Labour has a major impact on Canadian fruit and vegetable production.

Without an adequate workforce to grow and harvest it, produce rots in the field, on the tree, or on the vine, resulting in waste and financial loss.

Canadian producers hire Canadians first and conduct ongoing and vigorous recruitment. However, because agricultural jobs are generally located in rural communities and are seasonal in nature, it is impossible to hire Canadians who generally prefer year-round work and who are concentrated in urban centres. When producers are unable to find enough Canadian workers, they access the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP), or the Agricultural Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to satisfy their labour needs.

For more information on industry efforts relating to labour, please read the labour policy statement here.


On March 20, 2019, the Canadian Horticultural Council showcased a new documentary to honour international farm workers at a premier held in Ottawa. The screening of ‘Heartbeat – A Celebration of International Farm Workers’ was attended by foreign dignitaries, government officials and leaders, farmers and workers in Canada’s agriculture industry.

CPMA is a proud sponsor of this documentary and encourages all Canadians to watch this video in order to better understand where their food comes from and the important role of international farm workers in Canadian agriculture.