The federal government has launched a $77.5 million Emergency Processing Fund to help the food supply industry adapt to pandemic changes, a news release from the Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food, says on June 12.
“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,” Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of agriculture and agri-food, says in the release.
The new fund will support food producers, processors, and manufacturers who have taken on unexpected and exceptional activities associated with risk mitigation measures to be able to maintain Canada’s food production.
The program will prioritize projects based on two objectives, the release says. The first an emergency COVID response will assist companies to implement changes required by the pandemic 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. It will also prioritize strategic investments to assist companies to improve, automate, and modernize facilities needed to increase Canada’s food supply capacity.
Eligible applicants include for-profit organizations, cooperatives and indigenous groups, the release notes. Activities can be retroactive to March 15, 2020 and must be completed by Sept. 30, 2020.