by SUSAN MANN
An Ontario meat processor is one of three companies getting a portion of more than $8 million in funding announced Thursday as part of the federal government’s Slaughter Improvement program.
St. Ann’s Foods Inc. of Etobicoke received almost $3 million to expand its facility to include value-added production lines for steak cuts, meatballs, burgers and meat loaves.
The other two companies getting funding were Montpak International of Laval, Quebec, which received more than $3 million and Les Viandes du Breton of Rivere-du-Loup, Quebec, receiving $2 million.
The money comes from the $60 million Slaughter Improvement program, part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan. The slaughter program provides federal repayable contributions to companies with sound business plans, it says in an Agriculture Canada press release. The program is aimed at reducing costs, increasing revenues and improving the operations of Canadian meat packers and processors.
“By successfully improving their operations these meat facilities will make an important contribution to increase the profitability of our livestock sector,” federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says in a press release.
Representatives from St. Ann’s couldn’t be reached for comment.
The program is designed to strengthen the red meat industry’s competitiveness by providing interest-free, conditionally repayable funding for companies to improve and modernize their slaughter operations and enhance slaughter capacity in regions with a demonstrated regional gap that is constraining sector growth, it says on Agriculture Canada’s website.
Companies are able to get up to 50 per cent of their eligible costs and the money must be repaid in 10 years or less.
The program isn’t accepting applications at this time, it says on Agriculture Canada’s website. BF