FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA, ON, October 23, 2023 – Fertilizer Canada is calling on the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) and Unifor to promptly come to an agreement to end the strike that has shut down the St. Lawrence Seaway. Fall is a crucial time in Eastern Canada for the import of fertilizer shipments in preparation for spring. Ensuring fertilizer is available to farmers for spring application is essential to protect crop yields and food security.
“The fertilizer industry depends on reliable supply chains to get our products to farmers,” says Karen Proud, President and CEO Fertilizer Canada. “Any disruption to the supply chain, even for a day or two, impedes our industry’s ability to deliver products in a timely manner.”
While we respect the collective bargaining process, shutting down the St. Lawrence Seaway will have damaging impacts on Canada’s economy. This is the second labour dispute in the last four months that has shut down Canadian ports that are crucial to Canada’s supply chains. The federal government must support the expeditious resolution of this strike to protect Canada’s trade. Geopolitical events, like the war in Ukraine, have put pressure on the global fertilizer supply, and dependable supply chains are essential to Canada’s reputation as a reliable and stable trading partner.
“This strike is one of many disruptions we have seen recently and underscores the importance of strengthening Canada’s supply chains,” says Proud. “Once this labour disruption is resolved, the government needs to accelerate the recommendations of the 2022 National Supply Chain Task Force, which includes addressing systemic labour-dispute delays.”
On October 18th, Unifor members working for the SLSMC filed a 72-hour strike notification indicating intention to strike on October 22nd. In anticipation of the strike, impacts began with the notification as the system started to shut down.
The Canadian fertilizer industry relies on the St. Lawrence Seaway for the movement of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash products, three nutrients that play a fundamental role in plant growth. Each year there are over 190,000 Canadian farmers who depend on a secure, reliable, and productive fertilizer supply chain in the St. Lawrence Seaway to sustainably grow their crops and feed the world.
ABOUT FERTILIZER CANADA:
Fertilizer Canada represents producers, manufacturers, wholesale and retail distributors of nitrogen, phosphate, potash and sulphur fertilizers. The fertilizer industry plays an essential role in Canada’s economy and is committed to supporting the industry through innovation, sustainability, stewardship, safety and security. As the foundation of Canada’s agri-food sector, we apply innovative solutions that positively impact the environment, the economy, and the social fabrics of Canadian life.
Director of Communications, Fertilizer Canada