Seafood companies adjusting operations with enhanced focus on COVID-19 health and safety
June 3, 2021 – Stoneville, Newfoundland and Labrador – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)
The workforce of Canada’s fish and seafood processing sector is an economic driver in coastal and rural communities, and is vital to the national food supply chain. The sector faced immense challenges due to COVID-19, and the Government of Canada worked quickly to ensure it had the support it needed during this unprecedented time.
On April 25, 2020, the federal government announced the $62.5 million Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund (CSSF). This fund was created specifically to help Canada’s fish and seafood processors adapt to the challenges of COVID-19. Today the CSSF is supporting projects across Canada to help processors retain their employees and maintain strong health and safety measures to ensure workers are protected. It is increasing the industry’s capacity to process, store, package and distribute healthy, high-quality products, as well as retool processes and marketing to adapt to changing consumer demands.
By bolstering Canada’s fish and seafood processing sector, the Government of Canada is helping position the national economy for a strong, post-pandemic recovery. Canada’s ocean industries contribute approximately $31.7 billion to Canada’s GDP every year. By investing in the fish and seafood processing sector at this critical time, the Government of Canada is paving the way for a stronger more resilient blue economy in the future.
Federal government supports fish and seafood processors
Today, Scott Simms, Member of Parliament for Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame, announced total investments of $314,214 in four initiatives to help the fish and seafood processing sector in Central Newfoundland tackle pandemic challenges head-on, and ensure its future viability. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and of the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.
Fogo Island Co-operative Society Ltd. is receiving a non-repayable contribution of $60,000 to support expenditures related to COVID health and safety modifications to its seafood processing operations in Fogo, Joe Batt’s Arm and Seldom, including installation of dividers to ensure safe distancing of employees, purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), and renovations to plant entrances, washrooms and breakrooms.
Hodders Shelfish Inc. is receiving a non-repayable contribution of $137,250 to support costs of plant modifications to expand the lunch and common area, install dividers, and purchase PPE and thermometers.
Additionally, a non-repayable contribution of $41,964 is going to Notre Dame Seafoods Inc. to implement modifications to its Comfort Cove Fish Plant, including renovations for a health screening room and change rooms, as well as the purchase of PPE, and installation of dividers to ensure safe employee distancing.
Triton Ocean Products Ltd. is also receiving a non-repayable contribution of $75,000 to assist with the costs associated with a new health and safety policy, including installation of motion sensor equipment throughout the plant, purchase of PPE and installation of dividers for safe distancing of employees.
Today’s announcement reflects the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting all sectors affected by the pandemic. Projects like these will help the fish and seafood processing sector build back better, get more Atlantic Canadians back to work and create a more resilient, diverse economy.