Business & Policy
Ontario funds increased agri-food processing capacity
By Government of Ontario
The Ontario government is investing up to $25 million over two years to build up the province’s food processing capacity. The new Strategic Agri-Food Processing Fund (SAFPF) program, which was announced in the 2021 Fall Economic Statement and aims to increase the province’s food processing capacity, strengthen food security and position the agri-food sector for economic growth, will launch on April 1.
Ontario’s food processing sector faces challenges to its ability to process more of the food that is grown in the province, including aging technology and facilities. Many aging food processing plants are limited in their capacities to expand and compete by outdated equipment and inadequate operational space to add new, efficient production lines.
The SAFPF will support industry investment in projects that address the processing capacity shortage and increase the sector’s competitiveness and resilience against future disruptions. Agri-food businesses are eligible for up to $3 million in cost-share funding to either build new processing facilities or expand or modernize existing facilities and adopt new, innovative technologies to improve current operations.
“This strategic investment will boost competitiveness and create new opportunities for the Ontario food processing sector and the entire supply chain,” said Lisa Thompson, minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs. “By enabling more private-sector investments that increase local food production, we’re ensuring Ontario has a safe and stable food supply made right here at home while driving economic growth and creating good, local jobs.”
In an effort to increase local food production across Ontario, rural, northern and Indigenous businesses will receive an additional five per cent in cost-share funding to build critical processing capacity in underserviced areas.
The application intake for the Strategic Agri-Food Processing Fund opens on April 1.