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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

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Posted: November 19, 2015 by Jeff Shepherd. Updated: May 2, 2018 by Jeff Shepherd.