Five Manitoba meat processing plants to receive funding from federal government

Five Manitoba meat processing plants are among 24 plants across the country that are receiving funding from the federal government.

On Tuesday, the federal Liberals announced $7.8 million in supports for the meat processing plants through the Emergency Processing Fund.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought on many challenges for the food processing industry, in particular for meat processing plants of all sizes,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau. “The hard-working women and men in this industry continue to step up to ensure Canadians have high-quality food on their plates,” the minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food said in a news release.

The plants in Manitoba receiving the funding include:

· 6381023 Manitoba Ltd. which will get $320,000;

· East 40 Packers Ltd. is getting $99,999;

· HyLife Ltd. is receiving $3,670,334;

· Timothy’s Country Butcher Shop will be getting $32,174; and

· Winkler Meats Ltd. is to receive $1,447,693.

The government said the funding would go towards making adjustments which would allow for social distancing, buying personal protective equipment, putting up protective barriers, improving sanitation and training staff.

Jim Carr, the special representative for the prairies, said meat companies have shown resilience during the pandemic.

“The investments announced today are helping many local businesses adapt their operations to help protect the health and safety of their employees which will allow them to continue supplying good for Canadians,” said Carr in a news release.

Dickson Gould, the president of Winkler Meats Ltd., said the funding will help the company keep employees safe and ensure it is able to supply product.

The Emergency Processing Fund of $77.5 million is designed to help food processors protect staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government said the meat processing industry across the prairies accounts for 19,000 jobs and generates $12 billion in sales.