Supporting Canada’s food processing and production sectors


The Emergency Processing Fund was part of the $252 million suite of initiatives that the Prime Minister announced on May 5, 2020, to respond to vulnerabilities in food supply chains in light of COVID-19. 

The Government is putting in place $77.5 million to incent strategic investments to maintain and increase domestic food production and processing critical to Canada’s food supply. Food processors can receive up to $5 million, per recipient, to help enhance worker health and safety and for domestic food processing.

The Emergency Processing Fund will offer:

  • Emergency COVID Response - funding to help companies implement changes to safeguard the health and safety of workers, their families, and communities.
  • Strategic Investments - funding to help companies improve, automate and modernize facilities to increase Canada’s food supply capacity.

Eligible costs related to a project will be shared between the Program and the successful applicant. Small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) can receive up to 50 per cent of total eligible costs. Larger companies can receive up to 25 per cent of total eligible costs.

All eligible activities must be completed by September 30, 2020. The program will fund activities retroactive to March 15, 2020.

Eligible activities include:

Emergency COVID Response

  • Activities associated with adjustments made, as a result of COVID-19, to existing plants to implement added public health protocols and requirements and adapt production processes for the health and safety of workers and their families, such as:
    • non-disposable or reusable personal protective equipment (PPE), including:
      - body temperature screening/fever detection systems
      - washing stations
      - workstation dividers/protective barriers
      - full and half face-piece respirators
      - impact goggles and face shields
    • installation of sanitation stations, protective barriers
    • adjustments to current processes and manufacturing lines to accommodate social distancing
    • rental or purchase of portable buildings and installations/site modifications and/or transportation for social distancing and wellness checks
    • HVAC modifications or upgrades
    • training for workers on additional health security measures
    • disinfection and cleaning in the event of a plant closure
    • labour costs only as are needed for the installation of the protective measures
    • other activities that a company can demonstrate are resulting from COVID-19 public health adjustment requirements
  • Activities associated with herd management as a result of COVID-19 at processing facilities, such as:
    • retrofits or extraordinary adjustments to facilities necessary to adapt care, transportation and management of surplus animals
    • labour costs only as are needed for the installation of the measures
    • other activities that can be demonstrated are resulting from COVID-19 food supply disruptions

Strategic Investments

  • Activities associated with improvements or modernization of food processing or manufacturing facilities to manage surplus stock; increase production; or that are operating at less than full capacity or closed such as:
    • rental or purchase, shipping and installation of automation equipment new to the plant
    • rental or purchase and installation of additional production or packaging equipment
    • rental or purchase and installation of increased warehousing and/or cold storage capacity
    • equipment technicians fees, travel and accommodation to make installation
    • plant or line retrofits to accommodate the new equipment
    • training of employees on the new equipment
    • other activities, other than labour, that can be demonstrated as needed as a result of the installation of the automation

Activities can be retroactive to March 15, 2020 and must be completed by September 30, 2020.

Eligible applicants include:

  • For profit organizations that are incorporated in Canada (i.e. businesses and/or corporations, cooperatives, Indigenous groups);
  • Legal entities capable of entering into a legally binding agreement;
  • In operation for at least two (2) years; and
  • Involved in agricultural food processing or manufacturing in Canada.

Applicants requesting less than $100,000, depending on the project location will apply as follows:

Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick
Perennia Food and Agriculture Inc.

Conseil de la transformation alimentaire du Québec

Ontario, Manitoba and Nunavut
Agricultural Adaptation Council

Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Yukon and Northwest Territories
Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC *

* The organization will work with Western Economic Diversification Canada to promote and coordinate the program in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Applications requesting $100,000 or more in funding will be delivered by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. To apply please visit Emergency Processing Fund.

Maintaining and strengthening Canada’s food production and processing sector


Jean-Sébastien Comeau
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
Follow us on Twitter: @AAFC_Canada
Like us on Facebook: CanadianAgriculture

Page details

Date modified: