Supporting Quebec food processors in their effort to protect employees

News release

October 14, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Today, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced an investment of over $380,000 under the Emergency Processing Fund for four local food processors in the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region of Quebec.

The first investment of $236,000 will provide Serres Toundra, a cucumber processing plant located in Saint-Félicien, with the support to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), including a thermal camera for taking the temperature, a centralized disinfection system for their warehouse and hygiene stations.

The three other investments made through the Quebec Food Processing Council (CTAQ) will benefit processors in Alma, including: :

  • $42,000 for Boucherie-Charcuterie Perron;
  • $17,500 for Charcuterie L. Fortin; and
  • $86,000 for Nutrinor Cooperative.

This funding will support these Quebec processors to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), adapt ventilation systems and reorganize warehouses to help ensure physical distancing of employees.

The Government of Canada will continue to protect the health and safety of all Canadians from COVID-19, including those in the food processing sector who work hard to provide us with high-quality food.


“Our Government understands the challenges that Canadian food processors face on a daily basis since the beginning of the pandemic and ensuring they have the support they need to protect the health and safety of their workers has been a top priority. Through investments like these, we are ensuring the right measures are in place to safeguard their employees and limit the spread of the virus, while keeping our food supply chain strong and our rural communities vibrant.”

- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“Thanks to the support of the federal government, Toundra Greenhouses will be able to improve its sanitary protocol, which is already one of the most rigorous in the industry.”

- Éric Dubé, President and CEO, Toundra Greenhouses

“The CTAQ is very proud to have contributed to the exercise and to have responded quickly and effectively to the companies’ requests. The food-processing companies needed financial assistance to apply sanitary measures and protect the health and safety of the workers and their families.”

- Sylvie Cloutier, President and CEO, Conseil de la transformation alimentaire du Québec (CTAQ)

Quick facts

  • The $77.5 million Emergency Processing Fund is helping food processors implement measures to protect the health and safety of workers and their families in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also supports facility upgrades and help strengthen Canada's food supply.

  • Serres Toundra is located in Saint-Félicien and is the largest cucumber producer in Quebec, with over 100 employees.

  • The Quebec Food Processing Council (CTAQ) mission is to ensure the representation, promotion and protection of the interests of its members and to support them to ensure the sustainability of the food industry in Quebec.

  • This announcement builds on the measures we have introduced to keep Canada's agri-workforce strong, including:

    • Travel exemptions for all migrant workers, including seasonal agricultural workers and fish/seafood workers.
    • $50 million in funding for the Mandatory Isolation Support Program for Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) to help protect the health and safety of migrant workers in farming, fish harvesting, and food production by helping processing sectors cover the incremental costs associated with the mandatory 14-day isolation period imposed under the Quarantine Act on migrant workers upon entering Canada.

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

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
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