Government of Canada announces $252 million for farmers, food businesses and processors

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Author: Josie Di Felice

Posted: May 8, 2020

Categories: Food in the News / GoodFoodBites

On May 5, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an investment of more than $252 million to support farmers, food businesses, and food processors who provide essential services to Canadians every day by ensuring a safe and reliable food supply. An additional $200 million in borrowing capacity for the sector was also announced.

The announcement includes:

  • Creating a $77.5 million Emergency Processing Fund to help food producers access more personal protective equipment (PPE), adapt to health protocols, automate or modernize their facilities, processes, and operations, and respond to emerging pressures from COVID-19
  • Launching national AgriRecovery initiatives of up to $125 million in funding to help producers faced with additional costs incurred by COVID-19
  • The intention to increase the Canadian Dairy Commission’s borrowing limit by $200 million to support costs associated with the temporary storage of cheese and butter to avoid food waste
  • Launching a Surplus Food Purchase Program with an initial $50 million fund to help redistribute existing and unsold inventories (e.g. potatoes and poultry) to local food organizations who are serving vulnerable Canadians
  • Working with provinces and territories to increase interim payments from 50 per cent to 75 per cent through AgriStability
  • Working with provinces and territories to explore possibilities for expanding the AgriInsurance program to include labour shortages as an eligible risk for the horticulture sector

Read more in the full news release here.

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture has said, “While the $252M announced today by the government is welcomed, it falls well short of what’s needed to guarantee Canada’s food system for Canadians and the world.” Last week, on behalf of the agri-food sector, the CFA had asked for an Agri-Food Emergency Fund of $2.6B to maintain food security for Canada. Read more from the CFA here.

And see the response from the National Farmers Union here.