As the December 13, 2016 intake deadline approaches for the Growing Forward 2 (GF2) Ontario Organizations and Collaborations Stream, many agricultural producers and processors may be considering the differing ways in which they can create a viable project.
Because of the project, food processors can now access an online tool that allows urban consumers to pre-order and purchase cuts of meat.
The Organizations and Collaborations stream of Growing Forward 2 Ontario program provides up to 50-75% of eligible project expenses to non-profits and collaborations (including for-profits, non-profits, and research institutions). A maximum $500,000 in Growing Froward 2 Ontario agriculture grants may be awarded.
Beef Farmers of Ontario Create Online Platform with GF2 Ontario Grants
In their government-funded project, Beef Farmers of Ontario collaborated to create an online direct-to-consumer business marketing and sales tool. The tool creates a critical farmer-to-consumer relationship and enables consumers to place orders for specific types or cuts of meat they wish to purchase.
The platform, now available to food producers, increases marketing/sales abilities, and also promotes an efficient planning system. Through better supply and demand management, the tool will help farmers manage inventory, create a more consistent production schedule, and forecast profits more accurately.
Growing Forward 2 Ontario business grants will be awarded through the program’s Market Development focus area. Up to $67,688 in Ontario government grants will spur the development of the new industry-enhancing platform.
Farm to City Encourages the Growth of Ontario’s Entire Agriculture Industry
The new tool, Farm to City, facilitates communication, promotes awareness, educates, and allows for meaningful interaction between farmers and the urban consumer.
Through this tool, consumers will be able to conveniently order cuts of meat of their choice, become informed and aware about where their meat is coming from, how to prepare it, and the benefits of consuming locally-sourced meat.
The Collaborative Approach: Customized Presence with BIO Websites
Bridging Intelligence is a global leader in the development of software for food producers. Their platforms, including the BioLinks Enterprise Processing & Management System enables individual food producers to manage supply, forecast demand, and ultimately develop a more streamlined production process.
Beef Farmers of Ontario, an industry association, applied for GF2 Ontario grants to offset the costs of developing a Bridging Intelligence platform for beef farmers. As a project partner, Bridging Intelligence will provide in-kind contributions, ultimately reducing the overall project cost for Beef Farmers of Ontario.
The collaboration between these two groups will leverage Beef Farmers of Ontario’s network of farmers and industry resources to help build/promote the tool, while Bridging Intelligence will also help to build, market, and service the tool.
Growing Forward 2 Ontario Agriculture Grants for Small Business
Growing Forward 2 provides agricultural grants to agri-food producers, processors, and organizations/collaborations to expand markets and grow profits. The 5-year program (2013-2018) may award up to 35-50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $350,000 for single applicants (Producers Stream, Processors Stream), or up to 50-75% of eligible expenses to a maximum $500,000 for multiple applicants (Organizations and Collaborations).
Projects must fit one of 6 priority areas, including:
- Assurance systems (including animal welfare, food safety, and traceability);
- Market development;
- Plant and animal health;
- Environment and climate change adaptation;
- Productivity and labour enhancement; and
- Leadership and business development.
While all 2016 funding intake periods are closed for the Producers and Processors streams, funding still remains available for the Organizations/Collaboration Stream. Three intake dates remain before the program closes, including:
- December 13, 2016;
- February 16, 2017; and
- April 20, 2017.
All Growing Forward 2 Ontario projects must be completed by October 31, 2017.
Access Agriculture Grants and Small Business Funding Resources
Agricultural producers, processors, and organizations may access several Ontario government grants, loans, and tax credits to grow and extend cash flow. Farmers and food manufacturers can discover their opportunity to receive project funding during Mentor Works’ Canadian government funding webinars.
Contact Mentor Works to discuss your eligibility for the Growing Forward 2 Ontario government funding program. If qualified for Growing Forward 2 or other agriculture grants, we can also accelerate the application process and help your organization access project funding.
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