American fruit and vegetable growers sent a total of $3.5 billion of produce to Canada in 2019. Canada represents half of the country’s exports.
The American ag secretary Sonny Perdue has announced $2.7 billion to the fruit and vegetable industry to help mitigate losses from the COVID-19 emergency. Of that total, $100 million per month for the next six months are earmarked for a “Buy Fresh” program for food banks and school curbside pickup.
The Produce Marketing Association, based in Newark, Delaware, convened members from 21 countries to discuss the industry’s response to COVID-19. The virtual town hall revealed that bananas, potatoes, carrots and onions are in the highest demand.
The U.S. embassy has suspended processing of new H-2A worker applications in Mexico City and its offices across the country. The U.S. Apple Association, one of the founders of the Agriculture Workforce Coalition, is asking for a reversal of that position.
The Canadian Senate gave Royal Assent to the new United States-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement on March 13, 2020. It was an historic event, overshadowed by the global pandemic of COVID-19.
The European Food Safety Authority is closely monitoring the global outbreak of coronavirus disease. Ironically, its headquarters are based in Parma, in the north of Italy, part of the lockdown by the Italian government.