Ontario’s produce and food processing sector is getting a $6.1 million investment to support worker safety and the food supply chain.
The grant will be allocated to 34 food processing companies in the province so they can invest in safety measures for worker safety, such as the purchase of PPE and biosecurity, handwashing stations, barrier installations and employee training.
The Canadian government will continue working with food processors to protect workers through its Emergency Processing Fund (EPF).
Two notable EPF recipients are Lakeside Produce, a family-owned produce company and greenhouse grower, receiving up to $1,172,632 and Under Sun Acres, a greenhouse operation, receiving up to $149,034.
"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,” says Neil Ellis, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
The EPF has provided up to $32.5 million to date.
"Lakeside greatly appreciates the support which was extended to us. This is indeed a true justification of 'We are in this together',” says Sudeshna Nambiar, chief operating officer of Lakeside Produce.
There are approximately 2000 food processing companies in Ontario.