New funding is available to eligible farmers and other agri-food businesses to help them take additional workplace measures to guard the health and safety of agri-food workers.
Ontario’s Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program is again accepting applications from eligible agri-food businesses. Those who qualify can apply for financial assistance through the cost-sharing program at https://www.ontario.ca/page/enhanced-agri-food-workplace-protection-program-guidelines until January 31, 2023, or while funding is still available. Funding will be delivered on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Ontario government is investing $10 million to support and expand the program this year. This amount is in addition to the $36 million already delivered through the program.
The current intake offers three streams of funding, including a new stream specifically for employers that provide workers with congregate housing. The three streams are:
1. The Agri-Food Workplace COVID-19 Prevention and Protection stream supports the adoption of prevention and mitigation measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among agri-food workers.
2. The Wage, Isolation and Quarantine Support for Employers of International Agri-Food Workers and Domestic Workers in Ontario stream supports agri-food employers who have been impacted by COVID-19 outbreaks and faced extraordinary costs related to wage supports and worker isolation.
3. The Congregate Housing Infection Prevention and Control Measures reimburses eligible costs related to making minor health and safety modifications to congregate housing to promote physical distancing and isolation measures.
Agri-food businesses play a critical role in preparing for a safe growing season. The Ontario government encourages all agri-food employers to remain vigilant and committed to ensuring health and safety measures are followed so that agri-food workers stay safe and Ontario’s food supply remains strong.
For more information on the Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program or to apply, visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/enhanced-agri-food-workplace-protection-program-guidelines.