The Canadian government has launched a CA$775.5 million (US$569 million) Emergency Processing Fund, which includes funding that will help meat and poultry plants make changes to their processes and production to better navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canadian Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau stated that as the pandemic has caused significant changes and adaptation in the country’s food system, food producers and processors have taken on unexpected and exceptional activities associated with risk mitigation measures to be able to maintain production and keep the agrifood sector resilient and strong.

The EPF will prioritize projects based on two objectives:


  • Emergency COVID Response to assist companies to implement changes required by COVID-19 to ensure the health and safety of workers. This funding will assist with:
    • plant retrofits or adjustments to existing operations to accommodate changes to processes and production; and
    • increasing capacity for herd management.
  • Strategic Investments to assist companies to improve, automate, and modernize facilities needed to increase Canada’s food supply capacity.

“Canadian food processors are key to ensuring Canada’s food supply chain is protected during COVID-19, and beyond. Our government understands the challenges that Canadian food processors, producers and manufacturers are facing. This Emergency Processing Fund will help our processors to adapt their activities to ensure the safety of their workers, and to increase their capacity of production,” stated Bibeau.

Eligible applicants include for-profit organizations, cooperatives and indigenous groups. Activities can be retroactive to March 15, 2020 and must be completed by September 30, 2020.Information on the application process is available through the Emergency Processing Fund webpage.

View our continuing coverage of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.