Millions go to continue emergency fund for meat processing

Close up of poultry processing. © Can Stock Photo / PicsFive

A federal government program is adding $12.2 million to an emergency fund for meat processing companies in Ontario.

The money, part of the Emergency Processing Fund, will go to safety measures to protect workers and improve facilities.

There are 42 meat processing companies in the province.

Some of the protective measures include 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.

“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,” said Neil Ellis, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Rod Rowe is the owner of Leavoy Rowe Beef Co. and participated in today’s announcement.

“For the past 15 years in business I have predominantly relied on restaurants to keep me afloat but this virus has decimated that industry. This funding helps tremendously as I’ve had to reinvent my business and in order to remain innovative, I require new equipment to supply other retail stores. This assistance also ensures that my staff remain employed with the possibility of bringing more people aboard,” said Rowe.

The $12.2 million highlighted Wednesdsay includes three previously announced projects.