TORONTO – The Governments of Canada and Ontario are investing $900,000 through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to launch an innovative tool to connect meat and poultry farmers with abattoirs that have available processing capacity and to support recruitment, retention and training initiatives in the industry.
The new Farmer-Processor Connections Initiative, led by Meat and Poultry Ontario and AgSights, is designed to connect farmers in need of processing with abattoirs that have additional capacity. This program will help relieve processing capacity challenges and supply chain disruptions, help food processing businesses use their full capacity and help meat and poultry farmers get their products to domestic and international markets faster.
Additionally, Meat and Poultry Ontario and EIO Solutions are partnering to develop and implement a full suite of human resources tools to support meat and poultry processing plants in Ontario, with recruitment, retention, training, and policy development. These dedicated and tailormade resources will optimize food safety knowledge and culture in provincially licensed meat plants, while addressing ongoing labour challenges.
“Having access to a skilled workforce and a consistent supply are both essential to ensuring efficiency and maximizing capacity for Ontario’s meat and poultry processors,” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “With this funding, farmers and processors will be able to ensure a stable supply of high-quality meat both in Canada and around the world.”
“Ontario’s meat and poultry producers work tirelessly to ensure that Ontarians have access to fresh, local, and high-quality meat products for their families.” said Lisa Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “We have heard concerns about processing capacity shortages, and that is why our government is stepping up with this important investment, so that we can continue to meet the demand for Ontario’s high-quality meat products.”
The funding announced builds on the more than $14 million invested last year through two intakes for the Meat Processors Capacity Improvement Initiative. Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed over $110 million in cost-share support to more than 5,500 projects through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership) to help eligible Ontario farmers, processors, businesses and sector organizations innovate and grow.