The Growing Forward 2 (GF2) program supported by the Ontario Government, as well as the federal government, has announced the availability of funding for food producers for the Project Implementation Stream of the Ontario provincial funding variant. The funding from the Project Implementation Stream will awarded to projects based on merit. Projects must be from one of the following focus areas of the program:
- Environment and climate change adaptation
- Animal and plant health
- Market development
- Labour productivity enhancements
- Assurance systems (food safety, traceability, animal welfare)
- Business and leadership development
GF2 Ontario Business Grants for Producers: Program Focus
In addition, the project must fit with at least one of the desired project outcomes associated with the GF2 Program:
- Use best business and leadership practices
- Use energy, water and other inputs efficiently
- Be better able to adapt to climate change
- Maximize labour productivity
- Access new and emerging markets
- Retain and expand existing markets
- Market products that meet buyer demand through adoption of assurance systems and/or adding value such as agri-products and food for health
- Respond quickly and effectively to risks
- Reduce key risks
GF2 Ontario Business Grants for Producers: Funding Details
Projects will need to meet criteria specific to the focus area of their application, as well as, general project criteria. Innovative projects are a key priority of the GF2 program and projects that meet the criteria for innovativeness will receive a greater percentage of funding.
Grant funding from the Project Implementation stream will provide funding for up to 35% of the costs of a project. Innovative projects, which must meet additional criteria, may receive up to 50% of project costs. The producer is expected to cost share in the expenses for the remaining amount. Agreed upon deadlines must be met or the funding will not be provided. The program is expecting that most projects will be a maximum of 2 years in length. Longer project time-frames will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
For a producer to be eligible to receive funding from the GF2 Ontario Project Implementation program, the producer must be a legal entity that produces agricultural products in Ontario. In the previous year, the applicant must have filed business or farm income/loss taxes. The applicant must have a Premises Identification Number and a Farm Business Registration Number or the equivalent.
The Project Implementation program covers many costs associated with a project, including:
- Costs of goods, services and supplies associated with the project. Also includes shipping/transportation costs where applicable.
- Incremental costs for contractors (not full time staff), facility rental, equipment and machinery, as well as, project related travel costs
- Capital equipment to a maximum of $100,000 with additional parameters including the applicant’s commitment of putting 25% in cash towards the cost of the capital equipment. Capital items include equipment, construction costs for buildings and on-farm infrastructure.
Applications for the GF2 Ontario Project Implementation program will be accepted between November 10, 2014 and December 11, 2014. Future submission dates are still to be determined.
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