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Fruit and Veggie Outages in Canada Get Worse With Trucker Shortages

Canada’s turning away unvaccinated U.S. truckers at the border, and it’s causing chaos in fresh produce markets

A driver heads back to their truck after stopping at Canadian Customs heading towards the U.S. at the border in St-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec, Canada, on Jan. 14.

A driver heads back to their truck after stopping at Canadian Customs heading towards the U.S. at the border in St-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec, Canada, on Jan. 14.

Photographer: Christinne Muschi/Bloomberg

Canadian border agents began refusing entry to unvaccinated American truckers just days ago, and it’s already causing chaos -- particularly in fruit and vegetable markets.

A mandate starting Jan. 15 requires truck drivers crossing into Canada to be vaccinated. However, only about half of American truck drivers have gotten their shots. Meanwhile, as much as 90% of Canada’s fruits and vegetables comes from the U.S. during winter, and grocery stores are already having trouble getting some shipments, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers.

“We’re seeing shortages,” said Gary Sands, senior vice president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers. “We’re hearing from members they’re going into some stores where there’s no oranges or bananas.'”