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  • Stephen Lecce, MPP

Governments Helping Agri-Food Processing Businesses Lower Costs

TORONTO – The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $10 million through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) to help food processing businesses increase energy efficiency and lower their costs.

The Agri-Food Energy Cost Savings Initiative is a new, cost-share initiative to help food processors lower their costs to be more competitive and sustainable. The focus is on supporting projects that prioritize reducing greenhouse gas emissions by investing in new technology, equipment, as well as building or facility modifications to help achieve this goal.

“Our government is making substantial investments to help producers and processors reduce their energy consumption, which allows for economic and environmental advantages,” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “These projects will contribute to making the food processing sector of Ontario a more innovative and sustainable sector.”

“Ontario’s food processing sector is an essential component of Ontario’s food supply chain, and the Agri-Food Energy Cost Savings Initiative will reduce costs and improve efficiencies, enabling them to grow and succeed,” said Lisa Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “This initiative builds on our government’s Grow Ontario Strategy to support the growth and expansion of the agri-food industry, while ensuring Ontarians can continue to enjoy the good food that is grown and produced here at home.”

Minister Thompson will also highlight this news today at the Grow Ontario Food Summit, where more than 175 agri-food sector leaders and contributors to the province’s food system are meeting to discuss actions to achieve the priorities of the Grow Ontario Strategy. The strategy sets out the government’s vision to strengthen the agri-food sector, while ensuring an efficient, reliable and responsive food supply.

The Agri-Food Energy Cost Savings Initiative was developed following discussions with Ontario’s food manufacturing industry and builds on other actions the government has taken to support the sector, such as the $10 million investment through the Food Security and Supply Chain Fund, $22 million through the Agri-tech Innovation Program and the launch of the $25 million Strategic Agri-Food Processing Fund.

Under the Agri-Food Energy Cost Savings Initiative, applicants can receive up to 20 per cent cost share for eligible costs, to a maximum of $300,000, per business. Eligible businesses can apply for support through this initiative starting on April 27, 2023.

The Sustainable CAP will inject up to an estimated $1.77 billion in Ontario’s agri-food industry over the next five years, to strengthen Ontario’s agri-food competitiveness, innovation, and resiliency of the agriculture, agri‐food and agri‐based products sector. This includes up to $569M for Sustainable CAP cost-shared strategic initiatives, and an estimated $1.13 billion under Business Risk Management programs for Ontario producers.

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 $2.5 billion in cost-shared programs and activities by federal, provincial and territorial governments.

Quick Facts

  • The Agri-Food Energy Cost Savings Initiative will be delivered by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. More details about the initiative and its application process will be available online or can be obtained by calling 1-877-424-1300 later in April.

  • Applications for the Agri-Food Energy Cost Savings Initiative will be received as of April 27, 2023. The final day for submitting an application will be June 5, 2023. Applications will be reviewed based on merit criteria.

  • Sustainable CAP will help enable the goals outlined in Ontario’s Grow Ontario Strategy, which include increasing the production of food by 30 per cent over the next 10 years, growing agri-food exports by eight per cent annually, and to build and maintain world-class research infrastructure.

  • Enhancing sustainability and innovation in Canada’s agri-food sector were among priorities set for Sustainable CAP by the federal-provincial-territorial agricultural ministers in The Guelph Statement.

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