Governments Bolstering Food Supply System
AYLMER – The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $7.5 million through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) to help eligible agri-food businesses and contributors enhance their biosecurity measures to support animal and plant health, and food safety.
The Biosecurity Enhancement Initiative (BEI) is a new, cost-share offering that will help farmers, food processors, and other essential farm-supporting agri-food businesses protect their operations against disease, enhance operational resilience and heighten public trust in the food supply system.
“Ontario’s diverse agri-food system upholds some of the world’s highest standards for processing safety and preventative best management practices,” said Peter Fragiskatos, Member of Parliament for London North Centre. “This Initiative will help the sector enhance the biosecurity of their operations to continue growing sustainably to help feed Canada and the world.”
A safe and stable supply chain requires a strong biosecurity approach. To support Ontario in this goal, as outlined in the Grow Ontario Strategy, this initiative will be available to entities such as veterinary clinics, livestock auction barns and commingling facilities, grain elevators, seed treatment facilities, and transportation providers. Examples of eligible projects include establishing or improving cleaning practices, creating isolation facilities, constructing wash bays for disinfecting and training to support the mitigation of biosecurity risks in food production.
“In our Grow Ontario Strategy, we identified that new technologies, best practices and biosecurity measures will strengthen Ontario’s agriculture and food industry,” said Lisa Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “By ensuring the industry can embrace these protocols, consumers can trust that the highest safety standards are employed as Ontario produces some of the best sources of food available around the globe.”
Under the BEI, the maximum amount of funding available and the proportion of cost-share funding for projects depends on the activity supported. This initiative was developed following discussions with agri-food sector businesses and organizations. It also follows investments of approximately $3 million to enhance biosecurity and emergency preparedness in Ontario’s pork sector.
Sustainable CAP is a five-year (2023-2028), $3.5-billion investment by federal‐provincial and territorial governments to strengthen competitiveness, innovation, and resiliency of the agriculture, agri‐food, and agri‐based products sector. This includes $1 billion in federal programs and activities and a $2.5 billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs that are designed and delivered by the provinces and territories.
The Biosecurity Enhancement Initiative will be delivered by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. More details about the initiative and its application process will soon be available online or can be obtained by calling 1-877-424-1300.
Applications for the Biosecurity Enhancement Initiative will be accepted as of September 19, 2023. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis, subject to funding availability.
Enhancing the sector’s ability to anticipate, mitigate and respond to risks in Canada’s agri-food sector was a key priority set for Sustainable CAP by the federal-provincial-territorial agricultural ministers in The Guelph Statement.