Governments Provide Timely Support for Ontario’s Meat SectorPublished on November 27, 2020
The governments of Canada and Ontario are committing up to $4 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to assist meat processors on projects to rapidly boost their productivity.
MISSISSAUGA – Rudy Cuzzetto, MPP for Mississauga-Lakeshore, today welcomed a recent announcement that will see the Meat Processors Capacity Improvement Initiative launched through the Partnership. This targeted initiative will provide up to $150,000 per project for improvements to product handling and processing equipment.
It will also cover consulting and engineering costs associated with planning future projects and will open to applications on December 4, 2020. This announcement is an immediate response by the governments to support Ontario’s meat processors and abattoirs and is part of a long-term commitment to help the sector. Eligible projects must be completed with equipment delivered by March 1, 2021. Recipients will have until May 31, 2021 to have their equipment installed.
The program comes just days after Ontario Minister of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs Ernie Hardeman announced a new application intake under the Partnership at the Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s annual general meeting. An investment of up to $7.5 million will support farmers in making enhancements to their operations. Farmers can seek support for a variety of actions.
Examples of projects that can be funded through this programming include developing a product that will open new sales markets for a farm business, investing in new technology and equipment to enhance labour productivity, and improving food safety systems to meet or exceed international certification standards.
“We recognize the proactive work that meat processors in Mississauga, and across Ontario, have undertaken in the workplace to date to protect their workers,” said Rudy Cuzzetto, MPP for Mississauga-Lakeshore. “The new joint strategy launched today will build on their efforts to expand capacity, while also helping to reduce the risks of COVID-19 transmission.”
“COVID-19 has created new challenges for our livestock processing sector and as a result impacted our farmers so, today, we are taking steps to help plants increase their productivity and capacity,” said Minister Hardeman. “This funding is just one part of our long-term commitment to help Ontario’s meat processing and abattoir sectors become more efficient, while continuously raising the bar on our food safety standards.”
This funding is in addition to other supports launched this year to assist the sector in meeting challenges related to the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes a portal to connect farms and other agri-food sector business with labour needs to job seekers, the creation of the $26.6 million Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program, a commitment of $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 and the recent investment of an additional $50 million into the Risk Management Program, one year earlier than originally promised.
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.
Office of Rudy Cuzzetto, MPP