New CAP Intake to Help Canadian Growers Develop New Markets

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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.

 

LED Lighting Incentives can help with On-Farm Trials

Thanks to the IESO for contributing to this post.

SOE logoAre you aware that the Save on Energy program can help you to complete energy efficient upgrades in your greenhouse?  You may have participated in this program in the past, but the current iteration can help you to retrofit items like ventilation fans and upgrade to LED lighting in the warehouse and the greenhouse.

The IESO has developed tools that can help you identify areas where an upgrade might be able to help you save energy.  These include a checklist that walks you through the greenhouse, and some videos and other information on their web page.

Continue reading “LED Lighting Incentives can help with On-Farm Trials”

Updates on Ornamental Disease Webinar Series, “Let’s Talk Disease”.

Screen shot of advertisement for the first webinar in the series, featuring John Lea-CoxWe are ecstatic to report that the webinar series “LET’S TALK DISEASE”  hosted by Greenhouse Canada Magazine and OMAFRA has had high interest and participation from growers.

Running from March to late April, this series covers topics from sanitation measures, to the most effective fungicides for persistent pests like powdery mildew.

Keep reading for and UPDATED list of dates and exciting speakers, and how you can view presentations you might have missed

Continue reading “Updates on Ornamental Disease Webinar Series, “Let’s Talk Disease”.”

Online Training -Greenhouse Basics & Nutrient Management

Picture1Just in time for spring, the University of Florida has released their list of upcoming greenhouse themed online courses for the summer of 2019.

There are three courses available through the summer: Greenhouse 101, Nutrient Management 1 and Nutrient Management 2.  All three courses are offered in both English and Spanish. Continue reading “Online Training -Greenhouse Basics & Nutrient Management”

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

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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

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)”

Upcoming Webinar: GO-CALC – Modelling Energy Use and Savings in the Greenhouse

Now that the mums are gone, and the poinsettias are getting ready to colour up, it’s becoming clear that winter is just around the corner.  With the colder temperatures outside, comes the ramping up of you heating system. Remember those energy bills from winter’s gone by? Have they got you thinking about doing some energy-efficient upgrades in your greenhouse?

The engineers at OMAFRA have been especially busy this year building GO-CALC – a tool to help estimate your energy use in the greenhouse AND how retrofits can help to make your greenhouse more energy-efficient!  The tool shows how those energy-efficient upgrades like energy curtains, new greenhouse coverings and boiler upgrades that you may already be planning for your greenhouse can help you save energy.

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Continue reading “Upcoming Webinar: GO-CALC – Modelling Energy Use and Savings in the Greenhouse”

Be part of a conversation that matters: farmer mental health.

healthUntil recently, there wasn’t data about the mental health of Canadian farmers.  Dr. Andria Jones-Bitton and PhD Candidate Briana Hagen of the Ontario Veterinary College are changing that.  Please consider making time to participate in this worthwhile project. Read on for how to take part.

Continue reading “Be part of a conversation that matters: farmer mental health.”

New Floriculture Course Offerings from MSU

Thinking about taking a course this summer?  Our friends at Michigan State University are offering three online courses this summer, and all three look to be great resources. You get three months to complete the course at your own pace, from June 1st to August 31st.  The courses are good for new growers or as a staff refresher.   Continue reading “New Floriculture Course Offerings from MSU”

New tool can help identify gaps in your pest management program

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Do you have a strategy to help mitigate pests coming into your facility, like dipping cuttings upon receipt?

The CFIA has recently released the Floriculture Sector Biosecurity Guide.  Despite it’s imposing name, this is an excellent “road map” to help protect your facility from unwanted pests.  The Guide offers biosecurity strategies from the time plants come in the front door ’till they’re out in the compost bin.

Don’t have a facility-wide Pest Management Program in place?  This guide can provide the framework. (Why start from scratch?).  Already have a strategy to mitigate risks from pests at your farm?  Compare YOUR plan with the Floriculture Guide to see if you’ve overlooked anything.

Continue reading “New tool can help identify gaps in your pest management program”