Federal aid for Canadian agriculture and food sectors

May 5, 2020 | Eric F.W. Johnson, Brady Knight

The federal government announced a $252-million aid package for Canada’s agriculture and food industries on May 5, 2020. A number of areas will receive increased funding. Highlights include:

  • Food processors: Both large and small food processors (including meat packers) will have access to a $77-million fund to retrofit their factories. The money can be used to buy personal protective equipment for workers, adapt to health protocols, and support other social distancing measures.
  • Beef and pork producers: In a program that appears similar to the one offered during the BSE crisis, beef and pork producers will have access to a $125-million fund to help with additional costs of caring for animals for longer than usual, until processors can slaughter them.
  • Dairy producers: The government plans to launch a $200-million credit line.
  • Other commodities: A $50-million surplus purchase program will see the federal government buy perishable products and redistribute them to organizations such as food banks.

There was no specific funding earmarked for grain, vegetable or fruit farmers. However, the federal government is also expected to add an additional $125 million to the AgriRecovery fund, a federal-provincial-territorial program aimed at helping farmers during disasters.

Details on how this funding may be accessed are expected in the coming days and we will continue to update our clients as soon as information is released.   While our COVID-19 Resources page will be an important reference source for you, our Agribusiness Group is always available to answer questions, and will be ready to provide guidance as to how the program will best serve your particular situation.  Please feel free to contact any member of our national team.


Miller Thomson is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation to ensure that we provide our clients with appropriate support in this rapidly changing environment. For articles, information updates and firm developments, please visit our COVID-19 Resources page.


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