Ontario meat processors and farmers have the opportunity to apply for funding under two new program intakes of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

The Meat Processors Capacity Improvement Initiative is an up to $4 million program that will provide up to $150,000 per project for improvements to product handling and processing equipment. It will also cover consulting and engineering costs associated with planning future projects and will open up to applications on December 4, 2020.

Eligible projects must be completed with equipment delivered by March 1, 2021. Recipients will have until May 31, 2021 to have their equipment installed.

“COVID-19 has created new challenges for our livestock processing sector and as a result impacted our farmers so, today, we are taking steps to help plants increase their productivity and capacity,” says Ernie Hardeman, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “This funding is just one part of our long-term commitment to help Ontario’s meat processing and abattoir sectors become more efficient, while continuously raising the bar on our food safety standards.”

$7.5 million has been ear-marked for farmers through CAP, as well.

Farmers can receive support for a variety of investments that help them adjust to current market challenges, according to the province. Examples of projects that can be funded include: developing a product that will open new sales markets for a farm business; investing in new technology and equipment to enhance labour productivity; and improving food safety systems to meet or exceed international certification standards.

This farmer-focused funding will be delivered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) and opens on December 9, 2020.

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