New Agri-Food Funding Programs From OMAFRA

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has launched its latest slate of new programs and initiatives for 2020 which includes funding for abattoirs, dairy plants, supply-chain improvements, and COVID-19 financial support for purchasing PPE and adapting to social distancing best practices.

Receive up to 70% of funding costs for the purchase of PPE equipment, social distancing measures, and sanitization.

If you have any questions about your business’ eligibility for these programs, contact a member of the Mentor Works team to find out what government funding programs you may be eligible for.

Provincially Licensed Abattoir Initiative

  • Funding: Up to 50%, to a maximum of $100,000 in grant funding
  • Eligibility: Must be a provincially licensed abattoir in Ontario (meat plants are not eligible to apply)
  • Eligible Project Costs: Purchasing and installing equipment or making structural changes that will improve food safety, animal welfare and/or biosecurity in both slaughter and processing portions of business
  • Timelines: June 30, 2020

Provincially Inspected Dairy Plants Initiative

  • Funding: Up to 50% in grant funding, to a maximum of $20,000 over the life of the Initiative
  • Eligibility: Applicants must be a provincially inspected dairy plant in Ontario
  • Eligible Project Costs: Pasteurization equipment, pasteurization upgrades, and processes monitoring equipment
  • Timelines: June 30, 2020

Place to Grow: Market Access Initiative

This funding program has been split into three streams:

Stream 1 – Assessment and Planning for Market Development:

  • Funding: Up to 75% in grant funding, to a maximum of $20K
  • Eligible Costs:
    • Market analysis, research, and assessment for existing or expanding markets
    • Development of business, marketing, strategic or export plans for developing a new and/or expanding market
    • Investigation of regulatory requirements or standards for new markets
  • Timeline: Ongoing intake

Stream 2 – Accessing Markets and Development of Products or Processes – Domestic:

  • Funding: Up to 75% in grant funding, to a maximum of $30K
  • Eligible Costs:
    • Brand development, focus groups or consumer studies
    • In-store product demonstration
    • Planning, organizing and/or participating in trade shows (beyond normal business) and other marketing events in Canada
    • Sales, marketing and promotional activities
    • Travel and meals
    • Translator
  • Timeline: Ongoing intake

Stream 3 – Accessing Markets and Development of Products or Processes – International:

  • Funding: Up to 75% in grant funding, to a maximum of $30K
  • Eligible Costs:
    • Brand development, focus groups or consumer studies
    • In-store product demonstration
    • Planning, organizing and/or participating in trade shows (beyond normal business) and other marketing events in Canada
    • Sales, marketing and promotional activities
    • Travel and meals
    • Translator
  • Timelines: Ongoing intake

Place to Grow Funding for Sectors

This program’s funding has been split into multiple industry streams:

  • Funding: Capital costs may be funded to a maximum of $100,000 per project
  • Eligibility:
    • Two or more legally recognized entities that have an Arm’s Length relationship from each other
    • Not-for-profits can apply on their own
    • Partner cannot be a vendor
  • Program Streams:
    • Food Safety and Traceability
      • Up to 50% of eligible costs, to a maximum of $100K in cost-share funding
    • Animal Health
      • Up to 50% of eligible costs, to a maximum of $100K in cost-share funding
    • Plant Health
      • Up to 50% of eligible costs, to a maximum of $25K in cost-share funding
    • Soil Health and Water Quality
      • Assessment and Planning Stream:
        • Up to 50% of eligible costs, to a maximum of $400K per project/year
      • Outreach, Education and Advisory Services Stream:
        • Up to 50% of eligible costs, to a maximum of $250K per project/year
      • Innovation Pilots and Applied Research Stream:
        • Up to 50% of eligible costs, to a maximum of $200K per project/year
    • Market Development
      • Up to 50% of eligible costs, to a maximum of $100K in cost-share funding
    • Technology Solutions – Productivity Pilots and Demonstrations of New Technology
      • Up to 50% of eligible costs, to a maximum of $250K in cost-share funding
    • Addressing Labour Supply and Training Challenges
      • Up to 50% of eligible costs, to a maximum of $100K in cost-share funding
  • Timeline: Intake currently closed. Next intake is in September 2020

Place to Grow Funding for Strategic Solutions

  • Funding: Up to 75% of eligible costs, to a maximum of $1M in funding (and with a minimum suggested ask of $250K). Capital costs limited to $500K
  • Projects may involve but are not limited to:
    • Investigating and developing new sector solutions to address emerging issues or seize opportunities
    • Tests, pilots, demonstrations, or prototypes of new technologies and/or solutions that benefit the sector/sub-sector
    • Implementing or scaling up validated solutions to support early and wide-scale sector adoption of innovative products, technologies, processes, or services in the sector/sub-sector
  • Timeline: Intake currently closed, but there will be another intake in September 2020

Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program – Producers

This funding program has been split into two streams:

Stream 1: Purchasing PPE and implementing social distancing measures due to COVID-19

  • Funding: Up to 70% in grant funding, to a maximum of $7,500 per project
  • Eligible Expenses:
    • Minor capital (physical/infrastructure) and temporary or permanent modifications (e.g., reconfigurations, shielding, barriers) and rental of temporary structures to enable workers to practice social distancing
    • Personal protective equipment for staff (e.g., masks, gloves and other protective gear)
    • Medical equipment (e.g., body temperature remote sensors, thermometers and cameras; COVID-related testing equipment)
    • Services (e.g., to perform medical checks)
    • Cleaning/disinfection to increase frequency and extent of cleaning (e.g., equipment, cleaning supplies, and/or third-party cleaning services)
  • Timeline: No deadline, continuous intake

Stream 2: Addressing an on-farm COVID-19 outbreak

  • Funding: Up to 70% in grant funding, to a maximum of $7,500 per project
  • Eligible Expenses:
    • Activities to support worker accommodations, work-site mobility and transportation with new arrangements that are necessary to address a new and immediate health and safety issue that directly responds to an on-farm COVID-19 outbreak
    • Short-term accommodations (e.g., hotel, dorm rentals, cleaning and sanitation supplies) to enable social distancing best practices and allow workers to attend workplaces to the limit of $80.00 per day per employee
    • Work-site mobility and transportation to enable employees to access the work site while practicing social distancing best practices to the limit of $60.00 per day per employee
    • To be eligible, costs must be to procure goods and services through a transaction with a third-party that is at arm’s length
  • Timeline: No deadline, continuous intake

Read more about the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program in our dedicated blog.

Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program – Provincially Licensed Meat Processors

  • Funding: Up to 75% in grant funding, up to a maximum of $20,000 per business
  • Eligibile Applicants: Provincially licensed meat processors (abattoir and/or freestanding meat plant)
  • Eligible Costs:
    • Minor capital (physical/infrastructure) and temporary or permanent modifications (e.g., reconfigurations, shielding, barriers) and rental of temporary structures suitable for use in a food establishment to enable workers to practice social distancing
    • Personal protective equipment for staff (e.g., masks, gloves and other protective gear)
    • Medical equipment (e.g., body temperature remote sensors, thermometers and cameras; COVID-related testing equipment)
    • Services (e.g., to perform medical checks)
    • Cleaning/disinfection to increase frequency and extent of cleaning (e.g., equipment, cleaning supplies and/or third-party cleaning services)
    • Short-term accommodations (e.g., hotel, dorm rentals) to enable social distancing best practices and allow workers to attend workplaces, up to $80.00 per day per employee up to a maximum of 14 days
    • Work-site mobility and transportation costs for essential employees to enable social distancing best practices, up to $60.00 per day per employee (e.g., mileage for travel, car rentals, taxi). In order to be eligible, the most economical accommodation and transportation option must be chosen.
  • Timeline: Continuous intake, no deadline. Expenses can be incurred as of May 8, 2020

Read more about the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program in our dedicated blog.

Read our in-depth blog covering both federal and provincial government funding programs for agribusiness including coronavirus support programs and ongoing funding programs. View our COVID-19 business support page for upcoming webinars, resources, and infographics related to the novel coronavirus.

Register for the COVID-19 Canadian Government Funding Webinar on July 8, 2020

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Written by

Matthew has a background in digital marketing, working with small business owners on their branding, digital marketing strategy, and the execution of their campaigns. As a Marketing Coordinator at Mentor Works, Matthew continues to help business owners by creating educational content on what Government funding opportunities are available to Canadian businesses.

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