With over 4000 food and beverage businesses existing in Ontario, the Ontario provincial government has decided to implement the brand new Strategic Agri-Food Processing Fund Program introduced in the 2021 Fall Economic Statement. The program looks to help food processing companies that exist and operate within Ontario. The fund was listed under the “Working for Economic Growth” section, considering that food processors in Ontario face many challenges, such as processing more food grown within the province (including aging technology and facilities). Seeing that processing plants have limited capacities when it comes to expanding, the government has provided $25 million available for claims, as having to use outdated equipment and inadequate operational spaces end up causing problems in having efficient production lines for many food processors in Ontario.
To address these problems, the Strategic Agri-Food Processing Fund put in place by the Ontario government will support projects that aim to resolve capacity shortage problems. Eligible agri-food businesses will have access to up to $3 million in cost-share funding to build new facilities, expand or modernize existing facilities, and adopt new innovative technologies so businesses can improve current operations. This investment is put in place to boost competitiveness and create new opportunities for agri-food businesses all around Ontario.
The $25 million funding allocated by the Ontario government will be available over three years for eligible businesses. The program will launch on April 1st, 2022, and the Ontario government will provide further details regarding the program as the application intake opens.