Overview

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has developed a voluntary registry of employers under the agricultural streams of the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to enhance its support of the agri-food sector.

International agri-food workers (IAWs) under the TFWP are a vital part of Ontario’s agricultural workforce. Ontario works closely with municipal, provincial, federal and health partners and the farming community to help farmers protect workers and support a strong food supply chain.

Employers who hire and provide housing for IAWs under the TFWP are encouraged to register. While participation is voluntary, the registry aims to help employers keep workers safe and to ensure a healthy and successful growing season.

Benefits

Employers who use the registry will receive targeted information about:

  • resources to support their employees’ wellness, health and safety
  • their responsibilities as employers
  • new programs and services
  • reminders of upcoming events or deadlines
  • changes to legislation or housing standards

The registry will help the ministry:

  • address emergency situations more effectively (for example, COVID-19 pandemic)
  • identify welfare, health and safety resources that workers need
  • improve communication with employers and IAWs about their rights and responsibilities
  • allow targeted communication regarding relevant information and programming
  • expand provincial ministry coordination by sharing information to streamline interactions with employers and reduce duplication
  • track changes in the labour profile of workers and in the labour needs of the sector
  • support analysis, policy and program development related to the TFWP and IAWs

The registry will support improved coordination between all partners involved with IAWs, which will result in reduced burden for employers. It will also help coordinate planning and response efforts with other ministries and better support IAWs’ health and safety as part of our efforts to protect this vulnerable group.

Employers play a key role in preparing for a healthy growing season. Participating in the registry can help prepare for the arrival of IAWs.

What information is collected

The information collected for the registry includes:

  • employer business identification and contact information
  • Temporary Foreign Worker Program stream
  • anticipated and/or actual number of workers hired
  • estimated and/or actual worker arrival and departure dates
  • country of origin of workers
  • work locations
  • on and off-farm housing locations

Access of information

Employers who hire and house international agri-food workers will have access to their own information in the registry.

Only select OMAFRA staff will have access to the registry database. In the future, staff from other provincial ministries that work directly with international agri-food workers (for example, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development) may be given access to relevant data to help streamline interactions with employers.

The ministry will explore opportunities for data sharing with the federal government and other organizations such as Foreign Agriculture Resource Management Services (F.A.R.M.S). This will be dependent on the ability of other organizations to share data and there may be limitations to the data shared.

Notice of collection of personal information

The country of origin of International agri-food workers (IAWs) which is personal information may be collected in this registry. The personal information is being collected indirectly under the authority of section 4.1(2)1., 2., and 3., of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M.16. The information will be used to improve the Ontario government’s ability to take actions intended to protect IAWs’ health and safety while in Ontario, specifically to coordinate or address issues and emergency situations impacting the health and safety of IAWs based on their country of origin. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, knowing the country of origin allows for coordination of testing, services and supports for workers based on different requirements of home countries.

Questions about the collection can be directed to the Agriculture Information Contact Centre by phone at 1-877-424-1300, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or by email at ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca.

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31 (FIPPA) applies to the information contained in this registry. Thus, information may be disclosed under FIPPA. Information may also be disclosed by order of a court or tribunal, pursuant to a legal proceeding or as otherwise authorized or required by law.

Registry login

Start your registration process or update your information. 

When to update the registry

Employers are encouraged to update the Registry:

  • at least annually when planning worker needs for the growing season
  • ideally, also after workers arrive

Contact us

For more information about the Registry of Employers of International Agri-Food Workers, contact the Agriculture Information Contact Centre by: