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Ag workplaces can apply for funding to better protect farm workers

Workplaces in the agri-food sector can apply for funding to help with purchasing personal protective equipment, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and redesigning workstations.


May 15, 2020
By Potatoes in Canada

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The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $2.25 million to better protect farm workers by launching a second intake of the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program for farmers.

The funding will be used for initiatives like purchasing personal protective equipment, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and redesigning workstations, among other safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We care deeply about the well being of farmers and are supporting the investments already being made on farms to keep employees safe,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal minister of agriculture and agri-food, in a released statement. “This additional support will help Ontario farmers quickly adopt new on-farm measures and practices that follow the best public health guidance, so they can continue to focus on their critical work of feeding Canadians.”

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is now accepting applications and will expedite the approval process to help support workplace health and safety in the agri-food sector. According to the funding announcement, eligible applications will be received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available.

Support is also available for farmers who experience unexpected costs for housing and transportation as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak among on-farm employees.

Today’s announcement is in addition to the $2.25 million investment announced last week to help provincially-licensed meat processors implement COVID-19 health and safety measures.

The Agri-food Workplace Protection Program builds on previous actions taken by the federal and provincial government to support the agri-food sector. This includes $1 million to help Ontario farmers, food processors and other agri-food supply chain partners address labour shortages, as well as $2.5 million to improve e-business opportunities for Ontario’s agri-food sector.