BLYTH — The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $6 million in projects to help Ontario food and beverage processors improve their operations, increase their competitive edge and adapt to challenges as we move beyond the pandemic.
Applications for this program will be accepted in two phases. Starting today, applications for the first phase of this new intake under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to support projects that will enhance economic development and food safety in the sector will be accepted.
The second phase of the intake will open next month for targeted projects to improve labour productivity, efficiency and reduce waste.
“Our processors have risen to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “We are confident this investment will help them make their businesses stronger and improve food safety during these challenging times. A robust agri-food processing sector is vital to our economy and we recognize all they do to provide Canadians with quality food and beverages.”
“This funding builds on several measures we’ve already taken to ensure the sector maintains a strong food supply chain that delivers safe, nutritious and high-quality food to Ontario families,” said the Honourable Lisa Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Some examples of projects eligible for support under the first phase of applications for food and beverage processors include:
- implementing new technology to improve food safety
- developing new products to increase sales
- improving animal health through preventing the introduction and spread of disease throughout an operation
This new intake builds on other supports extended to the province’s food processing and agri-food sector during COVID-19. Examples of such recent initiatives include:
- a more than $7 million investment to boost production and capacity in the meat processing sector under the Meat Processors Capacity Improvement Initiative
- a $2.25 million investment in provincially licensed meat processing plants to better protect employees and Ontario’s food supply under the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program
- a $22 million provincial investment to increase the adoption of technological innovations within the agri-food sector to enhance the health and safety of workers and improve the sector’s efficiency and productivity through the Agri-Tech Innovation Program
Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed over $100 million in cost-share support to more than 5,000 projects through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help eligible Ontario farmers, processors, businesses and sector organizations innovate and grow.