Ontario, Canada invest $7 million in meat processing facilities
By Bree Rody
The governments of Ontario and Canada have come together to invest more than $7 million in the province’s meat processing plants with a goal of increasing production and efficiency. The initiative is aimed at addressing supply chain disruptions, including those related to COVID-19. It will allow owners to purchase and install equipment such as coolers and freezers.
The funding was made possible through the Canadian Agriculture Partnership and will be provided to 74 projects across the province.
“Investing in strategic upgrades across the meat processing sector will help strengthen Ontario’s capacity to continue to produce safe, high quality food,” said federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau in a statement. “This funding will support a stable meat supply and keep high-quality and affordable Canadian meat products on our grocery store shelves and kitchen tables.”
The funding is part of both governments’ ongoing investments to assist the agri-food sector in facing the challenges brought on by the pandemic. Originally, $4 million was allocated, but due to high demand, an additional $3.2 million was added.
Examples of projects supported through the initiative include: the purchase and installation of machinery including temperature sensors, bench scales, waterproof industrial screen and labeling that will increase overall productivity; converting a regulator freezer into a blast freezer that will increase productivity and food safety by allowing the freezing of a product at a faster rate than a traditional freezer; and the purchase and installation of vacuum packaging equipment that will increase the efficiency and speed of processing meat.