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Canada to Unveil Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Program
USAgNet - 07/15/2019

Canada announced details for the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot that was included in Budget 2019. The program will provide agriculture and agri-food 2,750 federal immigration spots so farm workers and butchers of all skill levels, employed in year-round occupations, will now have a chance to immigrate in all provinces of Canada.

The Canadian Agri-Food system contributes $111 billion per year to our economy. That's $304 million per day, creating 2.3 million jobs.

Food safety standards in Canada are well known, making Canadian agriculture and agri-food highly sought after by countries that actively seeking the Canada brand. Mushroom farms contribute over $900 million to the Canadian economy annually and create 4,000 jobs with competitive wages and benefits. Growth and export potential for mushrooms is phenomenal increasing by $50 million last year alone.

In spite of these economic contributions, the agriculture sector is encountering massive labour shortages. Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) research shows agriculture having 16,500 vacancies; this is larger than any Canadian sector with $2.9 billion in lost sales to the Canadian economy.

Double what it was in 2014. In 2017, a Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) survey found Canadian mushroom farms to have 9.7% job vacancy rate with vacancies now climbing to 19.3%. Mushroom farms encountering vacancies reported throwing out 23% of their crops and $43 million loss in 2018. (See Mushroom 2019 Infographic on Vacancies and Wages)

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