The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said it has backed 74 projects submitted by meat and poultry processors for money from a $7-million federal-provincial fund.
The program is focused on measures that could quickly increase processing capacity as the industry deals with a shortage of processing capacity, partly related to COVIF-19 pandemic slowdowns.
"Ontario's meat processors have made significant investments to maintain production capacity and keep their employees safe throughout the pandemic,” said Carol Goriup, president of Meat and Poultry Ontario. The new funding supplements money the companies invest.
“This funding will help us make further improvements to ensure a stable food supply for our province beyond the pandemic, providing farmers with market access and will connect Ontario consumers with local food. We thank the Government of Ontario for supporting the sector at this crucial time," she said.
Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed cost-share support to approximately 4,400 projects through the Csnadian Agriculture Partnership to help eligible Ontario farmers, processors, businesses and sector organizations.
This program was for:
- Purchase and installation of machinery including temperature sensors, bench scales, waterproof industrial screen and labeling that will increase overall productivity;
- Converting a regular freezer into a blast freezer that will increase productivity and food safety by allowing the freezing of product at a faster rate than a traditional freezer, and
- Purchase and installation of vacuum packaging equipment that will increase the efficiency and speed of processing meat.