Top Grants and Loans for B.C. Agriculture & Agri-Food Businesses

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Please Note: Government funding information within this article was accurate as of February, 2014 but may no longer represent the funding landscape. For current B.C. grants and loans, please explore Western Canada small business funding.

Agriculture and Agri-Food businesses in British Columbia have access to a number of lucrative funding programs on both federal and provincial levels. Included among the many options are programs through British Columbia Growing Forward 2 funding which is distributed through two main agents: BC Agricultural Research & Development Corporation (ARDCorp), and Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia, aka, “IAFBC.”

AgriInnovation –Enabling Commercialization & Adoption Stream

Offered through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) The AIP Enabling Commercialization and Adoption Stream is focused on helping companies with commercializing or harnessing innovative agri-products, technologies, or services.

  • Type of Funding: Repayable loan
  • Funding Amount: The maximum funding per project is $10 million, while the normal awarded amount is $2 million.
  • Project Eligibility:  Pre-commercial and commercialization projects. 
  • Note: Stacking funding cannot exceed 75% of the project cost.  In-kind contributions are not eligible

Canada-BC AgriInnovation Program

For small projects, Growing Forward 2 British Columbia’s AgriInnovation program is also available to help accelerate BC’s Agri-food industry. Funding is available to support industry, academia, retailers and others in late stage research and pilot projects that lead to the commercialization and/or adoption of innovative products, technologies and practices.

  • Type of Funding:  Non-repayable contribution
  • Funding Amount:  No set maximum, typical projects are around $10,000.
  • Project Eligibility:  Priority for funding will be given to five areas of activity identified to advance innovation and competitiveness in BC, and include:
    • Advancements in plant, animal and food science
    • Energy and waste management
    • New product development and commercialization
    • Improvements in soil, water and air quality
    • Climate change adaptation
  • Note: Length of application will depend upon size of project (less time for projects <$10K)

Emerging Sectors British Columbia Small Business Grants

This provincial funding program aims to help enable innovation, collaboration and strategic approaches in emerging sectors to identify opportunities, challenges and priorities.

  • Type of Funding:  Non-repayable contribution
  • Funding Amount:  No set maximum, typical projects are around $10,000.
  • Project Eligibility: Eligible projects will address the gaps in applied scientific knowledge, technology adaptation and transfer, pre-commercialization exploration, skills, business development, collaboration and links with potential partners, in order to seize new business opportunities.
  • Note: Grant funding through this program is set aside for emerging sectors in the BC agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products industries.

BC Government Grants for Traceability Adoption Program

The objective of the Traceability Adoption Program (TAP) is to increase the implementation of facility-based traceability systems, helping make BC products among the safest and highest quality in the world.  This includes facility-based traceability systems across the agri-food chain and improved production transparency of BC goods, including plants, animals and agri-food products.

  • Type of Funding: Non-repayable contribution
  • Funding Amount:  75% of project costs to a max of $15K (Small Projects: up to $7500; Large Projects: Up to $15K)
  • Project Eligibility: Purchase and installation of traceability infrastructure, and the training of staff to implement traceability systems for plants, animals and agri-food products.
  • Note: 75% Consultant fees for assessing, planning and/or implementing your TAP project (Caps: $2K for small projects, $4K for large).

BC Business Grants for Food & Beverage Processing

The BC Food and Beverage Processing Initiative supports the development of the food, beverage and nutraceutical processing industry.

  • Type of Funding: Non-repayable contribution
  • Funding Amount: No established maximum
  • Project Eligibility:   Projects are expected to:
    • Enhance the competitive position of BC food and beverage processors
    • Build BC’s reputation as a leader in health and lifestyle-oriented products
    • Build business relationships and collaboration with value chain partners
    • Enhance communications and coordination among industry stakeholders
  • Note: Start-ups and expansion projects not eligible for funding through this program.

Learn More about Government Funding for Agriculture and Agri-Food

If you are an established small to mid-sized business with at least 15 employees that has been incorporated for at least 2 years and engaged in manufacturing and or R&D in Canada, we invite you to join us for a free workshop or webinarSign up for our exclusive Agriculture and Agri-Food Funding Webinar, and follow us twitter.

Canadian Government Grants and Loans for Small Business

14 Comments

    1. Hi Sandra, government funding programs often look to fund projects, not businesses. Your suitability for funding often depends on the type of projects carried out on your farm to improve competitiveness, grow exports, manufacture new products, etc. If you would like to ask someone about funding available for your projects, please get in touch with us at http://www.mentorworks.ca/contact-funding

  1. We are a manufacturer of natural health products and dietary supplements in BC., and we buy all raw materials from BC. and local business can we apply for the agricultural fund?

    1. Hi Mojtaba, government funding programs are awarded to businesses that will use the funds to complete strategic growth projects. To qualify for funding, companies need to develop a plan for, then execute projects that are aligned to the government’s funding focus areas. Your eligibility for funding is part being an established, for-profit business that is incorporated and has profitable operations – the other part is having a qualified project. I’ve asked a colleague to reach out to you to further discuss your business and project to help better understand your eligibility. Please allow 1-2 business days and they’ll contact you by email!

    2. Hi

      My wife and I would like to start a cow/calf, horse boarding, hay transport and equipment transpoet operation
      Can yoh help us find what companies provide grants for start up or if you provide that service

  2. Hi Jeff, what resources would you recommend farm projects looking for grants seek out in 2020? is there an updated list of grants or organizations we should approach? also are you still active in this area for advice?

    1. Hello David,

      Our recommendation would be for you to fill out a contact form on our website here. We can then have a team member reach out to you to build out a proactive funding approach that highlights what programs in the current landscape can be best applied to your business. Can’t wait to hear from you.

    1. Hi Devinder – As a startup, you are in a unique position and we would recommend you consult our Startup Resources Page for the most relevant programs to your business. The majority of the funding programs we discuss require businesses to be incorporated for 2+ years in order to apply. However, there is a funding initiative called the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. One stream through this partnership is the CAP Ontario Producers stream. This is a funding program you should consider to support your growth efforts if your business is incorporated in Canada. Should you need help to navigate that program, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly by filling out a contact form.

  3. Hi we are planning to buy a cherry farm in BC the production would not start until 2022 was wondering what the process is and are some grants we can look at.

    1. Hi Gunny – If you are not yet incorporated and/or pre-revenue, we would recommend that you explore our list of Startup Resources that might be relevant to your current growth stage. Please note that the majority of funding programs, including those mentioned in this blog, require your business to be incorporated in order to apply. All the best!

  4. HI
    We are interested in growing citrus in a low energy geothermal greenhouse and selling to local markets. Would there be a grant to cover the start up costs of materials and building? We live in a zone 5 area and citrus comes from california.

    Heather

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