Agriculture sector scrambling to offset consequences of COVID-19 crisis

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Canada's agricultural sector is warning of higher prices and potential food shortages if it isn't designated an essential service and allowed to do business as usual during the COVID-19 crisis.

Already people worried about food staples have emptied some grocery store shelves, although governments have all said supplies are secure.

Dennis Laycraft, executive vice-president of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, says everything should be fine as long as borders remain open to beef exports and meat-packing plants remain open.

Bill George of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers' Association says Ottawa must find a workable safety protocol for the 60-thousand seasonal workers that come to Canada every year.

George says he's concerned that if there's much of a delay, consumers could see less produce on store shelves and higher prices for what is available.