In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, both the Canadian government and the Ontario government have announced financial assistance measures for individuals and businesses, including farm businesses. This resource includes information about existing programs and new financial assistance measures.
Recent funding announcements:
September 29, 2021: Improving Ontario’s Agri-Food Businesses Productivity
The governments of Canada and Ontario will be investing up to $3 million to help Ontario food, beverage and other agri-food businesses improve the productivity of their operations. This funding will make the sector more competitive by helping businesses purchase new equipment, adopt innovative technologies, and automate processes.
- More details: Applications will be accepted under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), to support projects that will help the food and beverage manufacturing industry improve labour and production efficiency, and waste reduction. Funding is available to agri-food businesses that are ready to implement advanced manufacturing technology. Some examples of projects include:
- the purchase and installation of equipment and/or technology to improve input efficiency by automating a food or beverage manufacturing process like a cookie or cake baking line;
- the purchase of new equipment to automate process technologies such as a bottle/crate washing and bottle filling system for beverage businesses that improve labour productivity, improve food safety and reduce environmental impact;
- the purchase and installation of a waste-water reduction management system;
- the transition to automated, advanced manufacturing and/or robotic processing technology to enhance labour productivity.
The Ontario government is launching a modernized cost-share intake as part of a $25.5 million program to increase the adoption of technological innovations within the agri-food sector to enhance the health and safety of workers and improve the sector’s efficiency and productivity.
- More details: The Agri-tech Innovation Program is a new $22-million cost-share program that will help farming operations and processor businesses adopt innovative and new technologies. This intake will support implementation of sector-specific, unique and innovative technologies in the workplace that enhance protection of workers against COVID-19, lead to increased business efficiencies and productivity, and help build the sector’s resilience. The first intake will run from May 17 to June 21, 2021. Watch for detailed program information and application forms.
The Ontario government is providing $10 million to allow more farmers and agri-food operators to purchase personal protective equipment, enhance cleaning and disinfection and redesign workstations to better protect workers. This announcement is part of the 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy.
Under the new Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program, farms and agri-food businesses that hire three or more employees will be eligible for funding. Additional businesses and workers will be eligible including corn detasselers, transporters, hatcheries, and primary processing (e.g., cutting, cleaning, packaging, storage and refrigeration of raw plant foods to prevent food from spoiling before it reaches consumers).
- More details:The Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program is now open. This new, $10 million funding helps more farmers and agri-food operators purchase personal protective equipment, enhance cleaning and disinfection and redesign workstations to better protect workers. The program will also help farmers who experience unexpected costs as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak among on-farm employees. The intake is open from April 22, 2021, and applications are being accepted until the funding has been fully distributed or until November 30, 2021.