My name is Fernando. I come from Mexico and I am part of the SAWP program, which is the Agricultural Temporary Workers Program. I have been part of this program since 2015 so this is my sixth year here in Canada and my fourth at this greenhouse.
My role here in this greenhouse is to do plant care work, packaging and everything else that has to do with growing and producing a clean, healthy product for customers. It is part of my day-to-day work to maintain a healthy plant. The owners of the farm depend on this but we as workers also depend on there being a good crop too.
One of the main reasons I am here is because of my family. I have three children and my wife. This job helps me be able to provide them with a better way of life and for my kids to study – which I didn’t have the opportunity to do. My eldest daughter is studying at university and it is thanks to the work that I do here that I can afford the costs involved with her degree. She’s happy because she knows she has a chance to finish her studies with me working here.
They miss me, I miss them, but they know I am okay and I know they are okay. Every day we have communication, which makes me feel a lot more reassured here and be able to perform my job.
This is also a family farm. It feels like being part of the family. We are not just a worker or only an employee. We are family. They look after us and they take care of us.
We do our work with pride, with care, and we come here to do things right. We are not just workers. We are people who come to give our best to this country and to help our economy, and help Canada’s economy. This is what most of us come to do, to work and bring the best of ourselves.