CAP Funding for Ontario Agricultural Producers

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) is a federal-provincial-territorial initiative that provides funding from all levels of government to support a growing, investment-driven agriculture and agri-food sector. It provides some funding supports on a national level, while other supports are provided on a province-by-province basis.

Ontario’s suite of grants and incentives, CAP Ontario, is specifically designed with the province’s regional needs and growth opportunities in mind. Available to producers, processors, and organizations/collaborations, CAP Ontario provides funding to strategically offset costs and make growth projects more financially feasible. Later this year, the program will unveil new funding opportunities to agriculture and food value-chain partners for projects that encourage collaboration and address sector challenges.

Ontario agricultural organizations and businesses can apply for new Place to Grow: Agri-Food Innovation Initiative funding from August 15 to September 27, 2019. Future rounds of funding for the processor and producer streams have yet to be announced at the time of this blog’s publish date.

Place to Grow: Agri-food Innovation Initiative program details will be formally announced in August. In the meantime, to prepare for its intake deadline and ensure your organization submits a competitive application, now is the ideal time to evaluate upcoming projects and select those with the greatest funding potential based on historical CAP Ontario support. Applicants can have up to two funded projects ongoing at once, so there may be potential to re-apply even if you’ve previously received funding for agricultural projects through the program.

What is the Canadian Agricultural Partnership: Ontario Funding Program?

Established in 2018 as a five-year program, the Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a government funding mechanism used to administer cost-share funding (grants) to farmers, agri-food companies, and other industry stakeholders. It’s already had a profound impact on Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food industry, supporting hundreds of projects from across the province. Outside of CAP’s federal, country-wide programs, CAP Ontario provides a suite of funding directed exclusively at the province’s producers, processors, and organizations/collaborations.

CAP Ontario typically provides non-repayable cost-sharing contributions (government grants) to cover up to 25% to 75% of project costs, to a set maximum, depending on the type of project proposed.

Although the federal streams of funding offer an open intake where eligible applicants can request project funding throughout the year, CAP Ontario requires applicants to submit a project proposal for consideration during scheduled intake periods. There are typically two intake periods per year; during these times, qualified applicants can submit an application that provides an overview and budget for their project.

CAP Funding: Place to Grow: Agri-Food Innovation Initiative

Next Application Intake: August 15 to September 27, 2019

Alternately, CAP Ontario: Place to Grow: Agri-Food Innovation Initiative also provides funding to innovative, collaborative projects that lead to large-scale benefit across the province’s agriculture and agri-food industry. Projects can be led by any type of applicant (including non-profits and industry associations) but should be collaborative in nature and combine two or more entities to work on the same project.

Agri-food organizations and collaborations may access CAP funding to cover up to 50-75% of eligible expenses to a maximum $1 million per project.

Unlike other streams of funding, the project focus for Organizations and Collaborations remains the same from one intake to another. Projects proposed through this stream should focus on one of three target areas, including:

  • Economic Development: Business analysis, market development, and technology solutions for productivity.
  • Environmental Stewardship: Assessment and planning; outreach, education and advisory services; innovation projects and applied research.
  • Protection and Assurance: Skills development & training, applied research, pilot projects and training; group food safety programs; traceability solutions adoption, information management and sharing; animal health education; plant health education & best practices.

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CAP Funding for Ontario Agricultural Producers

Next Application Intake: Unannounced. Program details and focuses could change.

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership Program for Ontario Producers provides funding to farmers and other organizations directly involved in the growing, raising, or harvesting of agricultural products. Its funding directly offsets a portion of project costs related to key areas of producer protection and assurance, economic development, and environmental stewardship.

Agricultural producers may access up to 25% to 50% of eligible expenses in grant funding depending on the types of projects completed.

To access CAP funding, producers must file business and/or farm income/loss taxes in Ontario, have a valid Farm Business Registration Number (FBRN) unless exempted, and have a valid and up-to-date Premises Identification Number (PIN). Some funding streams may have additional eligibility factors that must be considered, but these three criteria are generally needed to meet the program’s basic requirements.

Specific project focuses for each round of funding are not released until an intake begins but are likely to be similar to what’s been available in previous rounds. We believe most of the following project types will be eligible for the next round of funding:

Protection and Assurance

Animal Health

  • Education, Training, Assessment and Planning: Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $1,000;
  • Defining Zones and Controlled Access Points: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $25,000;
  • Establishing Cleaning and Disinfecting Practices: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $25,000;
  • Establishing Isolation or Segregation Facilities: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $25,000;
  • Preventing Access by Wildlife, Pests and Rodents: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $20,000;
  • Health Management: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $15,000;
  • Establishing Facilities to Manage Deadstock: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $20,000;
  • Equipment to Improve Animal Handling: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $15,000;
  • Construction, Modification or New Technologies to Improve Animal Housing: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $25,000;
  • Traceability Equipment: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $10,000;
  • Traceability System Improvements: Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $60,000.

Food Safety

  • Food Safety and Traceability Gap Assessment and Pre-Audit: Up to 45% of eligible project costs to a maximum $2,000;
  • Food Safety and Traceability Training: Up to 45% of eligible project costs to a maximum $1,500;
  • Food Safety Equipment: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $10,000;
  • Traceability Equipment: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $10,000;
  • Food Safety and Traceability System Improvements: Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $5,000.

Plant Health

  • Education, Training, Assessment and Planning: Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $5,000;
  • Preventing Introduction and Spread of Pests Through Isolation, Sanitation and Controlling Work Flow: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $50,000;
  • Preventing Access by Wildlife, Pests and Rodents: Up to 25% of eligible project costs to a maximum $50,000;
  • Plant Pest Monitoring and Management Tools and Equipment: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $25,000;
  • Installation of Continuous Rinse Systems: Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $2,500.

Economic Development

  • Financial Analysis: Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $2,500;
  • Business Plans: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $10,000;
  • Marketing Plans: Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $15,000;
  • Market Products in Canada: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $45,000;
  • Market Products Internationally: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $50,000;
  • Develop New Products or Processes: Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $15,000;
  • Planning for Increased Labour Productivity: Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $15,000;
  • Technology and Equipment to Improve Labour Productivity: Up to 25% of eligible project costs to a maximum $100,000.

Environmental Stewardship

  • Nutrient Management and Soil Health Planning: Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $10,000;
  • Cover Crops: Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $8,000;
  • Riparian Buffer Strips: Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $10,000;
  • Windbreaks and Wind Strips: Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $10,000;
  • Fragile Land Retirement: Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $10,000;
  • Erosion Control Structures: Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $20,000;
  • Nutrient Recovery from Wastewater/Washwater: Up to 30% of eligible project costs to a maximum $25,000;
  • Tillage and Nutrient Application Equipment Modifications: Up to 40% of eligible project costs to a maximum $20,000;
  • Equipment Modifications to Reduce Soil Compaction: Up to 40% of eligible project costs to a maximum $10,000;
  • Adding Organic Amendments to Soil: Up to 40% of eligible project costs to a maximum $10,000;
  • Equipment Modifications to Improve Manure Application: Up to 40% of eligible project costs to a maximum $20,000;
  • Manure Storage Improvements: Up to 25% of eligible project costs to a maximum $20,000;
  • Runoff Control for Livestock Facilities: Up to 30% of eligible project costs to a maximum $20,000.

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CAP Funding for Ontario Agri-Food Processors

Next Application Intake: Unannounced. Program details and focuses could change.

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership Program for Ontario Processors provides funding to food and beverage manufacturers and other value-added processing companies. Its funding directly offsets a portion of project costs related to key areas of economic development, food safety, animal health, and plant health.

Agri-food and beverage processors may access CAP funding to cover up to 25% to 50% of eligible expenses depending on the types of projects completed.

To access CAP funding, processors must be an established Ontario-based manufacturer, be directly involved in transforming agricultural commodities, food, beverage, or agri-based bio-products, have a valid and up-to-date Premises Identification Number (PIN), have a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business number, and maintain a maximum 50-200 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees at the facility where a project is completed. Some funding streams may have additional eligibility factors that must be considered, but these criteria are generally needed to meet the program’s basic requirements.

Specific project focuses for each funding round are not released until an intake begins but have historically been similar to previous rounds. We believe most of the following project types will be eligible for the next round of funding:

Economic Development

  • Business Assessments: Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $15,000;
  • Business Plans: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $15,000;
  • Marketing Plans: Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $25,000;
  • Marketing Products in Canada: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $50,000;
  • Marketing Products Internationally: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $75,000;
  • Developing New Products or Processes: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $75,000;
  • Labour Productivity Plans: Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $25,000;
  • Technology and Equipment to Improve Labour Productivity: Up to 25% of eligible project costs to a maximum $200,000;
  • Input Efficiency and Waste Reduction: Up to 25% of eligible project costs to a maximum $75,000;
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) Systems: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $100,000.

Food Safety

  • Food Safety and Traceability Training: Up to 45% of eligible project costs to a maximum $1,500;
  • Food Safety and Traceability Gap Assessment and Pre-audit: Up to 45% of eligible project costs to a maximum $3,000;
  • Food Safety Equipment: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $10,000;
  • Traceability Equipment: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $10,000;
  • Food Safety and Traceability System Improvements: Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $75,000.

Animal Health

  • Education, Training, Assessment, and Planning: Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $5,000;
  • Defining Zones and Controlled Access Points: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $50,000;
  • Establishing Cleaning and Disinfecting Practices: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $50,000;
  • Establishing Isolation or Segregation Facilities: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $50,000;
  • Health Management: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $50,000;
  • Preventing Access by Wildlife, Pests, and Rodents: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $50,000;
  • Construction, Modification, or New Technologies to Improve Animal Housing: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $50,000;
  • Equipment to Improve Animal Handling: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $50,000;
  • Establishing Facilities to Manage Deadstock: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $25,000.

Plant Health

  • Education, Training, Assessment, and Planning: Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $5,000;
  • Technologies and Processes to Reduce Plant Pest Contamination and Risk: Up to 35% of eligible project costs to a maximum $100,000.

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Apply for the Upcoming Place to Grow: Agri-Food Innovation Initiative Deadline

To access Canadian Agricultural Partnership funding, potential applicants should determine which streams of funding would have the greatest impact on their operations, then develop a project plan that speaks to the financial and competitive implications of performing that type of project. This forms the basis of a CAP Ontario funding application.

Agricultural businesses and organizations must apply by September 27, 2019 to be considered for funding through the upcoming Place to Grow: Agri-Food Innovation Initiative.

Submissions to CAP Ontario typically include a comprehensive online application document, a marketing and/or business plan, and further documentation as required by the chosen project/funding stream. These must collectively speak to the strength of a project and show its financial and operational benefit. Applicants should take care to prepare and submit an application that is compelling to government reviewers.

To explore if CAP Ontario is a good fit for your project and optimize the application process, please contact Mentor Works’ team of Canadian Government Funding Planners.

Apply for Canadian Government Funding

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Written by

Jeff Shepherd holds an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration at the University of Guelph. He is passionate about Canadian business, economics, and politics. As Marketing Coordinator for Mentor Works, Jeff educates business leaders about proactive funding strategies.

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