The agri-food industry is set for exciting developments in 2016.
The recent change in government has brought a renewed political
focus on Growing Forward 2 (GF2), the policy framework for the
agriculture and agri-food sectors first announced in 2013.
Applications for project funding are being accepted in early 2016,
so it is not too late to consider whether this opportunity is a
good fit for your organization.
GF2 was first announced in 2013. The GF2 provides $3 billion in
joint funding from the governments of Canada as well as all
provinces and territories over a five-year period. The purpose of
GF2 is to provide businesses and organizations with funding to
encourage innovation, competitiveness and market development in
Canada's agricultural and agri-food sector. The money has been
split between federal programs ($1 billion) and cost-shared
programs delivered by provincial and territorial governments ($2
Your business may be eligible for funding under GF2, either
federally or at the provincial/territorial level. Each jurisdiction
offers different programs, in Ontario, for example, GF2 funding can
be allocated to producers, processors and
organizations/collaborations. Producers include farms, aquaculture
producers, and horse breeders. Processors include manufacturers of
agricultural commodities, food, beverages or agri-based bioproducts
in Ontario (but excludes, for example, restaurants and retail food
service). Organizations and collaborations are entities involved in
the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based bioproducts sector and
are capable of entering into a contract, including academic
institutions, not-for-profit associations and for-profit
In Ontario, the funding for processors, producers and
organizations/collaborators is only available for specified
categories of programs, which include environmental and climate
change adaptation, animal and planet health, assurance systems
upgrades (food safety, traceability and animal welfare), market
development, labour productivity enhancements, and business and
leadership development. In Ontario, application due dates
are set for early February 2016, and in other provinces some
deadlines have already passed, so now is the time to
If you meet the criteria listed above, it is not too late to
decide whether applying for cost-shared funding is an opportunity
you might want to explore. And even if you opt-out this year, there
have already been rumours of a Growing Forward 3. So, if you do not
have a chance to take a closer look at this worthwhile opportunity
this round, definitely keep it in mind for the next set of
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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