Canada investing over $12m to improve worker safety, increase capacity of Ontario meat processing

eAwaz Local News

Kitchener – The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruptions to Canada’s food system, while demonstrating the need for more diversified food processing capacity. As a result, Canadian livestock producers and meat processors have taken on unexpected and exceptional activities to manage health and safety during the pandemic. The Government of Canada is helping meat processors invest in safety measures to protect their workers and in facility improvements that strengthen Canada’s food supply.

Today, on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Parliamentary Secretary Neil Ellis and Member of Parliament for Kitchener–Conestoga, Tim Louis, highlighted support of up to $12.2 million through the Emergency Processing Fund for 42 meat processing companies in Ontario.

With this funding, recipients are adopting measures to help keep employees safe and increase their capacity. This includes making adjustments to enable social distancing, purchasing reuseable personal protective equipment (PPE), implementing biosecurity measures, installing protective barriers and developing employee training. Funds are also supporting facility upgrades and new equipment to help boost production capacity.

Parliamentary Secretary Ellis and MP Louis highlighted this support at a virtual event with Leavoy Rowe Beef Co., a specialty cutter and distributor of high-end meat products in Mississauga, which is receiving up to $1,303,904.

The Government of Canada will continue working with food processors to protect the health and well-being of workers in food processing plants across Canada and strengthen our food supply chain.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many challenges for the food processing industry, in particular for meat processing plants of all sizes. Through these investments, we are helping meat processors here in Ontario keep their workers safe so they can continue delivering quality meat products to our grocery shelves. We are also supporting projects that increase processing capacity so we can strengthen Canada’s food supply and grow this important industry.” – Neil Ellis, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“Ontario’s meat processing sector is a major contributor to our local economy. The hardworking people in this industry have shown incredible resilience throughout this crisis. These projects through the Emergency Processing Fund are helping meat processors in Kitchener–Conestoga and throughout our region improve both worker safety and production capacity to keep our food supply running strong.” – Tim Louis, Member of Parliament for Kitchener–Conestoga