Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian food producers and processors have stepped up to deliver quality food for Canadians and people around the world. From the outset, the Government of Canada has helped food processors invest in safety measures and maintain their capacity to keep up with demand.
“Known as one of Canada’s richest farm belts, southwestern Ontario is an agricultural powerhouse. Despite the many challenges caused by the pandemic, local food producers and processors have shown true resilience. These investments are supporting their efforts to protect the health and well-being of workers so they can continue supplying good food for Canadians and people around the world,”
said Neil Ellis, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
On behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Parliamentary Secretary Neil Ellis and the Member of Parliament for Windsor–Tecumseh, Irek Kusmierczyk, highlighted support of up to $6.1 million through the Emergency Processing Fund (EPF) for 34 food processing companies in southwestern Ontario. EPF support is helping these businesses, including a large number of greenhouse growers, keep employees safe and the food supply chain running strong.
Recipients are using this funding to make adjustments to enable social distancing, purchase reuseable personal protective equipment (PPE), implement biosecurity measures, install handwashing stations and protective barriers and develop employee training.
Parliamentary Secretary Ellis and MP Kusmierczyk highlighted this support at a virtual event with representatives from two EPF recipients:
- Lakeside Produce Inc., a family-owned produce company and greenhouse grower in Leamington, which is receiving up to $1,172,632; and,
- Under Sun Acres Inc., a greenhouse operation that produces sweet bell peppers in Staples, which is receiving up to $149,034.
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 food supply chain.