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Governments Taking Action to Meet Demands of Ontario’s Meat Sector and Support Farmers

Woodstock, Ontario – The governments of Canada and Ontario are committing up to $11.5 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership) for two important new programs, one of which will assist meat processors on projects to rapidly increase processing capacity, and one that will help farmers adjust to current market challenges.
 
The Meat Processors Capacity Improvement Initiative is an up to $4 million program that 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. Today’s 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.
 
This new program comes four days after Minister 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 receive support for a variety of investments that help them adjust to current market challenges. 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.
 
This new intake is delivered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) and will open on December 9, 2020.
 
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.
Source : Government of Canada