New funding for Ontario agri-food businesses

Huron-Bruce MPP and Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Lisa Thompson, speaks at the funding announcement for Telesat and their Light Speed satellite project at their operations centre near Hanover. Bill Walker, the MPP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, stands behind her. Walker hosted the announcement which was also attended by Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure and Daniel Goldberg, President and CEO of Telesat. (Blackburn News file photo)

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $3 million to help Ontario food, beverage and other agri-food businesses improve the productivity of their operations.

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Lisa Thompson, says the funding will make the sector more competitive by helping businesses purchase new equipment, adopt innovative technologies, and automate processes.

Funding is available to agri-food businesses that are ready to implement advanced manufacturing technology. Applications are now being accepted under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to support projects that will help the food and beverage manufacturing industry improve labour and production efficiency, and waste reduction.

Some examples of projects include:

-the purchase and installation of equipment and/or technology to improve input efficiency by automating a food or beverage manufacturing process like a cookie or cake baking line;
-the purchase of new equipment to automate process technologies such as a bottle/crate washing and bottle filling system for beverage businesses that improve labour productivity, improve food safety and reduce environmental impact;
-the purchase and installation of a waste-water reduction management system;
-the transition to automated, advanced manufacturing and/or robotic processing technology to enhance labour productivity.

“This funding to improve productivity and efficiency is an important step to ensuring food and beverage processors have the supports they need to stay competitive as they navigate the pandemic and grow for the future,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Today’s investment builds on previous CAP intakes and Ontario’s funding support to drive innovation in the province’s agri-food supply chain and continue to build our world-class agri-food industry.”