$3 million announced to help Manitoba food processors with COVID mitigation

The federal and Manitoba governments have announced a new $3 million cost-shared program to help agricultural processors in the province mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Agri-food and agri-product processors, food distributors, and agri-food industry organizations can apply for up to $25,000 for the following:

•    personal protective equipment and sanitation supplies;
•    business continuity practices, training, and resources to support COVID-19 mitigation; and
•    beginning in September, financial assistance will also be available for materials, supplies and equipment rentals needed to adapt production processes to meet social distancing and other precautions related to COVID-19.

The COVID-19 Response Initiative will cover up to 50 per cent of a company’s eligible costs incurred between March 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021.

“A COVID-19 response for the agri-food and agri-product sector is needed to ensure processors can adapt, recover and maintain competitiveness,” says Manitoba Agriculture Minister Blaine Pedersen. “The pandemic has required them to make changes to their operations and enhance their employee protections. Manitoba’s food and agri-product processors are significant contributors to our economy, so we are pleased to offer a program that helps respond to these challenges.”

Nationally, the federal government is investing up to $77.5 million through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Emergency Processing Fund to help companies implement changes to protect the health and safety of workers and their families.

“Food producers and processors have had to deal with so many new challenges over the past months, while continuing to supply Canadians with the high-quality food they produce. Manitoba processors have stepped up to deal with those challenges, just as Canadians have never been more appreciative of the importance of our food supply chain,” notes federal Ag Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau. “The funding our two governments are delivering together today gives Manitoba processors an extra financial boost to adjust to the challenges presented by COVID-19 and help keep their workers safe.”

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