Pfenning’s Organic Farm in New Hamburg is getting ready to welcome 47 Jamaican workers this spring.
Jennifer Pfenning is the owner of the farm, and she said while she is very excited to welcome workers back, she understands the sadness involved in moving away from their families.
She said a total of 47 Jamaican migrant workers, including 12 women, will be coming to the farm.
She adds the COVID protocols are not much different than last year, but the farm will still be diligent.
“We have a masking protocol, carpooling protocol; we have cleaning in the facility as well as the bunkhouses. We even took an extra step in ensuring they had cleaning products for the entire season, and that is something we are going to continue," said Pfenning.
Additionally, the Canadian government has added new protocols for those who are entering Canada from abroad. That includes proof of a negative COVID-19 test within three days of boarding a flight to the country.
Pfenning says the migrant workers coming to her farm don’t need to quarantine in a hotel.
“It's because they are coming to a supervised quarantine, the employers are responsible for getting everything they need. The government said they could come to the farm and quarantine."
The farm owner says while she’s hopeful this year won’t be as chaotic as last year, she’s aware there will be challenges. She adds she is working with the region to arrange a mobile vaccination clinic on the farm.
“With this many people who are interested in having the vaccine and who certainly need it. Those who are eligible in the phase 2 rollout of the vaccination program, we want to make sure we can offer them the best chance without exposing themselves.”
She adds she’s glad that conversations are happening amongst people about migrant workers. “Migrant workers have played an integral part to the country in providing food for OVER 50 years, and it’s essential to recognize the place they hold.