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COVID-19 Updates

Food and Beverage Ontario is closely monitoring the advisories and available information on COVID – 19. This is a critical public health situation and we have heard from many of you on the seriousness of the outbreak to business continuity. 

Food and Beverage Ontario continues to work with our colleagues in industry and government to offer the most up to date information and to make certain your concerns are heard.

We have also postponed Food and Beverage Ontario’s Annual Conference and re-scheduled the event for October 16.  Thank you to our sponsors and supporters for their understanding. 

From Our Members

  • To learn about what some of our member processor companies are doing in their plants and offices, please visit our resource section by following this LINK.
  • FBO associate members have been sharing with us some ways they can help all of our members. Visit our associates supporting the sector resource page HERE.

On Line Resources

As information is made available to us, we will be posting below and in our resource section.


News

June 19, 2020

Ontario Protecting Farmers and Food Supply Chain

Legislation to curb on-farm trespass, while preserving the right for lawful protests

WOODSTOCK - The Ontario government is taking action to balance the safety and security of farmers, their families and the provincial food supply with protecting the right for people to participate in lawful protests on public property. Today, Bill 156, the Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2020, received Royal Assent. Once proclaimed into force, the Act will further protect against the health and safety risks of on-farm trespassing. To read the full press release, pleae follow this LINK.


 

June 17, 2020

Update from the Honourable Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Please see follow this LINK, to read the June 17, 2020 update from the Honourable Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.


June 17, 2020

Canada and Ontario Support Beef and Hog Farmers During COVID-19

Funding will cover increased costs, while redirecting surplus pork to those in need

WOODSTOCK — The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $10 million in emergency assistance for beef and hog farmers. The funding will help cover the increased costs of feeding market ready cattle and hogs due to COVID-19 related processing delays, while redirecting surplus pork products to help those in need. This program will help ensure the country's food supply chain will remain strong and ready to recover as the economy gradually and safely reopens. To read the full press release, please follow this LINK.


 

June 16, 2020

Ontario Releases Guide on How to Develop a Workplace Safety Plan

New Toolkit Will Help Employers Create Safer Working Environments for Employees during COVID-19

TORONTO — The Ontario government is providing employers with a new general workplace guide, which will help them develop a safety plan to better protect workers, customers and clients. The new downloadable toolkit offers tips on how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as more people get back on the job during Stage 2 of the reopening of the province. To read the full press release, please follow this LINK.
 


June 11, 2020

Ontario and Canada Helping Small Businesses Go Digital

$57 Million Investment in Digital Main Street Will Help Businesses Reopen, Recover and Grow Long after COVID-19

TORONTO — The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, is helping small businesses reach more customers through the Digital Main Street platform. It is a $57-million program which will help up to 22,900 Ontario businesses create and enhance their online presence and generate jobs for more than 1,400 students. To read the full press release, please follow this LINK.


June 8, 2020

Ontario Permits More Businesses and Services to Reopen in the Coming Days

Restrictions Being Eased in Communities Where It Is Safe to Do So

TORONTO — Today, the Ontario government announced that it is getting more people back to work and more recreational activities open by moving forward with a regional approach to Stage 2 of reopening the province.

In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and local health officials, the government is easing restrictions in communities where it is safe to do so, based on trends of key public health indicators such as lower rates of transmission, increased capacity in hospitals, and progress made in testing.

To read the full press release, please follow this LINK.


June 3, 2020

Ontario Celebrates Local Agri-food Heroes

Local food report highlights those who are keeping food on store shelves and kitchen tables during COVID-19 outbreak

TORONTO - The Ontario government is celebrating local agri-food heroes who have stepped up to ensure the province's food supply chain remains strong during the COVID-19 outbreak. Individuals, businesses and organizations are highlighted in 2020 Local Food Report: Ontario Spirit - A Celebration of Local Food Collaboration. To read the full press release, please follow this LINK.


June 1, 2020

Ontario Supports Those Struggling with Electricity Bills during COVID-19

TORONTO — The Ontario government announced that it will continue to support provincial electricity consumers by providing stability and greater customer choice, while helping those struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. To read the full pres release, please follow this LINK.


May 28, 2020

Letter from the Honourable Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Please see the update letter from the Honourable Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs by following this LINK.


 

May 25, 2020

Food and Beverage Ontario’s new campaign, Frontline Food Facts will reach employees and consumers with straight talk on workplace safety and food supply

Toronto, May 25, 2020– Today, Food and Beverage Ontario announces a new campaign, Frontline Food Facts, designed to connect with employees of Ontario’s food and beverage processing industry and consumers across Canada. The campaign has been designed to build confidence with frontline workers concerned about occupational health and safety; and provide assurances to Canadians on the continued supply of safe, high quality food during the COVID-19 pandemic. To read the full press release, please follow this LINK.

 


May 11, 2020

Prime Minister announces additional support for businesses to help save Canadian jobs

Please follow this LINK to read the press release from the Office of the Prime Minister, regarding additional support for businesses to help save Canadian jobs.


May 11, 2020

Letter from Minister Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Please follow this LINK to read the latest letter from Ernie Hardeman Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs,


May 7, 2020

Prime Minister announces agreements to boost wages for essential workers

While many of us are being asked to stay home, millions of Canadians are being called on to go to work every day. These Canadians are providing us with essential services, so we can continue to keep our families safe and healthy. We are relying on them now more than ever, and that is why the Government of Canada is working with provinces and territories to provide them with a much-needed wage boost. To read the full press release, please follow this LINK.


May 6, 2020

Ontario Extends Electricity Rate Relief During COVID-19

Residential, farm and small business customers continue to benefit from temporary relief measure

TORONTO — The Ontario government is extending emergency electricity rate relief to families, farms and small businesses until May 31, 2020 during the COVID-19 outbreak. Customers who pay time-of-use electricity rates will continue to be billed at the lowest price, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This electricity rate relief, initially provided for a 45-day period starting on March 24, 2020, has been extended by an emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The rate relief is intended to be in place for an additional 24 days.  To read the full press release, please follow this LINK.


May 5, 2020

Supporting Canada’s farmers, food businesses, and food supply

In uncertain times, it is more critical than ever for Canadians to have access to good, high quality, and nutritious food. That is why the Government of Canada is taking steps to support the farmers and businesses who provide Canadians with the food they need to keep themselves and their families healthy. To read the full press release, please follow this LINK.


May 1, 2020

Update from Industry Engagement Division at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Please follow this LINK to read a weekly update from the Industry Engagement Division at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.


May 1, 2020

Certain Businesses Allowed to Reopen Under Strict Safety Guidelines

Steady Decrease in COVID-19 Cases Required Before Beginning Next Stage of Reopening

TORONTO - The Ontario government is allowing certain businesses and workplaces to reopen as long as they comply with strict public health measures and operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak. Those permitted to start up include seasonal businesses and some essential construction projects. To read the full press release, please follow this LINK.


May 1, 2020

Update from the Honourable Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Please follow this LINK to read today's update from the Honourable Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.


 

April 30, 2020

Ontario Providing Employers with Workplace Safety Guidelines 

Province Takes Critical Steps to Help Businesses Adapt to New Environment

TORONTO ― The Ontario government is ensuring employers have the safety guidelines they need to protect workers, customers, and the general public from COVID-19 as it prepares for a gradual reopening of the provincial economy. To read the full press release, please follow this LINK.


April 29, 2020

More Frontline Workers Eligible for Emergency Child Care

Ontario To Help More Essential Staff During the COVID-19 Outbreak

TORONTO ― The Ontario government is further expanding the list of essential workers eligible to receive free emergency child care during the COVID-19 outbreak. Those who will benefit include people who work in the food supply chain, retirement homes, grocery stores and pharmacies, and certain federal employees, including the military. Since emergency child care was introduced last month, almost 100 child care centres have reopened along with 40 Licensed Home Child Care Agencies in communities across the province. To read the full press release, please follow this LINK.


April 28, 2020

Prime Minister releases joint statement by First Ministers for restarting the economy

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, all orders of government have been working together to slow and contain the spread of the virus. As the first wave of the virus’ activity passes, provincial and territorial governments will move at their own pace to safely restore economic activity within their jurisdictions, while protecting the health of Canadians. To read the full press release, please follow this LINK.


April 28, 2020

 

Ontario Helping Businesses Overcome the Unique Challenges Created by COVID-19

New Website Accepting Proposals for Temporarily Changing Rules and Regulations

TORONTO — The Ontario government is launching the COVID-19: Tackling the Barriers website to help businesses overcome the unique challenges created by the global pandemic. Businesses working to retool their operations to produce health-related products, or those that want to continue their operations in this new environment of physical distancing, can submit any potential roadblocks to the website. To read the full press release, please follow this LINK.


April 27, 2020

Premier and Ministers Commit to New Phased Approach for a Safe Restart and Recovery

TORONTO — Today, the Ontario government released A Framework for Reopening our Province, which outlines the criteria Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will use to advise the government on the loosening of emergency measures, as well as guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services and public spaces. The framework also provides details of an outreach strategy, led by the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee, to help inform the restart of the provincial economy. To read the full press release, please follow this LINK.
 


 

April 27, 2020

Announcement from the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, regarding the launch of the application process for the CEWS.

Today, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, launched the application process for the CEWS. As of today, employers can apply for the CEWS through My Business Account or through the CRA’s online application portal, and their representatives can apply through Represent a Client. To read additional details, please follow this LINK.


April 25, 2020

Letter from Canadian Processors to the Prime Minister of Canada, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food.

At the following LINK, please find a letter sent today to the Prime Minister of Canada, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food.
 
The letter raises concerns regarding the continued survival of food and beverage manufacturers in the context of COVID 19. The letter calls on the federal government to make modifications to existing support programs to capture a broader range of food and beverage companies and ensure the greatest chance for companies to survive this crisis.
 
The letter also calls on the federal government to work with the food and beverage industry and provincial governments to to begin planning for industry recovery.  The letter challenges government to increase its focus on the entire food system and food supply chain.
 
FBC-ABC played a leadership role in drafting the letter which has been signed by the entire Canadian processing sector.


April 24, 2020

Governments Invest $2.5 Million to Grow Agri-food e-Business During COVID-19

Families will have more choice when buying food and plants online

WOODSTOCK - The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $2.5 million to help the agri-food sector expand online, providing more opportunities for producers to grow their business and offer more food choices for families who are shopping from home during the COVID-19 outbreak. The funding is being provided through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership).

To read the full press release, please follow this LINK.


April 24, 2020

Information update related to COVID-19 and TFWs

Industry Engagement Division | Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada | Government of Canada

ESDC has sent the following message and attachments on special compliance inspections during COVID 19 to all of their temporary foreign workers employers yesterday:

"The Government of Canada continues to share information to ensure employers, workers and stakeholders are aware of their responsibilities and obligations to comply with public health requirements in the context of COVID-19.

The health and safety of Canadians and foreign workers remains paramount, and as such the Temporary Foreign Worker Program will send out the information below today to all Program users regarding new requirements as they pertain to employer compliance inspections during this pandemic.

Of note, these new requirements are in accordance with changes introduced to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) to Parliament on April 11, 2020, and that came into force on April 20, 2020. Under these regulations, employers have a specific responsibility to prevent the introduction and spread of Covid-19 in Canada."


April 24, 2020

Ontario Provides Urgent Relief for Small Businesses and Landlords

Rent Assistance in Addition to Billions in Measures to Support Business During the COVID-19 Outbreak

TORONTO — The Ontario government is partnering with the federal government to provide urgent relief for small businesses and landlords affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The province is committing $241 million through the new Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA). The total amount of provincial-federal relief that would be provided is more than $900 million, helping to ensure small businesses are ready to reopen their doors when the emergency measures are lifted.


To read the full press release, please follow this LINK.


April 24, 2020

Prime Minister announces partnerships with provinces and territories to deliver the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the federal government has reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. To read the full press release, please follow this LINK.


April 23, 2020

Ontario Extends Emergency Orders to Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19

New order issued to support people with mental health and addictions issues

TORONTO — On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is extending all emergency orders that have been put in place to-date under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until May 6, 2020. This extension will help protect the health and well-being of people across the province and stop the spread of COVID-19. To read the full press release, please follow this LINK.


April 23, 2020

OMAFRA and AAFC letter to FBO regarding a significant initiative to strengthen our strategy to keep food inspection services strong in the province at this unprecedented time.

OMAFRA and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have been working on a contingency plan that will allow both organizations to share inspection resources for meat, dairy and other commodities when needed. This is part of both governments’ emergency response to the COVID-19 outbreak and to support the agriculture and food sector in maintaining a reliable food supply in the province. To read the full letter, please follow this LINK.


April 20, 2020

Health Experts Say the COVID-19 Outbreak Has Likely Peaked in Ontario 

Modelling shows physical distancing still needed to prevent further spread

TORONTO — The Ontario government today released updated COVID-19 modelling, which shows that the enhanced public health measures, including staying home and physically distancing from each other, are working to contain the spread of the virus and flatten the curve. To read more, please follow this LINK.


April 17, 2020

Government of Ontario temporarily lifting reduced load period restrictions for truck drivers in southern Ontario.

Government of Ontario is taking further steps to keep goods moving during the COVID-19 outbreak by temporarily lifting reduced load period restrictions for truck drivers in southern Ontario. For details, please follow this LINK.


April 16, 2020

Prime Minister Announces Additional Support for Small Businesses

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced new measures to support Canadian businesses so they can keep their doors open and their employees on the job. To read more, please follow this LINK.


April 15, 2020

CFIA expectations on the prevention of and response to suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 by operators

New expectations for operators have been posted on the CFIA website about preventing and responding to COVID-19 in establishments regulated by CFIA.

The document outlines steps that the CFIA expects operators to take to address exposure risks for both the establishment and CFIA employees.

This document is not intended for meat slaughter and processing establishments. Separate CFIA guidance about preventing and responding to COVID-19 in meat slaughter and processing establishments exists.


April 15, 2020

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada | Government of Canada 

COVID-19 Logistics & Border-Related Labour Questions

Over the past few weeks, AAFC have received many questions related to labour issues, in particular Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs). AAFC are aware that Labour and TFWs remain an important area of concern for the sector. The FAQ related to labour and TFWs can be found at this LINK.


April 14, 2020

Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency to Continue the Fight Against COVID-19

Sustained Measures Necessary to Stop the Spread and Protect Public Health

On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and with the approval of the Ontario legislature, the Ontario government is extending the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act for a further 28 days. This will allow the government to continue to use every tool at its disposal to protect the health and safety of the people of Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic. To read more, please follow this LINK.


April 9, 2020

Premier Ford Appoints Team to Develop Plan for Post-Pandemic Growth and Prosperity

The Ontario government has launched a new Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee which will focus on getting businesses up and running and people back to work after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. To read more, please visit this LINK.


April 8, 2020

Addressing the Critical Supply Needs for Personal Protection Equipment in the
Food & Beverage Manufacturing Industry

Please follow this LINK, to read the full statement regarding PPE in the food and beverage manufacturing industry, from Food and Beverage Canada.


April 4, 2020

From the Honourable Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


Please see the letter HERE from the Honourable Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Of particular note is the web site that has been set up by the province Ontario.ca/AgFoodJobs, an online portal to connect people looking for work with important jobs in the agriculture and food supply chain.


April 3, 2020

Ontario Extends Business Closures to Stop the Spread of COVID-19

TORONTO — Following the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is reducing the list of businesses classified as essential and ordering more workplaces to close. This measure is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of the people of Ontario, while ensuring that necessary goods and services remain available. Read the full media release here.


March 30, 2020

Ontario Enhancing Public Reporting about COVID-19

Dedicated Website Will Include Expanded Information of Confirmed Cases Across the Province


March 27, 2020

COVID-19 Government Announced Support

Summary of federal and provincial (Ontario) support programs for individuals and businesses.


March 27, 2020

Guidance for Employers of Temporary Foreign Workers Regarding COVID-19

Further to recent announcements by the Government of Canada to facilitate the entry of foreign workers while taking steps to minimize the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), this document outlines the expectations for employers of temporary foreign workers. 


March 25, 2020

Premier Ford and Minister Phillips Announce Additional Health Care Resources and Support for People, Jobs and Employers

Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19


March 18, 2020

Update from the Prime Minister

Late this morning the Prime Minister provided an update on the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

For more information, please see the following links:


March 17, 2020

Ontario Enacts Declaration of Emergency to Protect the Public

Significantly Enhanced Measures will Help Contain Spread of COVID-19

TORONTO - Today, the Government of Ontario announced that it is taking decisive action by making an order declaring an emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. In doing so, Ontario is using every power possible to continue to protect the health and safety of all individuals and families.
 

To view the full press release, please follow this LINK.


March 16, 2020

Statement from the Minister of Finance on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Ontario's Economy

 

TORONTO — Today, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance issued the following statement in response to the impact of COVID-19 on Ontario's finances and economy:
"The events of recent weeks have caused anxiety for individuals, families and businesses across our province and around the world. As I said last week, these developments are the latest reminder that Ontario is part of an integrated global economy. As Premier Ford has made clear, our government will ensure the necessary resources are in place to protect the health of people and our economy in this province.

To read the full press release, please follow this LINK.


March 16,2020

Ontario to Protect Workers who Take Leaves from Work

Ontario is acting immediately to protect workers during the COVID-19 crisis. Today, Premier Doug Ford and Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, announced that the government intends to introduce legislation that, if passed, would immediately provide job-protected leave to employees in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or day care closures.
 

Premier Ford Announces Job Protection for Workers during the COVID-19 Situation


March 14, 2020

Statement from Minister Elliott and Minister Hardeman related to grocery buying habits and COVID-19 in Ontario​

http://foodandbeverageontario.ca/article/statement-from-minister-elliott-and-minister-hardeman-related-to-grocery-buying-habits-and-covid-19-in-ontario


Resources

MNP

FBO member companies receive a free consultation with assistance on COVID-19 government 
programs/measures. If interested, please contact:

Glenn Fraser,  CPA, CA, MBA
National Leader, Food & Beverage Processing at 
416.263.6914
glenn.fraser@mnp.ca
mnp.ca

 


Maple Leaf Foods Pandemic Plan Booklet

Please follow this LINK to see the latest response to the COVID-19 from Maple Leaf Foods.


COVID-19 Guidance for Food Premises

Best Practices Summary Sheet


COVID-19 and Ontario’s Human Rights Code – Questions and Answers

http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/news_centre/covid-19-and-ontario%E2%80%99s-human-rights-code-%E2%80%93-questions-and-answers-0


Here's are links to a number of articles and resources that we have found helpful:


From Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

COVID-19: Standing Member Call & Status Update
Date: March 17, 2020
Time: 1:00 PM EST
Location: TF: 866-201-0077 | Passcode: 570 332

In order to provide members with the most up-to-date information on the Coronavirus pandemic, CME will be hosting regular, 30-minute update calls every Tuesday and Thursday as needed. First call will be on Tuesday, March 17th, 2020. 

These calls will feature critical updates and advice from government and industry experts as well as a report on CME advocacy efforts. The intent is to provide you with the latest information on the crisis and strategies to help you best navigate the weeks and months ahead.

UPCOMING CALLS 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 1:00pm-1:30pm EST (Alan Mak, Partner, BDO)
Thursday, March 19, 2020 1:00pm-1:30pm EST (Update from the Deputy Prime Minister's Office) 

To register, please click HERE


From Medium

https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca


From Safety Chain Software

On Friday, 3/27/20, David Acheson, MD, infectious disease expert and former FDA Chief Medical Officer for the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the FDA will update the food industry on the best ways to control the coronavirus in food facilities.

Joining Dr. Acheson will be Ben Miller, Ph.D., a renowned epidemiologist and Senior Director of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs at the Acheson Group, for an all-facts, no-spin, 30-minute update on this developing situation.


https://info.safetychain.com/webinar-fsma-friday-coronavirus
 


Food and Beverage Ontario is a not-for-profit, leadership organization dedicated to advancing the interests of Ontario's food and beverage processors.

Our focus is on the success, prosperity and growth of the food and beverage processing sector. We work collaboratively with our colleagues and partners across the agriculture and food sector.

Food and Beverage Ontario has prepared the following report as a guide to a more competitive and co-ordinated industry.

MAKING FOOD AND BEVERAGES IN ONTARIO — A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS (2018-2023 Strategic Priorities)

 

 

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