- Stephen Lecce, MPP
Governments Helping Ontario Agri-Food Products Reach New Markets
TORONTO – The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $6 million through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) to help eligible agri-food businesses and industry organizations expand into domestic and foreign markets.
The Grow Ontario Market Initiative is a new, cost-share initiative that will help food and beverage processors, farm businesses and agri-food sector organizations take actions to reach new markets. Examples of eligible projects could include market analysis and planning, product development activities and/or new market-entry promotional efforts to expand opportunities for Ontario food products.
“By supporting the diversification of products and markets, we are contributing to the growth of Ontario’s agri-food industry,” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “These investments will help our producers and processors meet evolving market needs and strengthen our sector's resilience.”
“Our government’s Grow Ontario Strategy has set out ambitious expansion targets for our agri-food sector, and this initiative will help eligible businesses to have the necessary means to enter new markets both foreign and domestic,” said Lisa Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “The potential for growth in Ontario’s agri-food sector is tremendous and we’re committed to making sure agri-food businesses of all sizes have the support they need to make this area of our provincial economy even more competitive.”
Under the Grow Ontario Market Initiative, applicants can receive up to 50 per cent cost share for eligible costs, to a maximum of $60,000 per business for producers and food and beverage processors, and up to $125,000 for sector organizations. Eligible businesses can apply for support through this program starting on May 19, 2023.
“Our government is proud to support Ontario’s food and beverage processors, farm businesses and agri-food organizations through the new Grow Ontario Market Initiative,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “By creating the right conditions for businesses to grow and succeed, we continue to develop new markets for Ontario products to strengthen our long-term economic outlook, provide good jobs, and bring new investment opportunities to the province.”
This initiative was developed following discussions with agri-food sector businesses and sector organizations. It builds on other actions our government has taken to support the sector’s growth, such as a Minister-led agri-food trade mission to Japan and Vietnam in February 2023. It also follows investments of $10 million through the Food Security and Supply Chain Fund, and $22 million through the Agri-tech Innovation Program.
Sustainable CAP is a five-year (2023-2028), $3.5-billion investment by federal‐provincial and territorial governments to strengthen competitiveness, innovation, and resiliency of the agriculture, agri‐food and agri‐based products sector. This includes $1 billion in federal programs and activities and a $2.5 billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs that are designed and delivered by the provinces and territories.
The Grow Ontario Market Initiative will be delivered by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. More details about the initiative and its application process will soon be available online or can be obtained by calling 1-877-424-1300.
Applications for the Grow Ontario Market Initiative will be accepted as of May 19, 2023. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis subject to the availability of funding allocated to the initiative.
Sustainable CAP will help enable the goals outlined in Ontario’s Grow Ontario Strategy, which include increasing the production of food by 30 per cent over the next 10 years, growing agri-food exports by eight per cent annually, and to build and maintain world-class research infrastructure.
Enhancing competitiveness and innovation in Canada’s agri-food sector were among priorities set for Sustainable CAP by the federal-provincial-territorial agricultural ministers in The Guelph Statement.
Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Grow Ontario