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Canada takes steps to shore up food processing sector

Canada's Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-food has launched a $77.5 million Emergency Processing Fund to support Canadians and businesses facing COVID-19-related hardship.

16 June 2020, at 10:45am

COVID-19 has caused significant changes and adaptation in Canada’s food system. As a result, Canadian food producers, processors, and manufacturers have taken on unexpected and exceptional activities associated with risk mitigation measures to be able to maintain Canada’s food production.

That is why the Government of Canada is taking steps to ensure the resilience of the food supply chain and to provide support to keep the agriculture sector strong.

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, launched the $77.5 million Emergency Processing Fund (EPF) as part of the Government of Canada’s action to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of COVID-19.

Speaking about the programme, Minister Bibeau said:

“Canadian food processors are key to ensuring Canada’s food supply chain is protected during COVID-19, and beyond. Our Government understands the challenges that Canadian food processors, producers and manufacturers are facing. This Emergency Processing Fund will help our processors to adapt their activities to ensure the safety of their workers, and to increase their capacity of production.”

The programme will prioritise projects based on two objectives:

Emergency COVID Response to assist companies to implement changes required by COVID-19 to ensure the health and safety of workers. This funding will assist with:

  • Plant retrofits or adjustments to existing operations to accommodate changes to processes and production; and

Increasing capacity for herd management.

  • Strategic Investments to assist companies to improve, automate, and modernise facilities needed to increase Canada’s food supply capacity.

Eligible applicants include for-profit organisations, cooperatives and indigenous groups. Activities can be retroactive to 15 March 2020 and must be completed by 30 September 2020.

Information on the application process is available through the Emergency Processing Fund or to learn more, please contact aafc.epf-fut.aac@canada.ca or call: 1-877-246-4682.