The Ontario government is investing up to $25 million over two years to build up the province’s food processing capacity through the new Strategic Agri-Food Processing Fund Program, a March 16 news release says.
The Strategic Agri-Food Processing Fund Program was announced last fall with the goal of increasing the province’s food processing capacity, strengthening food security and positioning the agri-food sector for economic growth. It’ll launch on April 1, 2022, the release says.
“This strategic investment will boost competitiveness and create new opportunities for the Ontario food processing sector and the entire supply chain,” Lisa Thompson, Ontario minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, says in the release.
The release notes the Strategic Agri-Food Processing Fund will support industry investment in projects that address the processing capacity shortage and increase the sector’s competitiveness and resilience against future disruptions. Agri-food businesses are eligible for up to $3 million in cost-share funding to either build new processing facilities, expand or modernize existing facilities and adopt new innovative technologies to improve current operations.
In an effort to increase local food production across Ontario, rural, northern and Indigenous businesses will receive an additional five per cent in cost-share funding to build critical processing capacity in under-serviced areas, the release says.