March 18, 2020 –
As Canada’s response to COVID-19 continues to ramp up, the Dairy Processors Association of Canada (DPAC) asks that the Government of Canada provide clarification on the measures it is taking to support critical infrastructure, notably in the context of the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday, March 16th, 2020 that exemptions to self-isolation would apply to ‘critical infrastructure workers’.
Ensuring an uninterrupted food supply for all Canadians requires dialogue and cooperation between government and industry to proactively identify and mitigate any potential issues. Recognizing that food is identified as critical infrastructure in Canada’s National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure, DPAC welcomes further clarification from the government as to how it will work with industry to minimize the impact of its measures on dairy processing in Canada. To this end, DPAC specifically would like clarification on any measures being taken to support the food industry workforce, continuity of services like energy and waste removal, as well as transportation and shipping.
Food is a basic necessity and, thus, the food supply chain is an essential service. As of today, dairy processors are not reporting any major disruptions to the dairy supply chain. This is due to the proactive measures that dairy industry stakeholders across the country have taken to respond to federal and provincial calls to support social distancing in order to flatten the COVID-19 curve, while also ensuring that operations continue with limited or no disruption to the food supply chain. Dairy plants have business continuity plans in place and are enhancing health measures to protect their employees as well as critical production and warehouse activities, which are essential to serving the needs of Canadians.
DPAC would like to once again express its gratitude to Canada’s health care providers and those who continue to work diligently to provide Canadians with essential goods and services, including those involved in the food supply chain: Canada’s farmers, transporters, and food processing and distribution workers.