Canada and Ontario Supporting Agri-food Sector Supply Chain During COVID-19

Published on April 20, 2020

$1 million in new funding to support efforts that match employers with job-seekers

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $1 million in new funding to connect workers with in-demand jobs in the agri-food sector to keep the nation's supply chains strong and store shelves stocked during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), the federal and provincial governments will provide support that will help people connect with job opportunities in the sector quickly. This program would help primary agriculture, food processing companies and grocery retail to recruit and train workers who are important to keeping the essential food supply chain functioning.


"The women and men who work on farms, in processing plants and throughout the food production chain, are doing an essential service for us during this critical time and we are thankful for their dedication and hard work," said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. "There is a strong need for workers on Canadian farms and in food processing businesses right now and our Government is taking concrete actions to find solutions, including through this new initiative, to ensure that Canadians continue to have high-quality food on their grocery store shelves and kitchen tables."


"This is a very labour-intensive sector so it is critical to attract more people to ensure our food supply chain continues to provide healthy and nutritious food to Ontario families during this COVID-19 outbreak," said the Honourable Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "Our government is doing everything possible to ensure we support our farmers and food processors to fill job vacancies, including the development of a new web portal connecting workers with employers."


Through the Partnership's Place to Grow: Agri-Food Innovation Initiative, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) will immediately accept applications and will expedite the approval process to help address sector labour concerns quickly.


Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed support to approximately 2,500 projects, through the Partnership, to help eligible Ontario farmers, processors, businesses and sector organizations innovate and grow.