Improving Ontario’s Agri-Food Businesses Productivity


The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $3 million to help Ontario food, beverage and other agri-food businesses improve the productivity of their operations. This funding will make the sector more competitive by helping businesses purchase new equipment, adopt innovative technologies, and automate processes.

Starting today, applications will be accepted under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), to support projects that will help the food and beverage manufacturing industry improve labour and production efficiency, and waste reduction. Funding is available to agri-food businesses that are ready to implement advanced manufacturing technology. Some examples of projects include:

  • the purchase and installation of equipment and/or technology to improve input efficiency by automating a food or beverage manufacturing process like a cookie or cake baking line;
  • the purchase of new equipment to automate process technologies such as a bottle/crate washing and bottle filling system for beverage businesses that improve labour productivity, improve food safety and reduce environmental impact;
  • the purchase and installation of a waste-water reduction management system;
  • the transition to automated, advanced manufacturing and/or robotic processing technology to enhance labour productivity.

“This funding to improve productivity and efficiency is an important step to ensuring food and beverage processors have the supports they need to stay competitive as they navigate the pandemic and grow for the future,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Today’s investment builds on previous CAP intakes and Ontario’s funding support to drive innovation in the province’s agri-food supply chain and continue to build our world-class agri-food industry.”

This funding builds on other supports extended to the province’s food processing and agri-food sector during COVID-19. Examples of recent initiatives include:

  • a commitment of up to $3 million in additional funding under the Partnership to food and beverage processors to improve their operations, increase their competitive edge and adapt to challenges.
  • A more than $7 million investment to boost production and capacity in the meat processing sector under the Meat Processors Capacity Improvement Initiative.
  • A $2.25 million investment in provincially licensed meat processing plants to better protect employees and Ontario’s food supply under the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program.
  • A $22 million provincial investment to increase the adoption of technological innovations within the agri-food sector to enhance the health and safety of workers and improve the sector’s efficiency and productivity through the Agri-Tech Innovation Program.

“Food and Beverage Ontario appreciates the timing of this announcement which follows closely behind two reports we recently released that also received support from our provincial and federal colleagues, said Chris Conway, CEO, Food and Beverage Ontario. “We learned from the Study of Automation in the Ontario Food and Beverage Processing Sector and Technology Implementation Guide for the Ontario Food and Beverage Sector, that innovative technology does improve competitiveness for food and beverage processors. With this new funding it will be possible for businesses to make the necessary investments.”

Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed over $100 million in cost-share support to more than 5,000 projects through the Partnership to help eligible Ontario farmers, processors, businesses and sector organizations innovate and grow.

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