Governments Driving Growth in Ontario Meat Processing Sector

$10 million investment will build capacity and competitiveness in agri-food sector

July 26, 2023

Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Table of Contents

  1. Content
  2. Quick Facts
  3. Additional Resources
  4. Related Topics

TORONTO — The Governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $10 million under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) to enhance the capacity processing capabilities in the province’s meat processing plants and abattoirs through the Meat Processors Capacity Improvement Initiative.

“Ontario’s meat processing industry meets the highest standards for producing high-quality food and is constantly striving to innovate,” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “This investment will help the industry continue to grow through new productivity-improving technologies.”

The Meat Processors Capacity Improvement Initiative will provide funding to eligible free-standing meat plants and abattoirs to make short-term investments in meat handling and processing equipment, technologies, and practices that improve efficiency, productivity, and food safety. The initiative is being funded through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) and will provide up to $150,000 per eligible applicant.

“This program is a prime example of how our government is making the right investments in the right places that have helped Ontario’s meat processing businesses,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Not only will this initiative have a positive impact for Ontario meat processors, but we’re also increasing competitiveness in a global market.”

The action builds on previous investments of over $14 million in the Meat Processors Capacity Improvement Initiative funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) since 2020.

The Meat Processors Capacity Improvement Initiative will also cover consulting and engineering costs associated with planning future projects. Applications open on August 31, 2023, and will remain open until January 31, 2024 or until the initiative is fully subscribed, whichever comes first. Eligible project costs can be incurred as of July 26, 2023. Eligible projects must be completed with equipment delivered by March 1, 2024. Recipients will have until June 28, 2024 to have their equipment installed.

The Sustainable CAP is a five-year (2023-2028), $3.5-billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen competitiveness, innovation and resiliency of the agriculture, agri‐food, and agri‐based products sector. This includes $1 billion in federal programs and activities and $2.5 billion in cost-shared programs that are designed and delivered by federal, provincial, and territorial governments.

Quick Facts

  • There are approximately 480 provincially licensed and 239 federally licensed abattoirs and free-standing meat plants in Ontario.
  • The Governments of Canada and Ontario invested $7.2 million in 2020 and $7 million in 2021 under CAP to increase meat processing capacity in the province.
  • The five-year, $3-billion CAP expired on March 31, 2023.
  • Building sector competitiveness in Canada’s agri-food sector and fostering the next generation of its farmers were among the top priorities set for Sustainable CAP by the federal-provincial-territorial agricultural ministers in The Guelph Statement.
  • Sustainable CAP will help enable the goals outlined in Ontario’s Grow Ontario Strategy, which include increasing the production of food by 30 per cent by 2032 and growing agri-food exports by eight per cent, annually.

Additional Resources

Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Grow Ontario

Related Topics

Rural and North

Information about the province’s Far North and rural communities. Get connected to business improvement organizations and learn more about funding and programs that support rural, northern and Indigenous communities. Learn more