OPINION: OFA statement on COVID-19 protests

GUELPH –  The tractor rallies that are currently targeting Queen’s Park and local MPP and MP offices are not organized by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.

OFA respects the right to peaceful public protest that all Canadians enjoy, provided there is no risk to the biosecurity and safety practices that ensure the well-being of people, animals and the food supply.

And we understand that the pandemic has been difficult on everybody and is causing rising frustration.

We have felt the pressure that has been put on all parts of the food supply chain — farmers, processors, truckers, restaurants, grocery stores and consumers — by public health measures intended to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

But these pressures also underscore the importance of having and protecting local sources of food.

Throughout this pandemic, we have and will continue to work with all levels of government, supported by science and health-care professionals to find the best way to return to normal once again.

Ontario agriculture is an economic powerhouse that will help to pull this province and country out of this pandemic.

We all need to eat, and the local food supply chain is essential to all Ontarians. It ensures food on our plates and drives economic growth in both urban and rural Ontario.

Farmers will continue to meet the challenges and ensure there are food and drinks on our tables and around the world as we edge closer to the end of this pandemic.

OFA will continue to work towards Farms and Food Forever.