The federal government will not inject more money into an innovation fund designed to help dairy producers and processors cope with concessions made under the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union, Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay says.
Ottawa announced $350 million in innovation funding in 2016 for the dairy industry ahead of CETA’s ratification – with $250 million committed to producers and $100 million committed for processors. Canadian officials have also fielded questions about the program from international trading partners at World Trade Organization meetings.
In testimony to the House of Commons agriculture committee Wednesday, MacAulay and senior officials from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada said applications for the first round of funding are still be processed, with approval notifications expected in the New Year. Around 2,500 applicants applied in the first round, MPs were told. The second round is expected to open in the coming months. No exact date yet, Agriculture Canada Deputy Minister Chris Forbes said.