New government legislation a potential for sweeping change in the supply chain - Elite Agri Solutions

New government legislation a potential for sweeping change in the supply chain

Jon Jon|May 13, 2024

In an effort to end forced labour and child labour in Canada, the federal government has proposed new legislation aimed at all levels of production, purchasing and distribution across the country. Designated Bill S-211, it is the “Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act” and has the potential to affect production of agri-food products, the importation of goods and their distribution.  Producers and farm businesses involved in all aspects of agriculture’s supply chain need to know how and where this proposed law might affect their operation. The trusted advisors at Elite Agri Solutions are ready to help as that information resource.

Although the legislation is at Third Reading, learn more about how this may affect your operation.

The agri-food community is best served in supporting an end to forced and child labour. However, the effects Bill S-211 could have on the Canadian food supply chain are unknown. Its intent may be to govern production and distribution of food and products, but its full reach could have a negative impact. 

Why this is important for producers and farm businesses:

The proposed legislation contains an extensive list of terms and conditions, including:

  •  differentiating between government agencies and business “entities”
  •  annual reports stating measures to reduce the risk of forced labour or child labour used in the
  •  production of goods in Canada, or elsewhere by a business entity, or with imported goods
  • granting sweeping powers to inspect operations under a “reasonable grounds” provision
  • requiring a business entity to assist a designated person, whether under warrant or under reasonable  grounds
  • fines of up to $250,00 for failing to comply

The team at Elite Agri Solutions can help guide a farm business through the intricacies of Bill S-211, including specifics like:

  •  new employee hiring process (e.g. requests for an individual’s identification and verification of age)
  •  an employee handbook/code of conduct
  •  a new employee onboarding process (e.g. is there a review of the employee handbook, with sign-off?)
  •  a whistle-blower’s policy (if applicable)
  •  an example of an employee contract
  •  an overview of training provided to employees pertaining to workplace safety, code of conduct,  violence and harassment (where and if applicable)

Although this legislation has yet to be passed into law, its wording, scope and intent have the potential to affect the agri-food industry. To help navigate its potential impacts or for more information, contact the professionals at Elite Agri Solutions, at 519 – 953 – 4479 or respond to this email.

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