The purpose of this initiative is to improve the competitiveness of businesses in the agricultural sector and support market development. Its intent is to promote the establishment of systems for food safety, bio-security, traceability and animal health and welfare.
The assistance provided will help fund the organisation and holding of awareness-raising activities, the development of support tools for the adoption and implementation of systems, the providing of advisory services and the upgrading of agriculture facilities.
"The Government of Canada is proud to support Quebec’s agri-food sector by making investments to stimulate economic growth and the pursuit of new markets. Growing Forward 2 provides programs that are oriented towards enhanced innovation, productivity and competitiveness in order to help the sector achieve its full potential as the engine of the Canadian economy," Minister Ritz stated.
"This new program is an additional tool to help our businesses meet challenges and hold their own in increasingly competitive markets. Thus, we are taking action in accordance with one of the four pillars of our food sovereignty policy, namely the development of the economic potential of the bio-food sector. This is great news!" François Gendron added.
The Support Program for the Establishment of Food Safety, Bio-security, Traceability and Animal Health and Welfare Systems has three goals:
- Promoting the adoption of standards relating to on-farm food safety, bio-security, traceability and animal health and welfare by raising the awareness of participants in the Program;
- Providing financial support to agri-food businesses to help them implement the systems at issue;
- Helping organizations in the agri-food sector develop tools and approaches to assist businesses in the same sector and associations in working towards establishing systems and optimizing the approaches to their establishment.
It should be remembered that when the governments of Canada and Quebec entered into the Growing Forward 2 bilateral agreement, they agreed to provide funding of C$293 million over a five-year period (from 2013 to 2018).
The purpose of this major agreement is to support strategic initiatives in innovation, competitiveness and market development for the benefit of both the agricultural and food processing sectors.