• Authorities recognize the Mexico-Canada Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program as being a successful bilateral policy.
  • A total of 38,300 Mexican agricultural workers have migrated to Canada through the SAWP during this Administration.
  • We are creating conditions not only to grow more, and steadily, but also to unleash Mexico’s full potential: Navarrete Prida.

“In Mexico we want to continue and improve labour mobility programs not only in agriculture, but in other industries as well,” said Secretary of Labour and Social Welfare Alfonso Navarrete Prida, underscoring the commitment made at the recent meeting of Canada-Mexico Partnership held in Alberta, to design a work schedule on formulae for labour mobility in strategic economic sectors and specific regions.

During his meeting with the Ambassador of Mexico to Canada, Francisco Suárez Dávila, members of the Mexican Consular Corps, labour officials and employers in Ottawa, Canada, the head of the STPS highlighted the Mexico-Canada Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP) as a successful bilateral policy that has enabled orderly, legal, and safe labour migration while ensuring respect for the labour, social and human rights of Mexican workers.

“That's why we are here today, to prove, without a doubt, the interest of the Mexican government to continue working and expanding this labour mobility program, to verify that the conditions under which they will have to hire our agricultural workers in the next season will be satisfactory to both parties, because the benefit is mutual,” he said.

Heading the Mexican Delegation comprising officials from the Secretariats of Foreign Affairs, Health, and Labour and Social Welfare, Navarrete Prida emphasized the importance of the Canada-Mexico bilateral relationship for President Enrique Peña Nieto, as a nexus of friendship and brotherhood with ample opportunities for mutual development through cooperative mechanisms in multiple areas of the common agenda.

Navarrete Prida recognized the interest of Canadian authorities in strengthening the SAWP, mainly from Canadian Ambassador to Mexico Sara Hradecky, and from Minister of Labour Kellie Leitch, who has addressed this Program as part of the topics of the specific chapter on this field in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Regarding the success of the SAWP, Navarrete Prida Secretary reported that during the current administration, a total of 38,300 Mexican farm workers have benefitted. He explained that in the four decades of its existence, the program has helped 281,102 farm workers.

Just this year, he said, a total of 19,798 workers migrated to Canada through the SAWP, of which 14,955 –or 75.7 percent– are nominal workers, meaning they have been requested by their employer on more than one occasion.

“Nearly 77 percent of all workers sent this year have been participating in the program for more than four years, which clearly confirms its high level of acceptance among the participating farms,” said Navarrete Prida.

“I have been able to personally attest to the efforts of my countrymen, their job performance and the concept their employers have of them; Last year, I had the opportunity to visit some farms and speak with workers and employers, and I can bear faithful witness to the esteem with which the farmers of British Columbia view the work of Mexicans and their employees in particular,” he said.

The head of the STPS stated being pleased that Mexican workers contribute to the Canadian economy and hoped that the business leaders in the agriculture sector would continue to improve the conditions of migrant workers who devote their efforts to the productivity of their employers’ farms, and the development of their communities, provinces and country.

At the time, Navarrete Prida recognized the diligent and professional attention of the Ambassador of Mexico to Canada, Francisco Suárez Dávila, and the commitment of members of the Mexican Consular Corps, to monitoring the development of the SAWP and ensuring Canadian employers’ respect for the labour, social and human rights of migrant social workers.

“Mexico has much to offer the world and the region, its strategic partners. We are in a deep, dynamic process of internationally recognized structural changes that will allow us to walk with a firm step towards higher stages of development. We are creating the conditions to not only grow more, and steadily, but also to unleash the full potential that a young, multicultural mega-diverse country like ours can achieve,” said Navarrete Prida.




  • The Head of the STPS, Alfonso Navarrete Prida, will meet with Mexican consular authorities and Canadian labour officials, and with employers.

Heading a delegation from the Secretariat of Labour and Social Welfare, Secretary Alfonso Navarrete Prida will meet Wednesday in Ottawa, Canada, with Mexican consular authorities in that country, Canadian labour officials and employers, to analyze opportunities presented by the Mexico-Canada Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP) in the aim of including new areas of economic activity.

Throughout four decades, the SAWP has been one of the region’s most successful labour mobility programs, and clear benefits have been provided through the program to Canadian employers and Mexican farmworkers alike.

Its objective is to link Mexican farm workers with employment opportunities that arise in the Canadian agricultural labour market through a legal, safe and orderly labour mobility model.

The achievements of the SAWP were documented earlier this year by representatives of the Comptroller of the US Congress, who traveled to Mexico and met with Canadian diplomatic officials and civil servants of the Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare, to learn about the program’s operation.

The Program has in fact become an effective binational public policy that guarantees the mobility of Mexican farm workers in a safe, legal, orderly manner, while ensuring respect for their labour, social and human rights.

Currently, Mexican labourers work on farms in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan; and deal primarily with vegetable and legume crops, fruits, flowers, greenhouses and nurseries.