Ontario abattoirs facing processing shortages

By Jackie Kelly-Pemberton Director, OFA

Abattoirs and processing plants are essential for livestock and poultry farmers to market locally-grown and processed food. The COVID-19 crisis has revealed vulnerabilities in the current meat processing supply chain, but also created an opportunity for a more regional approach.

Last week, the Ontario and Canadian governments announced an investment of over $5.4 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help improve food safety, productivity, and market access. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) appreciates this investment in over 75 projects across the province. We are pleased that funding has been dedicated to meat and poultry processing plants to expand capacity and improve efficiency.

However, it remains crucial that financial aid and support is provided to small-scale abattoirs. Funding is critical to assess vulnerabilities affecting local abattoirs to create a competitive and healthy

processing supply chain. Processing capacity shortages, difficulties in maintaining high food standards, and market volatility have been among some of the major concerns for Ontario’s livestock and poultry farmers. Factor in temporary plant closures due to COVID-19 and it’s been a tumultuous year.

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