The Greenbelt Fund was created to support Ontario-based farmers, food processors, and agricultural not-for-profits. Their popular grant, the Local Food Investment Fund, offers three streams of agri-food grants to assist the Broader Public Sector, Market Access, and Local Food Literacy throughout Ontario.
- Amount: Up to 50% coverage via grant funding for for-profit businesses in Ontario, including farmers, primary producers, food processors, distributors, food service, and retail. Up to 50% coverage for non-profits, including municipalities, industry associations, and economic development associations (“exceptional” circumstances will allow 90% coverage for select not-for-profit projects).
- Timeline: Closed; no future intakes announced. Program uses application periods to accept project proposals; current application period to close by mid-April 2018.
- Eligibility: Ontario farmers, food processors, distributors, food service, retail. No minimum size requirements. Eligible expenses include consulting, business planning, salaries, equipment, technology upgrades (hardware/software), production expansion, training, marketing/promotion, travel costs in Ontario, studies and research.
Streams of the Greenbelt Fund: Local Food Investment Fund
- Broader Public Sector: Increasing local food purchases by public sector organizations and institutions.
Projects: Innovation & Product Development, Skills Development to improve food handling and preparation skills so more institutions can create local food menus, Value Chain Collaboration, Organizational Change to make local food a priority, and Policy Change that increases local food purchases.
- Market Access: Increasing access of small and mid-sized farms and processors to markets.
Projects: Creation of regional aggregation and food hubs to increase farmers’/food processors’ access to retail/food service, strengthen value chain of food products made with Ontario ingredients, and enabling businesses to access new and emerging markets through business intelligence, networking, and relationship building tools.
- Local Food Literacy: Improving understanding of where local food can be found, what local foods are available, and how to use them.
Projects: Increase Consumer Awareness of local food, Encourage Value-chain Relationships among local food industry stakeholders, Building Awareness of Local/Regional Agriculture Systems, and Communication and Marketing activities to improve farmers’/commodity organization’s ability to communicate the value of their products.
Top Greenbelt Fund: Local Food Investment Fund Resources
- Local Food Investment Fund Overview Blog: An overview of the Local Food Investment Fund’s objectives, eligible applicants, and streams to be applied for.
- Greenbelt Fund: Local Food Investment Fund Eligibility Criteria: An in-depth review of the program’s eligibility features, including applicants, projects, and expenses.
- Greenbelt Fund: Local Food Investment Fund Program Deadline: The upcoming deadline for Local Food Investment Fund SOI applications is quickly approaching. View this article to learn if you’re eligible for the program and discover how to apply.
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Posted: November 19, 2015 by Jeff Shepherd. Updated: May 2, 2018 by Jeff Shepherd.