Funding of more than CAN$2.5 million (US$1.9 million) will be provided to support the dairy sector in Canada and protect worker health.
Neil Ellis, Member of Parliament for Bay of Quinte and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced funding totalling more than CAN$2.5 million (US$1.9 million) under the Dairy Processing Investment Fund to support Empire Cheese Co-operative, Kawartha Dairy and Mariposa Dairy, according to a recent press release.
Parliamentary Secretary Ellis also announced that Kawartha Dairy and Mariposa Dairy will receive a total of more than CAN$85,000 (US$64,800) under the Emergency Processing Fund to enhance worker safety in their facilities in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Dairy Processing Investment Fund, valued at CAN$100 million (US$76,2 million), is designed to help dairy processors modernise their operations, improving productivity and competitiveness. Photo: Hans Prinsen
Through the Dairy Processing Investment Fund, the Government of Canada has approved over CAN$28 million (US$21.3 million) in funding for 29 projects across Ontario that will benefit cheese, yogurt, cream and butter processors.
The Dairy Processing Investment Fund, valued at CAN$100 million (US$76,2 million), is designed to help dairy processors modernise their operations, improving productivity and competitiveness. The Emergency Processing Fund will provide up to CAN$77.5 million (US$59 million) to help food processors safeguard the health and safety of workers and their families due to the impacts of the pandemic.
Canada's dairy processors sustain good jobs across the country, and the safe, high-quality products they supply help to ensure the viability of family farms and the vitality of rural areas.
"Dairy processors are essential to ensuring that quality, safe foods remain in stable supply as the country responds to the Covid-19 pandemic. The improvements made to these facilities will better position our processors for new market realities and ensure essential workers are protected against Covid-19," said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
"These investments will help to modernize Ontario's dairy processing operations, which will increase productivity and enhance competitiveness. By providing for the urgent health and safety needs of workers in these facilities, we are helping these essential operations maintain food production and meet new public health protocol requirements,” added Neil Ellis, Member of Parliament for Bay of Quinte and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
FACTS: Canada’s dairy sector
- There are over 500 dairy processors in Canada, including 164 in Ontario. Ontario dairy processors are key drivers of our economy, accounting for almost 40% of total Canadian dairy sales, reaching nearly CAN$6 billion (US$4,6 million) annually, and more than 8,000 jobs.
- To date, 90 dairy processors across Canada have been approved for funding under the Dairy Processing Investment Fund, valued at over CAN$76 million (US$58 million).
- Empire Cheese Co-op is the only cheese manufacturing plant operating in Northumberland County (Campbellford) and the first one east of Toronto.
- Founded in 1937, Kawartha Dairy is a family-owned company which operates ten retail stores and specializes in ice cream and fluid milk manufacturing, as well as cream, butter and other dairy products.
- Mariposa Dairy is Ontario's second largest manufacturer of goat cheese, and has been crafting award-winning, high-quality goat cheese products since 1989.
- This announcement under the Emergency Processing Fund builds on the measures the Government has introduced to keep Canada's agri-workforce strong, including:
- CAN$35 million (US$26,7 million) under the Emergency On-Farm Support Fund to improve health and safety on farms and in employee living quarters, and to prevent and respond to the spread of COVID-19.
- Travel exemptions for all migrant workers, including seasonal agricultural workers and fish/seafood workers.
- CAN$50 million (US$38,1 million) in funding for the Mandatory Isolation Support Program for Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) to help protect the health and safety of migrant workers in farming, fish harvesting, and food production by helping processing sectors cover the incremental costs associated with the mandatory 14-day isolation period imposed under the Quarantine Act on migrant workers upon entering Canada.
Source and more info: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada