Manitoba food processors get help to mitigate COVID spread

The program will contribute a maximum of 50 per cent of eligible project costs up to $25,000 per applicant

Manitoba agricultural processors, food distributors and agri-food industry organizations can get government money to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the federal and Manitoba governments said in a news release July 20.

The new program will contribute a maximum of 50 per cent of eligible project costs, up to $25,000 per applicant for the following:

  • Personal protective equipment and sanitation supplies;
  • Business continuity practices, training and resources to support COVID-19 mitigation;
  • And beginning in September, financial assistance will also be available for materials, supplies and equipment rentals needed to adapt production processes to meet social distancing and other precautions related to COVID-19.
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Three million dollars has been budgeted for the program in Manitoba for purchases made between March 1, 2020 and Jan. 31, 2021.

Ottawa will contribute 60 per cent of the funding and Manitoba 40 per cent under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

“We have a very active food-processing industry all across Manitoba, with a lot of small processors,” Manitoba and Resource Minister Blaine Pedersen said in an interview July 20. “The larger ones are obviously eligible for the $25,000 per business, but this is really targeted to our small processors and they’ve had some challenges in terms of buying personal protective equipment — sanitation supplies et cetera.

“Twenty-five thousand dollars will go a lot further in a small company than it will in a large (one), but it does not prohibit a large company from applying for it.”

The money can’t be used for capital spending, Pedersen added.

“The funding our two governments are delivering together today gives Manitoba processors an extra financial boost to adjust to the challenges presented by COVID-19 and help keep their workers safe,” Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in the release.

Funding applications are available on the Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development website.

About the author

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Allan Dawson

Allan Dawson is a reporter with the Manitoba Co-operator based near Miami, Man. Covering agriculture since 1980, Dawson has spent most of his career with the Co-operator except for several years with Farmers’ Independent Weekly and before that a Morden-Winkler area radio station.

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