A new grant program, to help with the costs of inspection and certification requirements for businesses that meet the federal definition of “very small meat processor,” is now available, said Rep. Clint Owlett, a member of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.
The grant program is called the Very Small Meat-Processor Grant Program and will provide funding up to $50,000 to meat-processing businesses with annual sales of less than $2.5 million and fewer than 10 employees.
“This is big news for some of our small, family-operated businesses in Pennsylvania that want to process local meat,” said Owlett. “It is also great news for area residents who prefer to purchase fresh, local meat. This grant money can help these niche businesses stay in operation and perhaps even expand the business.”
Funds can be used to pay for up to 50% of the cost of a first-time purchase of equipment necessary to comply with the Federal Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points plan, a requirement processors must meet to ensure that meat is safely processed.
Funds can also be used for the costs of technical assistance or advice from a food safety specialist to develop their plan.
Qualified businesses can apply for the grants at www.esa.dced.state.pa.us/login.aspx. The application period closes on Sept. 30.