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Canada, Manitoba announce program to help agri-processors mitiage the spreads of COVID-19

Canada, Manitoba announce program to help agri-processors mitiage the spreads of COVID-19

Posted in: News Item

Date Posted: 2020-07-21

Organization Name: Government of Manitoba

The governments of Canada and Manitoba announced a $3 million cost-shared Canadian Agricultural Partnership program to support projects that will help agricultural processors mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The announcement was made by federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen.

“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,” said Bibeau. “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.”

Pedersen 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,” Pedersen said. “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.”

The new COVID-19 Response Initiative will provide financial assistance to agri-food and agri-product processors, food distributors and agri-food industry organizations 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 April 1, 2020, and Jan. 31, 2021. Projects must be completed on or before Jan. 31, 2021.

Governments will contribute a maximum of 50 per cent of eligible project costs, up to $25,000 per applicant.

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.

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 programs and services. For more information, visit www.canada.ca/Agri-Partnership.

Funding applications are available on the Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development website, at https://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/canadian-agricultural-partnership/ag-action-manitoba-program/financial-assistance-covid-19.html.