The Federal Government announced an aid package on May 5, 2020, for Canadian farmers and the agri-food sector in response to the impacts of COVID-19 on the agriculture industry – which is considered an essential service.

The funds are to be distributed as follows:

  • $125 million to help cattle/hog producers and is designed to help pork and beef producers cover the additional costs of continuing business during the pandemic, including covering the additional costs resulting from retaining livestock due to the temporary closure of food processing plants. This will be directed through the Agri-Recovery program.
  • $50 million on a food surplus purchasing program and is intended to assist food processors in retrofitting factories and increase production capacity.
  • $77.5 million to support food processors and is intended to purchase surplus agricultural products that are susceptible to spoilage.
  • Also an intended increase the Canadian Dairy Commission’s borrowing limit by $200 million to assist with additional costs for the storage of surplus cheese and butter.

The funding is in addition to the $5 billion, which was announced March 23, 2020, in additional lending provided to producers, agribusinesses and food processors which is being distributed through Farm Credit Canada. This is to ensure producers, agribusinesses and food processors have the funds required to continue operating.

Details on how Agri-businesses can access these funds have not yet been released. More information is to come, and we will keep you updated.