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Ontario invests in biosecurity for food safety and animal and plant health

August 9, 2023  By Government of Ontario

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $7.5 million through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) to help eligible agri-food businesses and contributors enhance their biosecurity measures to support animal and plant health, and food safety.

The Biosecurity Enhancement Initiative (BEI) is a new, cost-share offering that will help farmers, food processors and other essential farm-supporting agri-food businesses protect their operations against disease, enhance operational resilience and heighten public trust in the food supply system.

“Ontario’s diverse agri-food system upholds some of the world’s highest standards for processing safety and preventative best management practices,” said Peter Fragiskatos, MP for London North Centre, on behalf of federal ag minister Lawrence MacAulay, in a press release. “This initiative will help the sector enhance the biosecurity of their operations to continue growing sustainably to help feed Canada and the world.”

A safe and stable supply chain requires a strong biosecurity approach. To support Ontario in this goal, as outlined in the Grow Ontario Strategy, this initiative will be available to entities such as veterinary clinics, livestock auction barns and commingling facilities, grain elevators, seed treatment facilities, and transportation providers. Examples of eligible projects include establishing or improving cleaning practices, creating isolation facilities, constructing wash bays for disinfecting, and training to support the mitigation of biosecurity risks in food production.

“In our Grow Ontario Strategy, we identified that new technologies, best practices and biosecurity measures will strengthen Ontario’s agriculture and food industry,” said Lisa Thompson, Ontario minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, in a press release. “By ensuring the industry can embrace these protocols, consumers can trust that the highest safety standards are employed as Ontario produces some of the best sources of food available around the globe.”

Under the BEI, the maximum amount of funding available and the proportion of cost-share funding for projects depends on the activity supported. This initiative was developed following discussions with agri-food sector businesses and organizations. It also follows investments of approximately $3 million to enhance biosecurity and emergency preparedness in Ontario’s pork sector.

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