Hello and welcome to the Sprout. Today is national hazelnut cake day, so indulge in this New York Times recipe for the classic dessert.
Here is Monday’s agriculture news.
Migrant workers’ advocates are pushing for better conditions for foreign labourers after a video posted on Facebook shows several mattresses lying on pallets on a floor in what appears to be a warehouse. The mattresses are spaced apart to comply with physical distancing, but a group that represents migrant workers points to it as one example of serious health and safety concerns at farm operations in Essex County.
“It’s horrifying, cold conditions. No one deserves this,” said Chris Ramsaroop, Organizer for Justice for Migrant Farm Workers.
The farm’s lawyer said it was inspected and approved by Leamington Fire and Rescue and the region’s health unit, adding that workers sleeping in the conditions have not complained.
“Furthermore the accommodations have been seen and approved by the Eastern Caribbean Liaison Service for foreign workers in Canada,” writes James Cooke, lawyer for Cervini Farms in Leamington.
Five House committees are meeting today to discuss the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As well, the Special Committee on the COVID-19 pandemic has moved to an expanded schedule and is set to meet four days out of five this week. Kady O’Malley has more on that in this week’s What We’re Watching and in today’s iPolitics AM.
The new agri-food pilot that aims to assist seasonal workers with one year’s experience working in Canada gain permanent residence began accepting applications on May 15, and is now facing criticism from industry stakeholders, Farmtario reports. Critics say requirements such as proof of level of education are costly to foreign workers and difficult to obtain, slowing down the application process. They added that more financial support is needed from the government.
CN rail is due to contact farmers with private rail crossings soon in regards to making safety upgrades by November 27, 2021. The cost of safety upgrades would likely fall to farmers, with one estimate being up to $34,000, reports the Manitoba Co-Operator. Read the full story here.
China has instructed two state-owned firms to suspend all purchases of soybeans and pork from the United States following U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement last week that he would begin the process of eliminating special treatment for Hong Kong, according to Reuters. Corn and cotton shipments have also been halted and sources say China may halt additional U.S. farm goods if they take further action.
Thailand banned two chemicals used widely by farmers after deeming them toxic to humans. In addition to hefty fines and penalties for the domestic use of the chemicals, paraquat and chlorpyrifos, Thailand is also looking to impose a zero-tolerance policy on imported crops using the chemicals. Local industry groups are concerned this will impact food and livestock sectors that rely on wheat and soybean imports from Brazil and the United States. Thailand has previously reversed a ban on the herbicide glyphosate, allowing it to be used within maximum residue limits at the request of the United States, the National Post reports.
“Nature is healing.”
A humpback whale is currently hanging out directly under the Jacques-Cartier bridge.
A sight I never expected to see here in Montreal. pic.twitter.com/6CXGFWfjHm
— Sarah Leavitt (@sarahleavittcbc) May 30, 2020
Have a great day!