AgriMarketing: How to Qualify for Food and Beverage Trade Show Grants

AgriMarketing Trade Show Grants Eligibility

UPDATE: The AgriMarketing program is now closed and not processing new applications. All applicants, even agricultural producers and processors are encouraged to use the CanExport program for all new applications. 

AgriMarketing is a Canadian government grant that supports international expansion projects undertaken by food and beverage businesses. Through the program, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) can offset a portion of eligible project expenses for trade shows and related international marketing activities.

The AgriMarketing Program directly offsets up to 50% of eligible project expenses to a maximum $50,000 in export marketing grants.

To qualify for AgriMarketing export funding, applicants must produce or process agriculture, agri-food, fish, or seafood products in Canada, maintain fewer than 250 employees, and earn less than $50 million in annual revenue. Additional criteria apply to project and expense eligibility; these factors are discussed throughout this eligibility-focused article.

AgriMarketing Grants: Export Funding for SMEs

AgriMarketing is provided through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), a five-year framework that delivers government funding programs to Canadian food and beverage companies. It’s designed to help SMEs offset a portion of export marketing project costs. Food and beverage companies (including producers and processors) use the program to de-risk international expansion projects and reach new markets faster.

AgriMarketing supports Canadian food and beverage companies with up to $50k in export grants per year. It offers a lifetime maximum of $250k per applicant.

National industry associations representing food and beverage companies may also be eligible through AgriMarketing’s National Industry Association stream.

For a high-level review of the AgriMarketing Program, please read Mentor Works’ AgriMarketing Overview blog.

AgriMarketing for SMEs: Business Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for AgriMarketing grants, applicants must ensure they meet several key eligibility criteria. These factors stipulate that businesses must:

  • Produce or process agriculture, agri-food, fish, or seafood;
  • Have completed export market research and are ready to enter this new market;
  • Maintain fewer than 250 employees;
  • Earn less than $50 million in annual revenue; and
  • Be capable of entering a legally binding agreement with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC);

Applicants Ineligible to Receive AgriMarketing Grants

Some potential applicants will not be eligible to receive funding through AgriMarketing’s SME component. These include:

  • Individuals and sole proprietorships;
  • Non-profit organizations;
  • Marketing boards;
  • Government bodies or agencies; or
  • Legal entities acting as a company representative or thirdparty.

Project Eligibility: AgriMarketing Export Market Development Grants

Several types of export marketing projects qualify for AgriMarketing support. Some examples of eligible projects/activities include:

  • Participation in trade shows, seminars, and conferences designed to inform potential buyers about the Canadian product’s advantages;
  • Branding and advertising (either print or electronic) in the export market;
  • Product demonstrations;
  • Incoming or outgoing missions; and
  • Implementation of branding or market development strategies.

Projects Ineligible for AgriMarketing

Projects not eligible to receive AgriMarketing funding for SMEs include (but are not limited to):

  • Domestic (Canadian) marketing activities;
  • Any activity in export markets where there is no current market access, or no plans to export to that market in a reasonable amount of time;
  • Activities in countries or markets that have been economically sanctioned by the Government of Canada;
  • Research and development projects;
  • Exploratory projects;
  • Employee or consultant training programs;
  • Website design or re-design; and
  • Attending, but not exhibiting at a trade show.

Expenses Eligible for AgriMarketing Grant Funding

When developing an application for the AgriMarketing Program, businesses should ensure only the following eligible expenses are included for consideration:

  • Purchase of assets required for tradeshow displays;
  • Specific travel costs (including economy transportation and per diems/incidentals);
  • Contractors and their services (including consultant fees, translation services, and the cost of holding seminars to educate buyers); and
  • Other costs directly related to the project’s completion (including shipping, printing, and document production).

Ineligible AgriMarketing Expenses

Some of the most common project expenses that will not receive support through the AgriMarketing Program include:

  • Any costs incurred before April 1, 2018, after March 31, 2023, or prior to program approval;
  • Salaries and benefits provided to employees;
  • Large-scale capital expenses, such as the purchase of land or buildings;
  • Legal fees;
  • Memberships to trade organizations;
  • Hospitality;
  • Promotional items or gifts; and
  • Bank fees.

Get Started with AgriMarketing Export Development Grants

To receive AgriMarketing grants, businesses must submit a comprehensive application package that includes a complete and accurate application form, a Project Work Plan and Budget, and additional supporting documents to provide context to the current opportunity.

AgriMarketing applications are accepted on a continuous basis. This means that businesses can apply throughout the year, typically several months prior to their anticipated trade show or export market opportunity. The government typically reviews applications within 75 days of submission; if the application is successful, businesses may begin incurring funding-eligible expenses.

To review your business or project eligibility and explore ways to optimize the application process, please contact Mentor Works.

Funding Funding Now, Contact Mentor Works

Posted: April 21, 2016 by Jeff Shepherd. Updated: April 20, 2018 by Jeff Shepherd


  1. This is interesting really, You’re a very skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post.

    1. Thanks, Ricky! AgriMarketing is one of three export-focused government funding programs we focus on helping businesses access. We look forward to supporting any of your well-established clients that participate in trade shows or perform other strategic marketing projects!

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