Labrador seafood companies adapt to new COVID-19 realities to ensure viability
June 7, 2021 – L’Anse au Loup, 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, Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador, announced a total investment of $1,743,832 in four initiatives to help Labrador’s fish and seafood processing sector 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.
Labrador Fisherman’s Union Shrimp Company Ltd. is receiving three non-repayable contributions. They will receive $1,000,000 to enhance market opportunities by acquiring new fish processing technology and equipment for Mary’s Harbour and Black Tickle plants. Additionally, they will receive $412,500 to enhance cold storage capacity in Mary’s Harbour that will provide storage for their processing plants in Mary’s Harbour, Cartwright, Charlottetown, Pinsent’s Arm and L’anse au Loup. Lastly, the company will receive $276,000 to support COVID-related expenditures, including purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE), new screening rooms and protective barriers.
Torngat Fish Producers Co-operative Society Ltd. will also receive a non-repayable contribution of $55,332 to implement COVID-19 health and safety measures for its employees in Makkovik and Nain, including PPE and additional minor plant modifications.
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.