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Ontario launches program to decrease dairy food safety risks


November 20, 2019
By Government of Ontario

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New training is being launched by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs that will give provincially inspected cow, goat, sheep and water buffalo dairy processing facilities access to specialized food safety cost-sharing funding.

The initiative is aimed to further decrease food safety risks through improvements to dairy processing facilities’ pasteurization systems.

“We’re working with our provincially inspected dairy plants to help them continually maintain our high food standards and to ensure they produce safe, high-quality dairy products,” Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, said. “Investing in projects like these will add even greater protections for the health of the many people who enjoy these foods and products.”

Businesses that receive the training are also eligible to apply for cost-shared funding for capital improvements designed to further boost food safety measures in their operations through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

Funding for the partnership intake opens on Feb. 3, 2020.

To date, more than 2,400 projects have been funded through the partnership to help eligible Ontario farmers, processors, businesses and sector organizations innovate and grow.

QUICK FACTS

• The province’s dairy processing sector supports more than 9,000 jobs and contributes $1.3 billion to the provincial economy each year.

• The partnership is a five-year, $3-billion commitment by federal, provincial and territorial governments that supports the country’s agri-food and agri-products sectors.

• There is no registration fee to attend the OMAFRA training course for provincially inspected dairy plants. There are separate training dates for plants that operate with batch pasteurization systems and for ones that use high-temperature-short-time (HTST) pasteurization: Jan. 23 and Jan. 24, 2020, respectively. Registrations for the OMAFRA training sessions can be made online. Registration closes on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, at 4 p.m. EST.

• OMAFRA administers the Canadian Agricultural Partnership training and cost-share funding to provincially inspected dairy plants. Dairy plants that attend the training become eligible to apply for the cost-share funding under this new programming. The application intake will be from Feb. 3, 2020 to March 31, 2020 at 4 p.m. EST.

• More information is included in the guidebook. The guidebook and application form are available by emailing agpartnership@ontario.ca or calling 1-877-424-1300.