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Canadian government announces new measures to help agriculture sector mitigate the spread of COVID-19

21 July 2020

The federal government and provincial government of Manitoba have introduced a new programme to help agricultural processors curb the spread of COVID-19.

The governments of Canada and Manitoba announced a new $3 million cost-shared Canadian Agricultural Partnership programme to support projects that will help agricultural processors mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen announced today.

“Food producers and processors have had to deal with so many new challenges over the past months, while continuing to supply Canadians with the high-quality food they produce. Manitoba processors have stepped up to deal with those challenges, just as Canadians have never been more appreciative of the importance of our food supply chain. The funding our two Governments are delivering together today gives Manitoba processors an extra financial boost to adjust to the challenges presented by COVID-19 and help keep their workers safe,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

The new COVID-19 Response Initiative will provide financial assistance to agri-food and agri-product processors, food distributors and agri-food industry organisations for:

  • personal protective equipment and sanitation supplies;
  • business continuity practices, training and resources to support COVID-19 mitigation; and
  • beginning in September financial assistance will also be available for materials, supplies and equipment rentals needed to adapt production processes to meet social distancing and other precautions related to COVID-19.

Eligible costs must be directly related to the execution of a project, and must be incurred between 1 March 2020 and 31 January 2021. Projects must be completed on or before 31 January 2021. Governments will contribute a maximum of 50 percent of eligible project costs, up to $25,000 per applicant.

Blaine Pedersen, Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development Minister said:

“A COVID-19 response for the agri-food and agri-product sector is needed to ensure processors can adapt, recover and maintain competitiveness. The pandemic has required them to make changes to their operations and enhance their employee protections. Manitoba’s food and agri-product processors are significant contributors to our economy, so we are pleased to offer a program that helps respond to these challenges.”

Background

The five-year, $3-billion Canadian Agricultural Partnership includes $2 billion for cost-shared strategic initiatives delivered by the provinces and territories and $1 billion for federal programmes and services.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Emergency Processing Fund (EPF) is a federal investment of up to $77.5 million to help companies implement changes to safeguard the health and safety of workers and their families due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.



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