Canadian Agricultural Partnership Grants for Ontario Food and Beverage Processors Eligibility

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) is a federal-provincial-territorial partnership that provides government grants and loans to agricultural producers, processors, and other organizations. One incentive included in this funding framework, the Canadian Agricultural Partnership: Ontario Processors program, is a non-repayable government grant that helps manufacturers invest and become more competitive.

The CAP: Ontario Processors program provides up to 25% to 50% of eligible project expenses to a maximum $20k-$250k in grant funding per application.

To be considered eligible for this Ontario government funding program, food and beverage processors must directly transform agricultural commodities, food, beverage, or agri-based bio-products. For many of the program’s sub-streams that fund specific types of projects, there’s also a requirement that applicants maintain fewer than 200 full-time employees in the facility where investments are taking place. Other eligibility criteria apply; continue reading this article to explore whether your company, project, and expenses are a good fit for the program.

About Canadian Agricultural Partnership: Ontario Processors Funding

As one of three government funding programs offered provincially through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), the Ontario Processors stream offers government grants exclusively to food, beverage, and agri-product processors. It’s specifically aligned to support projects that boost innovation and help businesses become more competitive.

Eligible applicants can access up to $20,000 to $250,000 in Ontario agriculture grants to support strategic investments, including equipment, facility expansion/modernization, and expanding markets.

Food and beverage processors interested in accessing the program may have up to two funding applications open at any time; this provides significant opportunity for forward-planning businesses to implement multiple growth strategies at once. To start the planning process, consider your company’s top strategic investments over the next 12-24 months and consult the criteria in this article to determine if it’s eligible for funding.

For a more detailed look at how the Canadian Agricultural Partnership: Ontario Processors program works, please review Mentor Works’ overview article.

CAP Ontario Processors: Eligibility for Agri-Businesses

Most streams of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership: Ontario Processors program require applicants to:

  • Be an established Ontario-based manufacturer; and
  • Be directly involved in transforming agricultural commodities, food, beverage, or agri-based bio-products.
  • Have a valid and up-to-date Premises Identification Number;
  • Have a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business number;
  • Maintain a maximum 200 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees at the facility where a project is completed; and
  • Have vendor quotes that demonstrate project costs.

Transformation of agricultural commodities requires (at a minimum) polishing, peeling, cutting, slicing or shredding, where applicable.

This includes, but is not limited to, manufacturers of:

  • Food and beverage products;
  • Tobacco-based pharmaceuticals or other bio-products;
  • Health or nutrition supplements;
  • Ornamentals (flowers, shrubs, sod, etc.); and
  • Pet food products.

Applicants Ineligible for CAP Ontario Processor Grants

Alternately, applicants deemed ineligible for Ontario’s CAP Processor program include:

  • Cigarette manufacturers;
  • Restaurants and food services, including catering services;
  • Companies in the aquaculture sector;
  • Retail food services; and
  • Packaging material manufacturers.

Project Eligibility: CAP Ontario Agri-Food and Beverage Grants

Projects requesting funding through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership: Ontario Processors program are generally deemed eligible if they fit into one of the program’s main funding support areas. These include (but are not limited to):

  • ERP implementation;
  • Ingredient and waste monitoring and improvement;
  • Productivity improvements (technology, production tools, etc.);
  • Projects focused on new product development, testing, and marketing costs;
  • Implementation of a business or marketing plan to expand or maintain domestic/international markets; and
  • Development of business assessments, audits, or plans by a third party.

Please Note: For an extended list of project areas supported through CAP for Ontario Processors, please read Mentor Works’ program overview blog.

Projects Ineligible for CAP Ontario Processor Funding

Alternately, projects that are ineligible for CAP Ontario funding include activities such as:

  • Promoting Ontario products over those of another province or territory;
  • Supporting normal operating costs associated with carrying out a business;
  • Coming into or maintaining legal compliance;
  • Supporting basic research; and
  • Directly influencing or lobbying any level of government.

Canadian Agricultural Partnership Ontario Expense Eligibility

One-time expenses that are necessary to support the completion of project activities are generally deemed eligible for funding support through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership: Ontario Processors program.

Expenses Ineligible for CAP Ontario Processors Support

Some expenses cannot be covered through CAP funding. These expenses include (but are not limited to):

  • Any recurring expenses or expenses incurred prior to funding approval;
  • Food safety assessments;
  • Product verification assessments;
  • Retail or food service listing fees;
  • Direct supply chain and logistics costs;
  • Ongoing software licensing costs or fees;
  • Travel and meal costs;
  • Ongoing assessments that are a part of standard business practices;
  • Staff and consultant costs;
  • Professional services not directly related to the eligible activity; and
  • Any expenses relating to assessment outcomes, including certification fees, legal fees, licenses, registration fees, and investment or banking charges and fees.

Apply for the Canadian Agricultural Partnership: Ontario Processors

If your business meets the eligibility criteria outlined in this article, it’s likely that your organization and upcoming project are a good fit for the Canadian Agricultural Partnership program for Ontario Processors. While this is not a comprehensive list of eligibility criteria, it’s a great starting point for understanding the program in greater detail.

To get started with the application process, companies should first confirm their eligibility via the CAP Ontario Processor program guide. Once eligibility is established, applicants must develop a comprehensive application package and submit it during one of the program’s calls for proposals. These calls are usually made on a quarterly basis.

Ready to apply? To review your business’ and project’s eligibility factors for this program and learn how to optimize the application process, please contact Mentor Works.

Apply for Canadian Government Funding

Posted: June 22, 2018 by Jeff Shepherd. Updated: June 22, 2018 by Jeff Shepherd.

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Jeff 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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