The Strategic Agri-Food Processing Fund (SAPF) is an Ontario investment program for improving food processing capacity through major expansions and modernization of food processing facilities. This cost-sharing program has a total allocated budget of $25 million.
Canada exports $56 billion worth of farm products every year.
The Strategic Agri-Food Processing Fund (SAPF) was created to help support high-impact projects within businesses that are looking to expand existing operations/facilities or projects with exceptional economic opportunities that will create net new processing capacity. The goal of this program is to help increase global competitiveness and allow for the retention of existing markets, as well as access to new markets for the Ontario agribusiness sector.
Program Snapshot: Strategic Agri-Food Processing Fund (SAPF)
Funding provided through SAPF is categorized in the following three categories: (1) New Production Capacity, (2) Major Expansion of Existing Capacity, and (3) Modernization. Each of these three categories are detailed further in the eligible projects section.
The amount of funding a project can receive is based on the following categories it may fulfill:
- New Production Capacity: Provides a grant of up to 20% of eligible costs, to a maximum of $3 million per business. Suggested minimum total project value is $5 million.
- Major Expansion of Existing Capacity: Provides a grant of up to 20% of eligible costs, to a maximum provincial investment of $3 million per business. Suggested minimum total project value is $5 million.
- Modernization: Provides a grant of up to 15% of eligible costs, to a maximum provincial investment of $500,000 per business. Suggested minimum total project value is $2 million.
An additional cost share incentive of 5% is available for eligible business with projects in Rural or Northern locations, or for an applicant who is Indigenous.
Applicants must be an eligible processor, defined as a new or established business that “transforms or will transform agricultural commodities into food and beverages in Ontario for human consumption.” This includes primary food processing activities, such as cutting, cleaning, packaging, and storing raw plant or animal-based food products.
Eligible processors must meet the following criteria to be eligible for funding in any of the three program categories:
- Be and remain in compliance with all Requirements of Law for the duration of the project;
- Have a valid and up-to-date Premises Identification Number (PID) for the business location where the project is to take place (if applicable);
- Provide a Canada Revenue Agency Business Number as part of the application process, if applicable;
- Be capable of entering into a funding agreement with the Province of Ontario and meeting their obligations under it.
Note that processors of alcoholic beverages and cannabis-infused food or beverage products are not eligible.
Applicants that meet the criteria and have submitted their eligibility criteria checklist before the April 19 deadline can submit their project under one of the following three categories:
- New Production Capacity: Projects looking to build/open a processing location in Ontario to create net new capacity.
- Major Expansion of Existing Capacity: Projects looking to expand an existing facility to add or create net new processing capacity.
- Modernization: Projects looking to modernize existing processing capacity to increase productivity and efficiency.
Deadline to Apply
In order to be eligible for this program, you must submit your eligibility checklist for all potential projects by April 19, 2022.
For approved projects, eligible costs may not be incurred before the application submission deadline of July 11, 2022. Projects must be implemented and completed no later January 15, 2024. Any funding decisions will not be made until after the June 2, 2022, provincial election and a new government is sworn in.
Apply for the Strategic Agri-Food Processing Fund (SAPF)
Businesses can apply for the Strategic Agri-Food Processing Fund (SAPF) before 5:00pm on April 19, 2022, to receive funding through this program. With the relatively short application window for this funding program, we strongly recommend utilizing a professional government grant application writing team to submit the SAPF application on your companies’ behalf. Speak with a member of the Mentor Works team to see if your business is eligible for funding through this program, or other agribusiness funding programs.
Ontario agri-food businesses feed millions of people around the world. With more than 3,000 active food and beverage processors, 97,000 workers, and $39 billion in revenues, Ontario is one of the sector’s most active and competitive jurisdictions in North America. Find out how you can grow your agribusiness with the best practices in our free Ontario Agri-Business Growth Guide.