Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian food producers and processors have stepped up to deliver quality food for Canadians.

From the outset, the Government of Canada has helped food processors invest in safety measures and maintain their capacity to keep up with demand.

On behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of employment, workforce development, and disability inclusion and member of parliament for Delta, Carla Qualtrough and member of parliament for Surrey Centre, Randeep Sarai, announced support of up to $16.9 million through the Emergency Processing Fund for 117 food processing companies in British Columbia.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought on many challenges for the food processing industry. We are here to support our essential food workers, who continue to provide Canadians access to a secure food supply,” Bibeau said. “Through the Emergency Processing Fund, we are giving businesses the support they need to keep their employees safe and our food systems running strong.”

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With this funding, recipients are adopting measures to help keep employees safe.

This includes making adjustments to enable social distancing, purchasing reuseable personal protective equipment (PPE), increasing cleaning, improving air circulation within their facilities and developing employee training.

These improvements help producers and processors supply Canadians with the food they need during this unprecedented time.

The announcement was made alongside Earth’s Own Food Company, a health food and beverage manufacturing company in Delta, which is receiving up to $2,638,210.

The Government of Canada will continue working with food processors to protect the health and well-being of workers in food processing plants across Canada and strengthen the food supply chain.


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