Annual General Meeting of the Association of Quebec' Strawberries and Raspberries Growers (APFFQ): the workforce challenge

Sophie Perreault participated in the Annual General Meeting of the Association of Quebec' Strawberries and Raspberries Growers which was held on Wednesday, February 12 in Victoriaville. A day rich in content, including very relevant conferences on the stressfull management and the social responsibility in agriculture.

The day began with a speechof the chairman of the board of directors, David Lemire of the Gagnon farm ;  he was bitter about the spotlight on pesticides uses in Quebec impacting really the sales, in a context where the consumers are concerned about the environment and are over exposed to information. It is necessary to regain the confidence of consumers and the media must imperatively listen and consult the industry before releasing information which will affect local purchasing.

The other major challenge that has been addressed concerns the workforce, and notably the rise in the minimum wage above inflation, completely beyond the control of the industry and incompatible with a free market according to him. This is starting to harm Quebec's growers who cannot compete with imports (mainly from California).

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, André Lamontagne, was present and held a speech in which he was able to express his sympathy for the cause while indicating that he had not found a solution to compensate for this increase in minimum wage. He express also his regard to a fair treatment for foreign workers, socially accepted in Quebec.

The 2019 season was beautiful and this of 2020, which should start in early June due to a winter with little snow, promises to be just as productive and delicious!

Listen to Michel Levac's interview to find out more (FR) : click here

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