In this file:
 

·         Highly contagious variant could stress Canadian food production, farm groups say

... Quebec-based Olymel L.P., which operates approximately 40 hog and chicken processing plants in Canada, is seeing an increase in COVID cases among its employees, said spokesman Richard Vigneault...

 

·         Potentially growing COVID-19 outbreak at High River Cargill meatpacking plant

… UFCW Local 401 confirms to Global News the High River, Alta., Cargill meatpacking plant has at least 44 COVID-19 cases as of Sunday — though that number is likely to be higher, according to union president Tom Hesse… 

 

 

Highly contagious variant could stress Canadian food production, farm groups say

Outbreaks at Alberta meat-packing plants in 2020 sickened hundreds and killed 4

 

Amanda Stephenson, The Canadian Press

via Peace Arch News (BC, Canada) - Jan. 9, 2022

 

Canada’s chronically understaffed agriculture industry is warning that increased absenteeism related to the highly contagious Omicron variant could severely stress this country’s food production systems.

 

Already, there are signs of strain. A slaughterhouse in Quebec opted to euthanize thousands of chickens that couldn’t be processed this week, blaming rising COVID-19 infections among employees as well as federal delays processing temporary foreign worker applications for its protracted staff shortage.

 

Mushroom farms across the country are dealing with “unprecedented” levels of absenteeism that threaten some operators’ very survival, according to Janet Krayden, workforce specialist with The Canadian Mushroom Growers’ Association.

 

And Western Canada’s beef industry is closely monitoring the status of Alberta’s large meat processing plants, which so far remain operational in this latest wave of the virus, but which were the site of some of the country’s largest outbreaks of illness in 2020.

 

Mary Robinson, president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, said there are very few aspects of food production that aren’t vulnerable to COVID-related labour shortages and interruptions...

 

... Quebec-based Olymel L.P., which operates approximately 40 hog and chicken processing plants in Canada, is seeing an increase in COVID cases among its employees, said spokesman Richard Vigneault...

 

more

https://www.peacearchnews.com/news/highly-contagious-variant-could-stress-canadian-food-production-farm-groups-say/

 

 

Potentially growing COVID-19 outbreak at High River Cargill meatpacking plant

 

By Jessika Guse, Global News (Canada)

January 10, 2022

 

The home to one of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks in Canada in 2020 has been hit yet again with the virus.

 

UFCW Local 401 confirms to Global News the High River, Alta., Cargill meatpacking plant has at least 44 COVID-19 cases as of Sunday — though that number is likely to be higher, according to union president Tom Hesse.

 

Back in May 2020, the High River plant had more than 900 workers test positive for the disease, and three deaths were linked to the outbreak.

 

On Thursday, the union that represents roughly 2,000 workers sent a letter to Cargill outlining demands for changes to the work environment amid the Omicron variant spreading rapidly in the province.

 

Hesse asks the company how it plans to provide employees with proper PPE and rapid tests, if it has conducted an independent ventilation and air quality assessment and if Cargill plans to adjust its approach to sick pay and absences.

 

As of Monday morning, the union said it’s still awaiting a response.

 

Meantime, Cargill responded to an inquiry sent by Global News. The company states:

 

more

https://globalnews.ca/news/8499422/covid-19-outbreak-high-river-cargill-meat-packing-plant/