Canada: Ontario government invests $7 Million to improve meat processing capacity

The funding will improve food production and safety in Ontario
calendar icon 15 November 2021
clock icon 2 minute read

The governments of Canada and Ontario are committing up to $7 million to rapidly increase processing capacity in meat processing plants across the province. The initiative builds on an earlier $7.2-million investment.

The Meat Processors Capacity Improvement Initiative, through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, will provide up to $150,000 per project for handling and processing equipment that increase efficiency, productivity and food safety.

The supplied funds will also cover consulting and engineering costs associated with planning future projects. The application process opens on 19 November.

“Ontario livestock processors have worked tirelessly since the COVID-19 pandemic began to ensure Ontarians had access to fresh, local, and high-quality meat products for their families,” said Lisa Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “While the sector continues to face extraordinary processing capacity challenges, our government is stepping up with this important investment to help Ontario meat processors and abattoirs continue producing the safe and healthy food millions of Ontarians rely on each and every day.”

The Meat Processors Capacity Improvement Initiative will provide funding for eligible free-standing meat plants and abattoirs to implement measures that will improve efficiency and productivity through short-term investments in equipment.

“The pandemic has highlighted some of the vulnerabilities in our sector, including the need to increase processing capacity,” says Carol Goriup, President of Meat & Poultry Ontario. “This funding demonstrates our governments’ commitment to providing solutions that will help move the industry forward."

The province's beef farmers are grateful for the much-needed investment.

“The lack of sufficient processing capacity in Ontario has been a limiting factor to a healthy competitive market for the province’s beef sector,” said Rob Lipsett, President of Beef Farmers of Ontario.

Ontario Pork also welcomes the support.

“Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic confirmed that the lack of processing is a bottleneck for our industry and for local food supply," said said John de Bruyn, Chair of Ontario Pork. "We appreciate today’s announcement as another step in facilitating the growth of processing capacity here in Ontario.”

The Canadian federal and provincial governments have invested more than $100 million in cost-share support to more than 5,000 agricultural projects since June 2018.

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