As disruptions at the Canada-U.S. border crossing stretch into nearly a week, Canada’s beef industry has serious concerns with supply chain challenges, including the lack of access to feed coming from the U.S. and impacts on cross-border movement of cattle and meat products.
Alberta Beef Producers (ABP), Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association (ACFA), and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) are calling for a timely resolution of the issue and the restoration of the essential supply chain. The three groups want to see the blockade resolved safely and effectively for truckers, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, producers, and all involved.
In 2020, food and agriculture were deemed an essential service to continue moving supply chains during the pandemic, and the groups are saying it is critical agriculture continues to be able to operate without disruption.
Bob Lowe, president of the CCA, says the unintended consequences of these closures is heavier on our supply chain than some may think.
“Maintaining a stable supply chain is critical to Canadian beef production,” says Lowe. “The evolving situation at the U.S.-Canada border and the transportation delays are resulting in major impacts for the entire beef supply chain.”
The Canadian and American beef industries are highly integrated. Every day the industry is unable to move cattle, beef, or access feed puts the entire supply chain at risk. Canadian beef producers are already facing challenging supply issues regarding access to feed, following the devastating drought conditions in 2021, limited rail access, and trucking shortages.
Blocking the transport of beef to cross border consumers is slowing down processing in Canada and creating a backlog at processing facilities, feedlots and farms and ranches. The obstruction is also blocking the growing critical supplies of feed that are needed across western Canada.
ABP, ACFA, and CCA will continue to monitor developments and work with the federal and provincial governments, and other stakeholders to keep all components of the beef supply chain functioning.