CANADA –  Canada’s Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food has unveiled a substantial investment of approximately C$89 million (US$66 million) to boost its dairy, poultry, and egg industries.

The funding, allocated through the Supply Management Processing Investment Fund (SMPIF), aims to support 49 projects across the country, assisting manufacturers in navigating the challenges posed by recent international trade agreements.

The targeted trade agreements include the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).

This initiative also echoes a similar package introduced in 2020 for poultry, egg, and dairy processors.

Farmers will be empowered to embrace new automated technologies, addressing environmental concerns and labor shortages while enhancing production capacity and productivity.

The funding covers diverse projects, including robotic packaging technology, milk pasteurizers, ultrafiltration equipment, and machinery for grading, setting, and breaking eggs.

The government envisions these upgrades as instrumental in modernizing production facilities, reducing waste, and improving overall productivity, according to a government release.

“With this funding, dairy, poultry, and egg processors will be able to modernize their operations so they can continue providing Canadian families with high-quality products while supporting small, rural communities across the country,” Lawrence MacAulay, Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food stated.

The SMPIF initiative offers financial support for eligible projects, with immediate applications being accepted. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can receive backing for up to half of their project costs, while larger companies with 500 or more employees can secure up to a quarter.

Mathieu Frigon, President and CEO of the Dairy Processors Association of Canada, praised government officials for their responsiveness to the needs of the dairy processing community.

Mark Hubert, President and CEO of the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council, noted that the fund has enabled vital investments in facilities, fostering increased productivity and efficiency.

The announcement was made at the Lactalis Canada cheese plant in Ingleside, Ontario, which is set to receive approximately C$3.3 million for developing new automated cheese processing and packaging technology.

Lactalis Canada, known for consumer dairy brands such as Black Diamond, Balderson, Astro, and Cracker Barrel, stands to benefit from the modernization initiatives.

The SMPIF initiative, launched in 2022 with a total worth of C$397.5 million, addresses the evolving market shifts for processors of supply-managed commodities resulting from trade deals.

Last October, Canada committed to providing non-repayable compensation of up to C$333 million to dairy producers over the next decade for concessions made in trade agreements.

The dairy and poultry production sectors contributed around C$14 billion in sales and generated approximately 100,000 jobs in 2022, as reported by the government.

 

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