'This is an exciting step toward welcoming more skilled farm and food workers to our country'
The first round of invitations for agriculture and agri-food occupations through category-based selection in Express Entry will occur this week.
This round’s focus will be on candidates with experience in the agriculture and agri-food sector, including agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and retail and wholesale butchers.
“Food security is top of mind for all Canadians, and our country is the fifth-largest exporter of agri-food and seafood on the planet. That is why addressing labour shortages is crucial to maintain the sector’s ability to produce and process food at this scale for Canadians and export markets around the world,” said Marc Miller, minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship. “This is an exciting step toward welcoming more skilled farm and food workers to our country.”
Ottawa announced late in May the category-based selection under Express Entry. The first trades round for category-based selection – launched last month – focused on construction. Earlier this month, the federal government opened the first round of invitations for transport occupations.
Focus on agriculture
“Our agriculture and agri-food sector is an important engine of economic growth and requires a skilled and reliable workforce to continue to feed our growing population,” said Marc Miller, minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship. “Canada’s Express Entry system is an important tool that attracts workers with the skills our world-class agricultural sector needs.”
Through category-based selection and the Agri-Food Pilot, Canada reaffirms its commitment to attract top global talent and help meet the need for agriculture and agri-food workers to support the economy, according to the federal government.
The Agri-Food Pilot, launched in 2020, provides a pathway to permanent residence for experienced, non-seasonal workers in specific industries and occupations. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently announced several changes to the Agri-Food Pilot, including an extension by two years until May 2025.
In 2022, Canada exported nearly $92.8 billion in agriculture and food products, including raw agricultural materials, fish and seafood, and processed foods.