Meat processors across Ontario will soon be eligible for funding to increase their processing capacity.
A new intake of the Meat Processors Capacity Improvement Initiative – offered through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership – will open to eligible free-standing meat plants and abattoirs on Nov. 19.
It will make available up to $7 million for plants across the province to make improvements to handling and processing equipment that increase efficiency, productivity and food safety. Up to $150,000 per project is available.
The program will be administered by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
“The lack of sufficient processing capacity in Ontario has been a limiting factor to a healthy competitive market for the province’s beef sector,” said Rob Lipsett, president of Beef Farmers of Ontario, in a Nov. 12 news release.
“The first intake of the Meat Processing Capacity Improvement Initiative was fully subscribed, which speaks to its critical value to the livestock processing sector.
“We are grateful for the continued investment by both levels of government to support this initiative, which in turn, will help position our sector to better meet the demands for Ontario beef at home and abroad.”
According to the province, there are 480 provincially licensed and 230 federally licensed abattoirs and free-standing meat plants in Ontario.
The Ontario agri-food sector supports more than 720,000 jobs in Ontario and contributes nearly $47 billion each year to the province’s economy.
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion joint funding initiative of the federal and provincial governments to support Canada's agri-food and agri-products sectors.