Governments Help Ontario Food Processors become more Innovative and CompetitivePublished on August 27, 2020
Funding will improve food safety and productivity
The Governments of Canada and Ontario are providing more than $5.4 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help food processing businesses improve food safety, increase labour productivity and enable better access to markets. These strategic investments will support more than 75 projects across Ontario and strengthen the province's crucial agri-food supply chain.
"Targeted investments into the innovation of our food processors such as these ensure our food supply chain remains strong and competitive for years to come," the Member of Parliament for Bay of Quinte and Parliamentary Secretary to the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food said at the start of the announcement. "This is about serving our communities from both levels of government, helping to give a boost to our local food businesses and address some of the challenges around labour we are seeing right now."
Some specific types of projects supported through this programing include:
Implementing technology or other systems to improve food safety.
Transitioning to automated, advanced manufacturing and/or robotic processing technology to enhance labour productivity.
Developing new products or processes to increase sales.
A list of approved projects is posted online at: www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/cap/processor-projects.htm
"Our food processors are an integral part of our province's economic recovery from this outbreak," the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs later added. "By investing in this sector, we are helping our homegrown processors become more competitive, more innovative and better positioned to keep supplying safe, quality foods for domestic and international markets."
The Partnership is also investing in programs this year at provincially inspected dairy processors and provincially licensed meat processors to support food safety enhancement projects. These are in addition to new programming launched this year, like the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program, to assist the sector in protecting its workers from the COVID-19 outbreak.
Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed cost-share support to more than 2,500 projects through the Partnership to help eligible Ontario farmers, processors, businesses and sector organizations innovate and grow.
The Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion commitment by Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments that supports Canada's agri-food and agri-products sectors.
This cost-share funding is supporting projects in the following key priority areas:
Economic development in the agri-food and agri-products sectors.
Environmental stewardship to enhance water quality and soil health.
Protection and assurance to reinforce the foundation for public trust in the sector through improved assurance systems in food safety and plant and animal health.
More than 75 projects were approved following a competitive, merit-based application intake that took place from November 4, 2019 to November 26, 2019.
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) administers cost-share funding under the Partnership to Ontario processors and other businesses (animal health, commercializers and primary agri-food businesses).
The Ontario agri-food sector supports more than 837,000 jobs in Ontario and contributes more than $47.5 billion each year to the province’s economy.