Ontario: Strong food supply chains are necessary to meet the needs of Canadians everywhere. Accordingly, the agri-food sector represents a critical means of creating both economic growth and supply chain improvements. Investments in the agri-food sector help create sustainable communities with strong, diverse economies across Canada.
Today, Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour, announced a FedNor investment of $951,530 in two projects designed to fuel growth and diversification in the agri-food sector of Northern Ontario. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor.
The Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN), a division of the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC), will receive a non-repayable contribution of $721,530 to create and deliver a Responsive Advancement for Meat Processing (RAMP) program that would provide productivity assessments and management training to abattoirs and meat plants throughout Northern Ontario. The goal of the project is to expand and diversify the meat supply chain, critical to the agri-food sector in the region in response to the continuing high demand from consumers and farmers for locally-sourced meat products. As a direct result of this investment, RAIN expects to create 10 full-time jobs and to help maintain 35 more.
As part of the announcement, Penokean Hills Co-operative (PHC), will also receive $230,000 to undertake infrastructure expansion aimed at improving operational efficiency and capacity at the feed yard. The improvements achieved through this project will allow PHC to increase the growth and daily gains of the cattle, and to increase the overall number of finished cattle in the value chain. This project is anticipated to create one permanent and two temporary jobs while also increasing revenue for local stock farmers and local crop farmers providing feed.