Ontario and Feds invest up to $8 million

Ontario and Feds invest up to $8 million
Jan 22, 2024

Funds will help processors modernize their businesses to improve efficiency and ensure food safety.

By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com; Image by Michelle from Pixabay.

The governments of Canada and Ontario have announced they will contribute up to $8-million in funding through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) to create or increase processing efficiencies and enhance food safety in the province's dairy processing sector.

Eligible dairy businesses are invited to apply for funding through the Dairy Processing Modernization Initiative to acquire modern technologies that increase production efficiency and ensure food safety in their facilities. Cost-share support through this initiative can be used to help cover the purchase and installation of new or refurbished equipment and its associated costs, such as training.

"Ontario's dairy processors work tirelessly to ensure their products meet the highest standards for quality and safety,” stated the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “Through this $8-million shared investment under Sustainable CAP, processors will be able to access the technology they need to continue to grow and improve their efficiency."

This investment supports the objectives of the government's Grow Ontario Strategy to strengthen the agriculture and food supply chains and build resilience in the face of any future disruption.

The Dairy Processing Modernization Initiative is open to cow, goat, sheep, and water buffalo milk processors. There are 171 licensed cow and goat dairy processors, plus additional sheep and buffalo dairy processors, in the province.

Each eligible applicant can receive up to $200,000 in cost-share support. Applications open on April 2, 2024, and will remain open until the initiative is fully subscribed. Eligible project costs can be incurred as of April 2, 2024.

The Sustainable CAP is a five-year (2023-2028) $3.5 billion investment by federal, provincial, and territorial governments to strengthen competitiveness, innovation, and resiliency in the agriculture, agri‐food, and agri‐based products sectors. This includes $1-billion in federal programs and activities and a $2.5 billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 percent federally and 40 percent provincially and territorially for programs that are designed and delivered by the provinces and territories.

“Our government is committed to working with Ontario's dairy processors, so they will be able to continue to supply the array of delicious, nutritious, and safe products that consumers enjoy and trust. Efficiencies realized through new technologies will play a key role in helping the sector continue to thrive," stated the Honourable Lisa Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

It is expected that the Sustainable CAP will help enable the goals outlined in Ontario's Grow Ontario Strategy, which include increasing the production of food by 30 percent by 2032 and growing agri-food exports by eight percent annually.

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