CALGARY, ALBERTA – As the protest of the Canadian government’s vaccine mandate continued in the first week of February, various Canadian meat organizations want a solution to the blockade at the US-Canada border.
Alberta Beef Producers (ABP), Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association (ACFA), and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) called for a timely resolution and restorations of the supply chain on Feb. 3.
“The beef industry is aware of the situation evolving at the Canada-US border crossing,” said Melanie Wowk, chair of the ABP. “Our focus remains on the people who are affected by immediate delays to the beef supply chain and ensuring the welfare of animals. Further impacts to cattle prices must be avoided.”
The trade organizations explained that the blocking of transport of beef is slowing down processing in Canada and creating a backlog at processing facilities, feedlots, farms and ranches.
“Maintaining a stable supply chain is critical to Canadian beef production,” said Bob Lowe, president of the CCA. “The evolving situation at the US-Canada border and the transportation delays are resulting in major impacts for the entire beef supply chain.”
The blockage near Coutts, Alberta, started after the Canadian government said it would require any unvaccinated Canadian trucker who returns from the US to quarantine once they are back in Canada.
The Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) also called on the government to help end the trucker blockade. The group said that the Coutts crossing sees about $44 million in trade between Canada and the US every day and between 800 and 1,200 trucks go through the border.
"We were already in a supply chain crisis brought on by floods and pandemic related shortages, but this blockade is making a bad situation worse," said David MacLean, vice president of CME's Alberta and Saskatchewan division. "We need this situation to end so we can keep manufacturers working."