Governments Support Beef Farmers and Protect Food Supply Chains

News release

Funding program will address Ontario meat processing disruptions caused by COVID-19

December 18, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $5 million in immediate, emergency assistance to help the province’s beef farmers manage costs associated with the impacts of COVID-19 and to help protect Ontario’s food supply network.

Starting Monday, December 21, 2020, Ontario beef farmers can apply for funding to help cover increased costs of feeding and setting aside market-ready cattle due to COVID-19 related processing delays. This funding flows from an agreement reached by the governments this spring to support these producers, in a timely manner, in the event that processing disruptions impacted the sector.

The Canada-Ontario COVID-19 Beef Emergency Feed Maintenance Initiative is being offered through AgriRecovery, under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The provincial contributions are part of Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 which will provide funding support for eligible farmers. Additional details on program mechanics will be released soon. Agricorp will deliver the programming and receive applications.

This funding is in addition to other supports launched this year to assist the agri-food sector in meeting challenges related to the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes:

Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed cost-share support to approximately 4,200 projects through the Partnership to help eligible Ontario farmers, processors, businesses and sector organizations innovate and grow.


"We care deeply about the well-being of our farmers and understand the repercussions that short-term capacity reductions have on livestock producers. This is another measure we are taking to support our cattle farmers and to continue to keep high-quality and affordable meat products available to Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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


“We are continuing to work with our farmers and all the agri-food heroes in our food processing network to help them meet challenges posed by COVID-19 and to keep a steady supply of safe and nutritious foods available for Ontario families. This is just one of the many ways our province continues to support farmers during COVID-19 and builds on the efforts we have already made in working with the agri-food sector to address urgent needs.”

- The Honourable Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

“I commend the federal and provincial governments for moving swiftly to ensure this tool and funding support was made available to Ontario cattle producers to help mitigate the impact of the disruptions we’ve experienced at processing. BFO is committed to working with both levels of government and our industry partners on other measures to help address the current challenges facing our sector.”

- Rob Lipsett, president, Beef Farmers of Ontario

Quick facts

  • The Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment which includes $1 billion for federal activities and programs, and $2 billion in cost-shared programs delivered by provinces and territories on a 60-40 basis.

  • Ontario is home to nearly 6,800 beef farms. The province’s beef industry contributes an estimated $2.8 billion each year to the province’s economy and its value chain sustains an estimated 60,000 jobs.

  • The Canada-Ontario AgriRecovery COVID-19 Beef Emergency Feed Maintenance Initiative is delivered by Agricorp.

Associated links


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

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Julian Neal
Office of the Honourable Ernie Hardeman

Christa Roettele, Communications Branch
519 826-3145

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