Montréal, November 20, 2019 – The sudden labour dispute between the Canadian National Railway (CNR) and its unionized employees, whose first consequence affects propane supply, will have immediate and negative consequences for Quebec farms and farmers.
This call for urgent action is added to that of various players in the agri-food sector and the propane industry that were issued yesterday.
La Coop fédérée and the Union des producteurs agricoles therefore urge the provincial and federal governments to act immediately. Without such action, many farmers in Quebec, who this year are also dealing with difficult weather conditions that are affecting their crops, will end up with major logistical problems that could lead to significant financial losses.
"The propane crisis has arrived in the middle of the grain drying season and cannot be taken lightly. Farmers are already feeling the pinch from particularly difficult weather this year. We cannot tolerate the current situation which is a major threat to production, and which is likely to have irreversible impacts on the entire agricultural sector. Given the current state of inventories and propane reserves, the contingency measures proposed by the industry and the actions undertaken by our cooperatives and Sollio Agriculture to help our members will not be enough to restore the situation which is already causing negative impacts for our farmers, not to mention the consequences for consumers and livestock. Therefore, it is urgent to act now," says the president of La Coop fédérée, Ghislain Gervais.
“This shortage of propane comes at a particularly critical time for grain producers, struggling with one of the wettest crops in decades. It also affects other sectors of production, namely poultry. Extraordinary measures are required and both levels of government must move quickly. At the moment, it is a pressing priority in the agricultural sector because the situation will quickly become dramatic if it is allowed to continue," adds the president of the UPA, Marcel Groleau.
About La Coop fédérée
Founded in 1922, La Coop fédérée is the largest agri-food enterprise in Quebec, the only Canada-wide agricultural cooperative and the 24th largest agri-food cooperative in the world. It represents more than 120,000 members, agricultural producers and consumers in nearly 60 cooperatives in several Canadian provinces. It employs more than 14,000 people and has sales of $6.5 billion. Including its affiliated cooperatives, La Coop fédérée has more than 19,000 employees and combined sales of $9.5 billion. Its activities are divided into three divisions: Olymel SEC (under the Olymel, Flamingo, Lafleur, Aliments Triomphe and Pinty's banners), Sollio Agriculture (under the La Coop, Elite, Agrocentre, Agrico, Agromart and Country Stores banners) and Groupe BMR inc. (under the BMR, Unimat, Agrizone, Potvin & Bouchard, The Shop and Country Stores banners). To find out more visit www.lacoop.coop. Twitter: twitter.com/LaCoop_federee. Facebook: facebook.com/LaCoopfederee
About the Union des producteurs agricoles
L’Union des producteurs agricoles is a professional union organization that is established in every region of Quebec. Its main mission is to promote, defend and develop the interests of 41,000 agricultural producers and 134,000 Quebec forest owners. The Union now has 12 regional federations and 25 specialized groups. www.upa.qc.ca
Source: La Coop fédérée and the Union des producteurs agricoles
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Patrice Juneau, Senior Advisor, strategic content and media relations
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