Temporary Foreign Workers & Food Processing in Canada

Temporary foreign workers have been an integral part of the Canadian workforce for decades and have played an increasingly important role in the Canadian labour market in recent years. In 2019, close to 65,000 foreign nationals received a work permit for employment in Canada.

The food manufacturing sector accounts for only 3.4% of the total temporary foreign worker population of all the various industries that employ foreign nationals such as agriculture, private households, warehouse, and storage.

The individuals who enter Canada via the Temporary Foreign Worker Program play an integral part of making sure Canadians are well fed, now more than ever. In particular, the meat, and fish and seafood processing sectors hire experienced temporary foreign workers to support operations. Access to these individuals is critical to the continuity of Canada’s food supply chain.

In April, the federal government provided funding to support employers in putting in places measures necessary to follow the 14-day isolation period required of all workers arriving from abroad. Protecting the health and safety of these individuals and that of Canadians is a top priority.

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