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Manitoba announces COVID-19 response initiative for food producers


July 22, 2020
By Government of Manitoba

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Manitoba has introduced a new COVID-19 Response Initiative that will help financially support agricultural producers in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

Federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen made the announcement on Monday.

For projects targeting personal protective equipment and sanitation supplies, business continuity practices, training and resources to support COVID-19 mitigation (Focus Areas 1 and 2), applications will be received beginning July 20, 2020 until January 31, 2021.

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Focus Area 1 – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), testing equipment, and sanitation supplies rebate
  • personal protective equipment
  • COVID-19 testing equipment
  • sanitation supplies

Focus Area 2 – Business continuity initiatives, training and resources specific to COVID-19 mitigation

  • business continuity initiatives (pandemic awareness and planning)
  • resources (communications, technology, professional fees)

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 (Focus Area 3).

Focus Area 3 – Production process adaptations and equipment rentals

  • adaptations to production processes, facilities and common area
  • equipment to mitigate the spread of COVID-19quipment to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

“Food producers and processors have had to deal with so many new challenges over the past months, while continuing to supply Canadians with the high-quality food they produce. Manitoba processors have stepped up to deal with those challenges, just as Canadians have never been more appreciative of the importance of our food supply chain,” said Bibeau. “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.”

“A COVID-19 response for the agri-food and agri-product sector is needed to ensure processors can adapt, recover and maintain competitiveness,” said Pedersen. “The pandemic has required them to make changes to their operations and enhance their employee protections. Manitoba’s food and agri-product processors are significant contributors to our economy, so we are pleased to offer a program that helps respond to these challenges.”

Eligible costs must be directly related to the execution of a project and must be incurred between March 1, 2020, and Jan. 31, 2021. Projects must be completed on or before Jan. 31, 2021.

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

Producers also have access to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Emergency Processing Fund (EPF), a federal investment of up to $77.5 million to help companies implement changes to safeguard the health and safety of workers and their families due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funding applications are available on the Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development website, at https://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/canadian-agricultural-partnership/ag-action-manitoba-program/financial-assistance-covid-19.html.