COVID-19 resources

Veal Farmers of Ontario is closely monitoring global developments related to the pandemic, and will post updates here as they are made available. In addition, any significant developments related to the veal sector will be shared via e-mail and social media.

Statements

March 17, 2020 – VFO Statement: Update on COVID-19

Industry resources 

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has launched a new page to share information related to the COVID-19 situation; it contains a specific link for industry with Questions and Answers to particular issues, as well as a series of related links at the bottom of the page.

Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council

For more information about managing COVID-19 in the agriculture industry, the risk to the work environment and employee health and safety, read the special briefing provided by the Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council (CAHRC) and find more CAHRC COVID-19 resources here.

Financial assistance measures 

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) has developed a summary of financial assistance measures relevant to Ontario farm businesses that have been announced by the federal and provincial governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Find the summary here.

Guide for direct sales to consumers during COVID-19 and beyond

During these unprecedented times, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) recognizes that it is not ‘business as usual’, and hopes to provide some support and guidance to help you continue to sell and market your agricultural products.

The Guide provides ideas for alternative market channels available to you, general health and safety protocols when selling direct, how to set up your operation, keep your workforce safe, and market your operation using social media and other online tools. They have also provided a number of resources from other organizations supporting farmers selling direct.

Find the new resource here.

Identification of Essential Workers 

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture has created a template that will ensure you can identify yourself as an essential worker. Template letters are available for both seasonal and domestic workers, and available in English and French.

Find the letters here.

Find the list of essential workplaces here.

Mental health resources 

If your farm business and employees are feeling anxious or concerned about the COVID-19 situation, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) developed a resource specifically for Canadian employers recommending six tips for responding to employee anxiety here.

If you or anyone close to you requires support at this time, please find mental health resources available on these websites:

Temporary Foreign Worker program

The Government announced that the travel ban exemption for Temporary Foreign Workers is now in effect, and employers using all streams of the program are able to make arrangements for workers to enter Canada. Temporary foreign workers, like all travelers arriving in Canada, are subject to a 14-day mandatory quarantine period before they are able to begin work on farms. More information can be found here.

We are waiting for final approval on specific measures that employers will need to put in place to respect the 14-day mandatory quarantine period and will share them as soon as available.

Working with livestock

According to the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) there have not been any reports of livestock being infected by COVID-19 anywhere to date. However, livestock producers should follow normal biosecurity measures as always. This includes limiting visitors or workers who may have travelled to, or been in contact with, someone from an affected area. More information, including updates and prevention tips, can be found on the CVMA website.

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the Canadian Beef Breeds Council have provided Recommendations for Canadian Cattle Sales during COVID-19.

General resources 

Public Health Canada

Public Health Ontario

Find your local Public Health Unit

World Health Organization