Fertilizer Canada urges essential industry designation

  • : Fertilizers
  • 20/03/24

Industry advocacy group Fertilizer Canada yesterday urged the Canadian government to deem the fertilizer industry an essential service as efforts to contain the coronavirus bring further restrictions.

The organization argued a formal federal exemption is needed to ensure retail and manufacturing activity remains unimpeded during the spread of the coronavirus, referred to as Covid-19, despite local and federal officials recognizing the importance of the fertilizer and agriculture industries.

"The next two months are critical, both for the Canadian response to the Covid-19 pandemic but also to our farmer customers who are already beginning preparations for the spring planting season," Fertilizer Canada chief executive Garth Whyte said in the release.

Ontario and Quebec exempted large portions of the fertilizer supply chain from the provinces' increased restrictions, which will halt non-essential business operations beginning today.

Pressure on federal action from Fertilizer Canada comes a week after its US counterpart, The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), lobbied for exemptions for the domestic industry.

The US Department of Homeland Security last week designated parts of the fertilizer industry as "essential critical infrastructure workers", allowing certain classes of workers to be excluded from movement restrictions intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Whyte said a similar classification in Canada is paramount to maintain shipments across the northern border. No significant impacts to the Canadian fertilizer industry have been reported so far.

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