PROGRAM EXPANSION: Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program

On May 14, 2020 the ministry announced the launch of the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program for Producers. The intake is open to interested applicants and program materials have been posted online.  As of June 12, the program has been expanded, in terms of available funding. Applications are being accepted until funding runs out. More details on this program can be found below. Continue reading “PROGRAM EXPANSION: Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program”

New CAP intake: Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program

On May 14, 2020 the ministry announced the launch of the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program for Producers. The intake is open to interested applicants and program materials have been posted online. Eligible applications for this cost-share funding will be received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available, meaning that it may be an advantage to submit an application as early as possible.

There are two cost-share project categories under the program: Occupational Health and Safety Measures and Workforce Access and Accommodation. Both categories offer 70% cost-share up to $7,500.  Projects must have started after May 14th to be eligible. Applicants may only submit one application per eligible business/farm property at a time. A maximum of one project per eligible business/farm property will be funded, no matter which category it falls under.  Continue reading “New CAP intake: Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program”

New CAP Intake to Help Canadian Growers Develop New Markets

online sales 1

Looking to pivot to online sales or other marketing strategies? The Canadian Agricultural Partnership can help.

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) has just announced a new program to help fund agri-food businesses starting e-commerce sales or other activities that might open new market channels.  This targeted intake is called “Agrifood Open for E-business” and can be found on the OMAFRA website.

Read on for more details of the program, who is eligible, and examples of projects ornamental growers can apply for in each of the two program streams.

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Province of Manitoba | agriculture - Canadian Agricultural Partnership

Information about the new CAP intake can be found at http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/cap/index.htm

Agrifood Open for E-business – Stream 1: Bring Your Business Online

Stream 1 is looking to target businesses who need to bring their business online quickly. Eligible businesses include farmers (on-farm stores included), on-farm markets, garden centers, greenhouses and nurseries.

online flower sales

New CAP programming can help cover the costs of new website design, hosting fees, and marketing strategies.

Growers and garden centres can apply to receive up to $5,000 of funding to address marketing challenges through a new, expanded or enhanced on-line presence.  Funding under this stream is designed to be quick and responsive for those needing timely solutions.

The priority here is to develop market channels to retain and/or expand sales with primary objective of bringing products to customers.

EXAMPLES from the ornamental sector that could be covered (starting as of April 24, 2020 unitl November 30, 2020) under Stream 1 include:

  • A Grower developing an online e-commerce site to increase or replace sales from roadside stands. This includes subscription fees (for up to 6 months), e-commerce website design costs and even web ads.
  • A Garden Centre with a e-presence already, using funds to expand merchandising and marketing efforts, and/or to make any necessary facility modifications.
  • A Farmers’ Market providing an online platform to share information about products that are now available for sale through alternative channels.

Agrifood Open for E-business – Stream 2: Develop Online Business Opportunities

This stream thinks bigger.  It provides cost-share funding to develop e-commerce business opportunities on a larger scale to implement high-impact projects. Individual businesses can apply, as can eligible organizations.  Collaborations are also encouraged. Funding is available for up to 90 per cent of eligible costs up to $75,000 (although smaller projects are preferred).

flower shipping

Thinking about changing your business for the long term to access new and different markets? The CAP “Open for E-Business” intake may be able to help with that, too.

Stream 2 is not just about getting you online, it’s about creating stable, long term online marketing and sales platforms that will help businesses going forward. Priorities here are about creating or expanding new markets and revenue streams, and projects that meet broad business needs for the sector (e.g. an online platform that supports multiple businesses) and collaborative projects.

In this stream, applicants can show their projects are impactful by involving groups that represent multiple stakeholders, and/or by working together with other partners. Applicants can also show their project meets the needs of the broader sector by demonstrating industry support in other ways (such as support letters).

EXAMPLES for the ornamental sector that could be covered under Stream 2 include:

  • A Grower developing and validating a new operation process (e.g. switching from wholesale to retail). This would include the logistics related to new marketing channels (this could be anything from new shelving needed to sell on the roadside or moving plants through alternative logistics models), warehousing, shipping (including new packaging), delivery fulfillment (e.g. door-to-door) and other transactions, such as the purchase of new machinery to help adapt to new sales methods (e.g. new POS system that allows for contactless “tap” purchases for roadside, pickup or delivery sales options).
  • A Retail Centre (e.g. grocery stores) developing new models to market, merchandise and ship new products like ornamentals in a contactless manner. This could include website/merchandising expansion, training key personnel on the new process and delivery logistics
  • Grower Organizations collaborating with growers or other industry groups to market the benefits and availability of ornamentals (as long as it’s not restricted to Ontario-grown products only), or creating an app to more easily link growers to sellers.
  • A Farmers’ Market collaborating with its market vendors to establish and market an e-commerce platform, and to make minor facility modifications to address social distancing requirements that are directly related to the project.

All applicants to Stream 2 should show the project is meeting the needs of their broader sector by demonstrating industry support through letters from customers, suppliers and grower organizations. A grower can also show the project is meeting the needs of their local area through support letters from regional organizations (e.g., local business/economic development groups).

More Information:

More information about this new CAP “Agri-Food Open for E-Business” programming can be found at http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/cap/index.htm

Make sure to check the Merit Criteria section closely!  Note that costs relating to projects starting BEFORE April 24 will NOT be eligible. All applications should be submitted electronically to agpartnership@ontario.ca

Electronic forms for submission can be found here:

The electronic application form for Stream 1 is available here.

The electronic application form for Stream 2 is available here.

Growers and retailers can apply for one project under EACH stream, in order to get their e-commerce platforms up and running quickly AND to engage in longer term marketing and sales processes that strengthen the sector over the long run.

An Additional FYI: OMAFRA and COVID

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and to respect physical distancing measures, all our specialists are working remotely but are still available to assist you.

We will continue to support the sector’s needs by providing services via email, phone and virtual meetings where possible. We understand these are trying times for most and so we want to assure everyone that we are continuing delivery of information in a timely manner through these alternative channels.

We will continue to provide the sector with the support we’ve always given. Thank you for your understanding. Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

 

Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative: Phase 2

What’s happening?

The Ontario government announced a new intake to the the streamlined Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative (GCII).  There is up to $4.5 million in funding available for new and innovative projects. The initiative will be delivered through the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC). Continue reading “Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative: Phase 2”

Cost-share funding open to Canadian growers January 8th

cap_banner3-engStarting on January 8, 2020, producers, processors, and other businesses can apply for cost-share funding through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership .  The deadline for applying is January 20th.

Similar to previous programs (such as Growing Forward 2), this is a five-year commitment by Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments that will support Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sectors.

Keep reading for more information on this program, or talk to your local OMAFRA or OSCIA representative.

Continue reading “Cost-share funding open to Canadian growers January 8th”

Have a greenhouse improvement you need funded? The next Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP) intake has been announced

summer student pic

The next CAP intake for producers, processors and other agri-businesses is March 22 through May 6.

Please see the link here for the news release.

More information will be available on the websites of the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Associationand the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs on or before March 8, 2019.

Examples of projects that can be funded under CAPS include:

  • Innovative improvements to your greenhouse that promote biosecurity and limit the spread of insect pests from imported plant material
  • Education, planning and training projects that improve plant health
  • Preventing field pests from accessing your crop (e.g. screening)
  • Upgrades to sanitation and work-flow that prevent spread of pathogens
  • and other projects, as long as they promote plant health and safety!

via Next Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP) Intake has been Announced — onspecialtycrops

Know an Innovative Grower? The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence (up to $75,000!) is Open for Applications

premiersawardThe Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence program recognizes outstanding agriculture and agri-food related innovators, including producers, processors, and agri-food organizations.  Awards of up to $75,000 are available.  Nominate someone you know now!

Continue reading “Know an Innovative Grower? The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence (up to $75,000!) is Open for Applications”

Cost-share funding for greenhouse growers now available under the new “Canadian Agricultural Partnership” (CAPS)

cap_banner3-engStarting on April 3, 2018, producers, processors, and other businesses can apply for cost-share funding through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership .

Similar to previous programs (such as Growing Forward 2), this is a new five-year commitment by Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments that will support Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sectors.

Keep reading for more information on this program, or talk to your local OMAFRA or OSCIA representative.

Continue reading “Cost-share funding for greenhouse growers now available under the new “Canadian Agricultural Partnership” (CAPS)”

New Program Alert: GreenON Agriculture

GreenON Ag retrofit logoYou might have heard that a new cost-share program, GreenON Agriculture was announced last week.  This program is designed to help Ontario farm businesses reduce their carbon footprint, and greenhouses are eligible!

This program will be of interest to greenhouse operators who are concerned about rising energy costs, and want to make their operations more energy-efficient.

Continue reading “New Program Alert: GreenON Agriculture”

Take advantage of Growing Forward 2 Funding for Energy Savings!

What is happening?

Growing Forward 2 (GF2) Cost-share Funding Assistance Program for Producers is now offering new support for farmers to make changes in their farming operation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  This is to support producers to transition to low carbon production and encourage energy efficiency and energy conservation on-farms.

Why should you care? One of the new Best Management Practices is especially applicable to greenhouses – A13: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from indoor agriculture facilities.  

Have I got your attention? Read on to find out more!  Continue reading “Take advantage of Growing Forward 2 Funding for Energy Savings!”