TORONTO, May 25, 2020 /CNW/ – 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.
“Our Government recognizes the integral role that the women and men who are working across the food and beverage sector play in ensuring Canadians have access to quality and affordable food,” said Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “It is important that workers in our food sector know they are safe and we will be there every step of the way to support their safety, their stability and their growth.”
“The Ontario government is dedicated to the health and safety of our workers in the food and beverage processing sector, especially in these challenging times,” said Hon. Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “This project is another example of our commitment to a critical part of food supply chain so they can continue to keep store shelves stocked and food on kitchen tables.”
Ontario’s food and beverage processing industry is the province’s largest manufacturing sector employer with approximately 125,000 employees. Workplace occupational health and safety measures are protecting frontline workers, but COVID-19 is taking its toll on employee confidence. The resulting absenteeism is increasing at a concerning rate, impacting production volumes and business sustainability.
“The pressure on businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak has been extraordinary but the commitment by food workers to keep Canadians fed has never faltered,” said Norm Beal, CEO, Food and Beverage Ontario. “That said, people are understandably concerned about the future, and food workers are no exception. Our campaign will make certain frontline workers feel valued and protected, and consumers stay informed.”
Frontline Food Facts will provide Ontario’s food and beverage processor businesses with credible information and support to build and maintain strong frontline teams. The campaign will also leverage Ontario’s network of workforce development organizations and employer-employee gateways to reach job seekers. A plan to connect with consumers will provide assurances and clarity around food supply.
This project will receive up to $198,000 in cost-share funding through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year federal-provincial-territorial initiative.