Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) calls upon the federal government to introduce back-to-work legislation so that the current CP rail work stoppage ends immediately. Additionally, immediate and cooperative action by all parties needs to be taken.
“The work stoppage will exacerbate an already difficult situation. A work stoppage for any length of time means lost shipping opportunities that will never be recovered. The current global supply chain crisis has people around the world very concerned about their food and energy supply,” said Bill Campbell, president, Keystone Agricultural Producers.
Rail service for the agricultural value chain is critical to meeting demand for our domestic and export customers. The livelihoods of Canadian farmers, and the entire value chain, depend on Canada’s ability to deliver agricultural product efficiently and on time. Past service disruptions have caused significant damage to Canada’s reputation as a reliable supplier.
“Delays in fulfilling contracts have also impacted the reputation of the Canadian brand with our customers,” added Campbell. “Reliability is a key component of the Canadian brand. Shortfalls this year, and in the past such as 2013/14, will resonate with customers for years to come.”
There is currently a backlog of grain on farm that was expected to have been delivered to export customers. Additionally, there are shortages of dried distillers’ grain, soybean meal, fertilizer and feed that are needed urgently and require rail transport.
Additionally, fertilizer, which is desperately required by producers in the spring, must be brought up from the United States into Canada and needs to be distributed throughout supply networks over the next month. Canadian Pacific Railway plays a major part of this operation.
“The agricultural value chain has been advocating for some time that rail service be deemed an essential service that would prevent future work stoppages and secure Canada’s supply chain.” concluded Campbell.
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