The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $7.5 million through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (SCAP) to help eligible agri-food businesses and contributors enhance their biosecurity measures to support animal and plant health, and food safety.
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The Biosecurity Enhancement Initiative (BEI) is a new, cost-share offering that will help farmers, food processors, and other essential farm-supporting agri-food businesses protect their operations against disease, enhance operational resilience and heighten public trust in the food supply system. The BEI will be delivered by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).
A safe and stable supply chain requires a strong biosecurity approach, the governments said in a joint release. As outlined in the Grow Ontario Strategy, this initiative will be available to Ontario businesses such as veterinary clinics, livestock auction barns and commingling facilities, grain elevators, seed treatment facilities, and transportation providers. Examples of eligible projects include establishing or improving cleaning practices, creating isolation facilities, constructing wash bays for disinfecting and training to support the mitigation of biosecurity risks in food production.
Under the BEI, the maximum amount of funding available and the proportion of cost-share funding for projects is dependent on the activity supported.
OMAFRA said in the release the initiative was developed following discussions with agri-food sector businesses and organizations. It also follows investments of approximately $3 million to enhance biosecurity and emergency preparedness in Ontario’s pork sector.
Applications for the Biosecurity Enhancement Initiative will be accepted as of September 19, 2023. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis, subject to funding availability.