KITCHENER — The federal government is injecting up to $12.2 million into 42 Ontario meat processing companies to bolster worker safety measures and to make facility improvements that will boost production capacity.
The dollars come as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruptions to Canada’s food system, while livestock producers and meat processors have taken on unexpected and exceptional activities to manage health and safety.
Today’s announcement occurred as a virtual event with Mississauga-based Leavoy Rowe Beef Co., a specialty cutter and distributor of high-end meat products that is set to receive just over $1.3-million.
Company owner Rod Rowe said that he’s relied on the restaurant trade for the past 15 years, an industry now decimated by the pandemic. “This funding helps tremendously as I’ve had to reinvent my business, and in order to remain innovative, I require new equipment to supply other retail stores. This assistance also ensures that my staff remain employed with the possibility of bringing more people aboard,” he said.
Recipient companies will be able to use the money to buy reusable personal protective equipment, implement biosecurity measures, install protective barriers, and make adjustments for better social distancing. Facility upgrades are also supported to increase food output.
“Through these investments, we are helping meat processors here in Ontario keep their workers safe so they can continue delivering quality meat products to our grocery shelves,” said Neil Ellis, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “We are also supporting projects that increase processing capacity so we can strengthen Canada’s food supply and grow this important industry.”