March 24, 2020 To: Our Valued Customers, Re: We are all essential to our nation Good day everyone, Yesterday, the people of Ontario and Quebec learned that their respective provincial governments had made the difficult decision to require the shut down of all non-essential workplaces for the next two weeks in an effort to mitigate and slow the spread of COVID-19. We fully expect that additional provinces across this country will communicate the same decision in the days ahead. Last night at 8 pm, the Ontario government posted online, a list of Essential Workplaces. This lengthy list can be found at https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/03/list-of-essential-workplaces.html.
Included in the Ontario Essential Workplaces list are: Retail and Wholesaling 3. Businesses that provide essential items for the health and welfare of animals, including feed, animal food, pet food and animal supplies including bedding; Agriculture and food production 21. Businesses that farm, harvest, process, manufacture, produce or distribute food, including beverages, crops, animal products and by-products, aquaculture, hunting and fishing; 22. Businesses that support the food supply chain including assembly yards, livestock auctions, food distribution hubs, feed mills, farm equipment suppliers, feed suppliers, food terminals and warehouses, animal slaughter plants and grain elevators; 23. Business that support the safety of food including animal and plant health and animal welfare; 24. Businesses that provide veterinary services, and that supply veterinary and animal control medications and related supplies and testing kits; 25. Businesses that help to ensure safe and effective waste management including deadstock, rendering, nutrient management, bio hazardous materials, green waste, packaging recycling;
Clearly, the government of Ontario recognizes the critical nature of what all of us do each and every day to feed the people of Canada as well as our global neighbours. On the federal stage yesterday, Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau “presented new measures to support farmers and agri-food businesses that are facing financial impacts of the pandemic. This includes $5 billion in lending capacity for producers, agribusinesses and food processors and a six month extension on loan repayments to keep the money in farmers pockets.” “I know that these are hard times”, Trudeau said to the farming community, offering a thank you to those in the food sector who are keeping Canadians fed at this time of crisis”. Through this time of crisis all of us in the farming, agribusiness and agri-food industry are working very hard to keep doing what we do – producing safe, healthy and wholesome food for Canadians. At the GVF group of companies, we are committed to serving our customers, the farmers, to the very best of our ability even under difficult circumstances. Yesterday, we made changes to the accessibility of our customers to our customer service/retail facilities at Farmers Farmacy and Valley Feeds in Cambridge, Ontario as well as our Fortified Nutrition Limited facilities in Winnipeg, Brandon, Morden Manitoba, Lethbridge and Red Deer Alberta. All of our new policies, procedures and protocols enacted this past week, have been to help protect our team members and our customers, with the goal of continuing to serve each other well into the weeks and months ahead. We humbly ask that you work with us, even when at times, the new procedures seem inconvenient or awkward. We are all learning new ways of doing business, communicating and serving one another. Thank you for being accommodating and understanding and thank you to our team members for their flexibility and their commitment to serving our customers well. We wish to reassure you that we will remain open and functional. Blessings on each one,
Ian Ross President & CEO GVF group of companies
Bible verse of the week
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9