COVID-19: Resources for food processors

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is working closely with stakeholders and other partners to support the safety of Ontario's food processing workers and Ontario's food supply during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For information specific to agriculture, visit COVID-19: Resources for the agri-food industry.

COVID-19 Monthly Webinar Series

Each month, OMAFRA and our partners will hold a webinar to provide up-to-date, relevant information to help our agri-food stakeholders in our collective fight against COVID-19. The monthly webinars are set for the third Tuesday of each month at noon. The June session of OMAFRA's COVID-19 Monthly Webinars Series will focus on workplace obligations related to using temporary help agencies.

Agriculture Sector: Using Temporary Help Agencies and Employment Standards Webinar
Tuesday, June 22nd 12:00 - 1:00 PM ET

When faced with a labour shortage, many employers in the agriculture sector turn to a temporary help agency (THA) for assistance. But did you know clients of agencies have legal obligations when using a THA? Before speaking with an agency, clients of agencies should find out what their responsibilities are under the ESA.

To help support Ontario's agriculture sector, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) are partnering to offer a session about employment standards as they relate to THAs. The session will provide an overview on:

  • the employment standards responsibilities of the agency and the client
  • things to consider when engaging a temporary help agency
  • the current THA inspection initiative

There will also be a Q&A period where you can ask and get answers to your own questions.

You must register in advance. To register, follow this link.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting to learn more about your workplace obligations.

Prevention, Control and Best Practices

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources

COVID-19 Screening and Testing Resources

Food manufacturing and processing health and safety during COVID-19

Meal and break periods at work during COVID-19

Develop your COVID-19 workplace safety plan (Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development)

Information Links for Managing Human Resources COVID-19 Response: to help agri-food businesses understand changes related to managing staff on their operation. The information is current as of the publication date; however, it may be subject to frequent changes.

Non-medical masks and personal protective equipment (PPE)

Masks serve two purposes to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces: as source control to protect others from the individual wearing the mask, and as personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect the wearer. Not all masks are suitable for both purposes. The use of masks in agri-food workplaces is an important control which should be implemented in combination with other controls.

To learn more about PPE and source control masks, read Using Masks in the Workplace or the appropriate sections in the Guide to developing your workplace COVID-19 safety plan.

Check the Workplace PPE supplier directory, a list of over 200 companies that sell PPE such as masks, gloves, sanitizer and counter guards to keep yourself and your workers safe from COVID-19. The federal government also has a listing of organizations buying and selling PPE during COVID-19.

Funding

  • The Agri-tech Innovation Program is a new $22-million cost-share program that will help farming operations and processor businesses adopt innovative and new technologies. The Early Adopters funding stream intake will support implementation of sector-specific, unique and innovative technologies in the workplace that enhance protection of workers against COVID-19, lead to increased business efficiencies and productivity, and help build the sector's resilience. Intake opens May 17, 2021 and closes June 21, 2021. Detailed program information and application form can be found here.
  • Canadian Agricultural Partnership: offers cost-share funding to support farmer, processor, other businesses, sector organizations and strategic partnerships. Funding offered through the program is subject to change based on the timing of application intakes and the availability of funds.

Government Partners

For questions on workplace infection prevention and control related to COVID-19 infections, employers can contact local public health units.

Industry Partner Resources


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca