FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 18, 2020
QUEEN’S PARK – Federal and provincial governments are investing up to $10 million in emergency assistance for beef and hog farmers.
Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett said the funding will help cover the increased costs of feeding market ready cattle and hogs due to COVID-19 related processing delays, while redirecting surplus pork products to help those in need.
This program will help ensure the country’s food supply chain will remain strong and ready to recover as the economy gradually and safely reopens.
The beef cattle set-aside program will provide beef farmers with up to $5 million in support. Farmers can claim $2 per head of cattle per day to help pay for additional maintenance costs should they have to keep their market-ready animals on their farms for extended periods of time.
The hog sector support program will also provide hog farmers with up to $5 million to help cover additional maintenance costs. Ontario is also providing up to $1.5 million to process and package surplus pork for food banks, to provide those in need with fresh, locally produced pork products. This will assist the pork processing industry with managing capacity while helping those in need.
Both the beef cattle set-aside and hog sector support programs are being offered through AgriRecovery initiatives, under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The provincial contributions are part of Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.
“The COVID crisis has created some unique situations for agriculture producers, including the processing delays currently facing cattle and hog producers,” said Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett. “It’s important government supports them to preserve the food supply, and Minister Hardeman has been there for the farm community.”
· The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion commitment by Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments to support Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sectors. · The province is significantly expanding the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program and committing up to $15 million to enhance health and safety
measures on farms and in food processing facilities. The Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program provides cost-share funding for farmers to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and implement workplace modifications and other measures.
· The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has also partnered with the Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) to provide agri-food businesses, organizations and associations with educational resources, tools and consulting services to help them implement COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Additional details about businesses that may qualify can be found on the WSPS website.
· During the COVID-19 emergency, Foodland Ontario has promoted local foods of all kinds, including lamb and veal, to help consumers choose and buy local, and to market the important sectors that bring food to Ontarians’ tables.
For more information, contact MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446 or [email protected]