Business & Policy
New program for Manitoba agri-processors affected by COVID-19
By Top Crop Manager
The governments of Canada and Manitoba announced a new $3-million cost-shared Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) program to support projects that will help agricultural processors mitigate the spread of COVID-19, federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen announced on Monday.
“Food producers and processors have had to deal with so many new challenges over the past months while continuing to supply Canadians with the high-quality food they produce. Manitoba processors have stepped up to deal with those challenges, just as Canadians have never been more appreciative of the importance of our food supply chain,” Bibeau said. “The funding our two governments are delivering together today gives Manitoba processors an extra financial boost to adjust to the challenges presented by COVID-19 and help keep their workers safe.”
“A COVID-19 response for the agri-food and agri-product sector is needed to ensure processors can adapt, recover and maintain competitiveness,” Pedersen said. “The pandemic has required them to make changes to their operations and enhance their employee protections.
“Manitoba’s food and agri-product processors are significant contributors to our economy, so we are pleased to offer a program that helps respond to these challenges.”
The new COVID-19 Response Initiative will provide financial assistance to agri-food and agri-product processors, food distributors and agri-food industry organizations for:
• personal protective equipment and sanitation supplies;
• business continuity practices, training and resources to support COVID-19 mitigation; and
• beginning in September, financial assistance will also be available for materials, supplies and equipment rentals needed to adapt production processes to meet social distancing and other precautions related to COVID-19.
Eligible costs must be directly related to the execution of a project and must be incurred between March 1, 2020, and Jan. 31, 2021. Projects must be completed on or before Jan. 31, 2021.
Governments will contribute a maximum of 50 per cent of eligible project costs, up to $25,000 per applicant.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Emergency Processing Fund (EPF) is a federal investment of up to $77.5 million to help companies implement changes to safeguard the health and safety of workers and their families due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Funding applications are available on the Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development website, at www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/canadian-agricultural-partnership/ag-action-manitoba-program/financial-assistance-covid-19.html.