Projects help ensure safety of agri-food workers
The federal government has invested $10.54 million from the Emergency Processing Fund (EPF) for 32 projects for agri-food workers throughout Canada, according to a statement from the government.
The $77.5 million-worth fund is focused on projects to help companies respond to the urgent health and safety needs of workers in agri-food sectors impacted by COVID-19, with an emphasis on supporting meat processing facilities.
“Workers in the agri-food sector, in particular those working in meat processing, have faced many challenges throughout this pandemic and the Government has been there to support them,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of agriculture and agri-food. “Ensuring the safety of these essential workers is key to continue providing safe, high-quality food for all Canadians.”
The projects have helped businesses purchase reusable PPE, sanitation stations and protective barriers, make adjustments to production lines to enable social distancing, develop additional training and adopt other measures that help safeguard employees from COVID-19.
In Quebec, a total of seven food processors, like Exceldor and Sunnymel Limited Partnership, have been approved so far for up to $1.8 million in funding to support their efforts in keeping their employees safe. All remaining projects are currently being assessed and will be finalized in the coming weeks, said the government
“The support announced by the federal government today was expected and is much appreciated. Despite the many challenges related to COVID-19 in recent months, we have been able to remain present in order to continue to feed Canadians,” said René Proulx, president and CEO, Exceldor cooperative.
“I would like to thank all of our employees who take their work to heart and who are still at their jobs despite the circumstances. We continue to be committed to providing a work environment that is adapted to the current pandemic conditions, and thus protecting the health of all our employees.” Said Proulx.
The federal government launched the EPF for the agriculture sector as part of its actions to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of COVID-19.
In May, the government disbursed $40 million in funding through Women and Gender Equality to more than 500 women's shelters and sexual assault centres in different parts of the country.