Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian food producers and processors have stepped up to deliver quality food for Canadians.
Special Representative for the Prairies, Honourable Jim Carr, announced support of up to $7.8 million through the Emergency Processing Fund for 24 meat processing companies across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Recipients are using this funding to make adjustments to enable social distancing, purchase reusable personal protective equipment (PPE), install protective barriers, improve sanitation and develop training for employees.
These changes are also helping the food plants avoid production bottlenecks and safely keep up with Canadian consumer demand.
The lion’s share of the funding went to Alberta; five operations of which reside in the east central region.
This includes Forestburg Meat Processing Inc. who is receiving $137,271, Provost Packers Ltd. for $49,980, Soleterra d’Italia located just north of Acme for $231,096, JBS Food Canada in Brooks for $804,912, and Trochu Meat Processors Ltd. for $63,287.
Across the prairies, the meat processing industry accounts for 19,000 jobs and $12 billion in sales, nearly half of total food processing jobs and sales on the Prairies.
“Our prairie meat businesses have shown incredible resilience throughout this time of crisis.
The investments announced today are helping many local businesses adapt their operations to help protect the health and safety of their employees which will allow them to continue supplying good food for Canadians,” said Carr.
The $77.5 million Emergency Processing Fund which was announced in May of last year is helping food processors implement measures to protect the health and safety of workers and their families in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with an emphasis on supporting meat processing facilities in Canada.
The fund also supports facility upgrades to help strengthen Canada’s food supply.