Canada’s food system. Your work is essential, and it does not go unnoticed, you are certainly our food heroes.” –@burntlake58 pic.twitter.com/KjyYFAu8OJ
— Cdn Cattlemen’s Assn (@CdnCattlemen) May 12, 2020
Alberta Beef Producers released a very simple effective video showcasing its members appreciation for the plant workers.
— Alberta Beef (@albertabeef) May 12, 2020