Investment will protect and enhance animal welfare, biosecurity and food supply chain
WOODSTOCK — The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $1.8 million to improve food safety, animal welfare and biosecurity at provincial abattoirs. Nearly 50 projects are being supported to help modernize meat plants and ensure they continue to produce high-quality, Ontario meat products.
“Workers in our meat plants, and throughout the food sector, have stepped up to the many challenges they have faced during this pandemic. Our Government is making the investments to support and protect them. Through this funding, we are helping Ontario meat businesses implement the best public health guidance, and retrofitting their operations for safety. We are deeply grateful for the work these men and women are doing to provide high-quality food for Canadians,” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
The projects being funded in this intake include:
- Enhancements to ventilation, refrigeration and process controls;
- Replacing interior surfaces with non-porous materials;
- Upgrades to equipment and structures to enhance on-site animal handling and housing.
“These investments help strengthen our crucial agri-food supply chain and its ability to continue to bring safe, nutritious food items to the tables of Ontario families,” said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “We’re committed to working with our meat processors and the entire agri-food sector to help the sector meet the market and business challenges they face.”
This investment under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership) will support local jobs, improve competitiveness, help protect Ontario’s food supply chain and uphold the province’s high safety standards for locally produced foods.
“We are grateful for the dedication of Ontario’s meat processors, who continue to keep healthy and affordable meat products on our kitchen tables,” said Neil Ellis, Parliamentary Secretary to the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “Thanks to everyone doing their part, our country is now better prepared for a sustainable economic recovery.”
This targeted effort builds on other actions by the governments to support these businesses and the capacity of the agri-food supply chain, particularly during challenges faced because of COVID-19.
Additional investments include:
- Committing $25.5 million to help minimize COVID 19 exposure risks in the workplace and support the province’s food supply chain through the Agri-food Prevention and Control Innovation Program.
- Helping agri-food sectors cover the incremental costs associated with the mandatory 14-day isolation period through $50 million in federal funding for the Mandatory Isolation Support Program for Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW).
- Investing up to $77.5 million through the federal Emergency Processing Fund to help companies implement changes to safeguard the health and safety of workers due to the impacts of COVID-19.
- Increasing funding for the Ontario Risk Management Program by $50 million starting in 2020 to help farmers enrolled in the program deal with the severe market challenges resulting from COVID-19.
- Increasing the amounts farmers can receive in AgriStability interim payments to 75 per cent of their estimated final payment to help with cash flow.
- Building a Canada-Ontario AgriRecovery program for hog and cattle farmers to help cover increased costs of feeding market-ready animals due to COVID-19 related processing delays.
- Enhancing the AgriInsurance coverage to include labour shortages due to COVID-19 during the 2020 growing season.
- Launching an online toolkit with information on prevention, accommodations, wages, social, health and wellness assessments, and social supports that are available to farmers and their workers.
Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed cost-share support to approximately 4,200 projects through the Partnership to help eligible Ontario farmers, processors, businesses and sector organizations innovate and grow.
- More information about this targeted intake can be found online or by calling 1-877-424-1300.
- The Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment which includes $1 billion for federal activities and programs, and $2 billion in cost-shared programs delivered by provinces and territories on a 60-40 basis.
- The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) delivers cost-share funding under the Partnership to food processors and other businesses (animal health, commercialization and primary agri-food businesses).
- There are 115 provincially licensed abattoirs in Ontario.
- The Ontario agri-food sector supports more than 837,000 jobs in Ontario and contributes more than $47.3 billion each year to the province’s economy.
SOURCE: Province of Ontario