GFM Network News


Preserving lemons and what to do with them

First We Eat: Fresh lemon juice will enhance flavours but preserved lemons become a condiment

I’m standing in my auntie’s orchard on a mild afternoon, the temperature about 18 C. In Canada, it’s deep winter, but here in California, the citrus trees have bloomed, and the fruit is ripe. It’s a tough gig, being a grower on the Canadian Prairies. We make jokes about the harsh weather — “But it’s […] Read more

CFIA funded to build up inspection corps against COVID-19

Short spells of disruptions still to be expected at food plants

Ottawa — The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is spending $20 million to hire, train and equip additional staff members to limit disruptions resulting from COVID-19. With meat packers and food processing plants considering extended hours as they adjust to taking extra measures to combat the pandemic, CFIA was in need of a response to […] Read more


U.S. announces coronavirus aid for farmers, food buys for poor

Direct payments, mass purchases planned

Chicago | Reuters — President Donald Trump on Friday announced a $19 billion relief program to help U.S. farmers cope with the impact of the coronavirus, including $16 billion in direct payments to producers and mass purchases of meat, dairy, vegetables and other products (all figures US$). The U.S. Agriculture Department is partnering with regional […] Read more

Farming deemed essential in new federal pandemic guidance

Food production and supporting industries amid 'critical infrastructure'

Workers in agriculture and supporting industries are on a new federal guidance list of employees considered “essential to maintain the health, safety, security and economic well-being of Canadians” amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair on Thursday released a new guidance document, “Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the […] Read more


Ottawa expected to ‘officially’ declare ag an essential service

The Western Grain Elevator Association says that designation will clarify things and help to keep grain moving

Canada’s grain industry expects the federal government will soon officially declare agriculture an essential service. Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA), says that designation will have a practical application. “Hopefully it ends all confusion about grain workers at elevators, railway workers and anybody else required for moving grain, as to […] Read more

Burnett on Markets: Suddenly agriculture is important

COVID-19 is putting food security in the spotlight

MarketsFarm — A trend has developed in the business news channels over the past week that has not been hard to miss. Suddenly the CEOs of big agriculture and food concerns are being featured front and centre during the business segments. Usually these companies are noted only when they release quarterly results and even then […] Read more


Panic buying, lockdowns may drive world food inflation

World has ample grain and oilseed supplies, FAO and analysts say

Singapore | Reuters — Lockdowns and panic food buying due to the coronavirus pandemic could ignite world food inflation even though there are ample supplies of staple grains and oilseeds in key exporting nations, a senior economist at FAO and agricultural analysts said. The world’s richest nations poured unprecedented aid into the global economy as […] Read more

U.S.-Canada border to temporarily close to nonessential travel

Washington/Ottawa | Reuters — The U.S.-Canada border will close to nonessential traffic, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted on Wednesday, saying details on the move would be announced later but that it would not affect trade between the two countries. “We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic. […] Read more


Trying to learn patience? Make marmalade

First We Eat: The entire process will require varying degrees of this attribute but the final product is well worth it

My eldest son and I were out for lunch with my elderly mother yesterday, all of us slurping pho at my son’s favourite noodle joint. Mom is recently widowed. “Your father’s mind was like a laser,” she said, “and mine is set on real-time motion.” I glanced at my son with a sudden flash of […] Read more

Feeding our elders

First We Eat: It’s important that seniors eat well and have supports in place to help with meals and groceries when needed

Last month an elderly friend called me, wondering if I could help him and his wife cope with food for a couple of weeks. They were living in assisted living after he’d had a stint in the hospital, but both were anxious to get back into their own home, a move scheduled for several weeks […] Read more