June 21, 2020 / 9:59 PM / 13 days ago

Mexico to resume sending farmworkers to Canada after safety agreement

FILE PHOTO: Temporary foreign workers harvest mushrooms at the Highline Mushrooms farm, Canada's largest mushroom grower, in Leamington, Ontario, Canada, April 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico will resume sending temporary farmworkers to Canada after the two countries reached an agreement on improved safety protections for laborers on Canadian farms during the coronavirus pandemic, the Mexican government said on Sunday.

Mexico said last Tuesday it would pause sending workers to farms with coronavirus infections after at least two of its nationals died from COVID-19 after outbreaks on 17 Canadian farms.

Canadian farmers rely on 60,000 short-term foreign workers, predominantly from Latin America and the Caribbean, to plant and harvest crops.

Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the Temporary Agricultural Workers Program (PTAT) had “entered into operation once again after a temporary pause.”

The two nations “reached an agreement to improve the sanitary conditions of the nationals who work on farms,” the statement added.

Reporting by Diego Ore; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Peter Cooney

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