Business and Operations
Ontario helps food processors get more competitive
By Bakers Journal
The Governments of Canada and Ontario are providing more than $5.4 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help food processing businesses improve food safety, increase labour productivity and enable better access to markets. These strategic investments will support more than 75 projects across Ontario and strengthen the province’s crucial agri-food supply chain, among them, bakeries.
The Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion commitment by Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments that supports Canada’s food production sectors.
“Targeted investments into the innovation of our food processors such as these ensure our food supply chain remains strong and competitive for years to come,” said Neil Ellis, Member of Parliament for Bay of Quinte and Parliamentary Secretary to the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food in a press release. “This is about serving our communities from both levels of government, helping to give a boost to our local food businesses and address some of the challenges around labour we are seeing right now.”
Some specific types of projects supported through this programming include:
- Implementing technology or other systems to improve food safety.
- Transitioning to automated, advanced manufacturing and/or robotic processing technology to enhance labour productivity for bakeries.
- Developing new products or processes to increase sales.
“Our food processors are an integral part of our province’s economic recovery from this outbreak,” said the Honourable Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “By investing in this sector, we are helping our homegrown processors become more competitive, more innovative and better positioned to keep supplying safe, quality foods for domestic and international markets.”
New programming launched this year, like the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program, to assist the sector in protecting its workers from the COVID-19 outbreak.
Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed cost-share support to more than 2,500 projects through the Partnership to help eligible Ontario food processors, businesses and sector organizations innovate and grow. Protection and assurance to reinforce the foundation for public trust in the sector through improved assurance systems in food safety and plant and animal health.
The Ontario agri-food sector supports more than 837,000 jobs in Ontario and contributes more than $47.5 billion each year to the province’s economy.