The federal government is giving $6.1 million through the Emergency Processing Fund to 34 food processing companies in southwestern Ontario to invest in safety measures, the government says in a news release on April 9.
“Despite the many challenges caused by the pandemic, local food producers and processors have shown true resilience. These investments are supporting their efforts to protect the health and well-being of workers,” Neil Ellis, parliamentary secretary to the federal minister of agriculture and agri-food, says in the release.
The companies will use this money to make adjustments to allow for social distancing, buy reuseable personal protective equipment (PPE), implement biosecurity measures, install handwashing stations and protective barriers, and develop employee training, the release notes.
Two of the recipients receiving funds are Lakeside Produce Inc., a family-owned produce company and greenhouse grower in Leamington, and Under Sun Acres Inc., a greenhouse operation which produces sweet bell peppers in Staples.
The Ontario government recently announced it’s providing $10 million in funding for farmers and agri-food operators to buy personal protective equipment (PPE), enhance cleaning and disinfection and redesign workstations in order to better protect workers.