Ontario government injects $15M into agri-food pandemic response program

The government of Ontario has announced it is expanding its Agri-food Workplace Protection Program with up to $15 million to enhance health and safety measures on farms and in food processing plants. This injection of funds more than triples the previous investment made by provincial and local governments.

The enhanced program offers cost-share funding for farmers to purchase personal protective equipment, implement workplace modifications, and other necessary measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some measures have already been approved under the program, including temporary housing for sick workers, the construction of physical barriers to adhere to social distancing guidelines, enhanced hand washing facilities, and a tent rental to expand lunch room space.

“Agri-food businesses and their hardworking employees play a critical role in keeping our food supply chain strong, providing us with fresh, high-quality, and nutritious food all year round,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, in today’s statement. “Today’s investment will allow farmers to adapt to this new environment and implement additional health and safety measures during the COVID-19 outbreak.”