Other Support Programs

This section provides summary information on dozens of services provided by the Canadian Government and by provincial and private organizations in such areas as agriculture, consulting, and financing. This section of the site is an important resource in finding services, assistance and funding in support of your business.

Federal Programs

Grants Available to Canadian Dairy and Finished Food Product Manufacturers

Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP)

Funded by: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Summary: The Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (2014-2019) funds industry-led projects that help the agriculture, agri-food, and agri-based products sector to:
Seize opportunities: Allow industry to take advantage of a situation or circumstance to develop a new idea, product, niche, or market opportunity.
Respond to new and/or emerging issues: Address issues that were unknown or not a concern before.
Pathfind and/or pilot solutions to new and ongoing issues:
a. Pathfinding – investigating new ways and/or different options of dealing with new and/or ongoing issues.
b. Piloting – testing ideas and/or approaches to apply in the sector.
This program runs for 5 years until March 31, 2019. It will provide $50.3 million in non-repayable contributions.

For general inquiries, or more information on national projects:

Email: caap-pcaa@agr.gc.ca
Phone: 1-877-246-4682
Web site: https://publications.gc.ca/site/archivee-archived.html?url=https://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2010/agr/A118-32-2009-eng.pdf

Canada Business

Funded/Offered by: Government of Canada

Summary: This web site is devoted to services and information for entrepreneurs.

For more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/business.html

Industrial Research Assistance Plan (IRAP)

Funded by: National Research Council of Canada (NRC)

Summary: IRAP’s mandate is to help companies develop and adapt industrial technologies to impel their productivity, profitability and international competitiveness.

Professionals involved in IRAP have experience in a wide range of industries including food processing, bio-technology and agriculture. Client’s technical needs are met by identifying opportunities, accessing technical and financial resources, and solving production problems.

For more information, refer to IRAP’s web page at: www.nrc.ca/irap

Business Planning

Funded/Offered by: Canada Business Network

Summary: Find out how to write a business plan, and access templates, sample business plans, market research information and statistcs.

For more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/business.html

Grants and Financing

Funded/Offered by: Industry Canada

Summary: Entrepreneurs often report that getting financing is the most challenging aspect of starting or growing a business. If you are looking for money for your business, you should start by learning about the different types of financing that are available. You can then decide which one best suits your needs. You can reduce your need for assistance by managing your finances effectively.

Includes information on:

  • Government grants and financing
  • Private sector financing
  • Crowdfunding
  • Accessing equity financing
  • Personal assets

For more information: https://innovation.ised-isde.canada.ca/s/?language=en_CA

Research and Development  Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED)

Funded/Offered by: Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

Summary: With the aim of encouraging industrial SR&ED, the federal government established this program, which offers tax incentives to Canadian businesses. Geared toward small and start-up companies, the SR&ED program provides financial assistance through investment tax credits to individuals and corporations developing or improving technological products or processes. Companies that qualify can deduct 100% of the capital SR&ED expenses for the year, or carry them forward indefinitely if not claimed in the current year.

The federal government also offers the Preclaim Project Review (PCPR) service to make the SR&ED Program more accessible. This service helps companies determine which research and development projects are eligible and obtain valuable guidance on how to substantiate their SR&ED claims. The PCPR is available at the request of the company and is not required for participating in the SR&ED Program.

Eligibility requirements: Eligible companies include proprietorships, partnerships or corporations in Canada.

Eligible projects include basic or applied research in science or a technology field, or experimental development designed to create or improve products or processes that embody a scientific or technological advancement.

For more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/scientific-research-ex…

Atlantic Canada

Grants Available to Dairy and Finished Food Product Manufacturers

Food Packaging Pilot Funding Program for PEI Companies

Funded/Offered by: Prince Edward Island Bio|Food|Tech Centre

Summary: The Food Packaging Pilot program (coordinated by Food Island Partnership) was developed to provide assistance to PEI food companies and new start-up companies who want to differentiate their product in the marketplace in part through the development of a new packaging concept, and/or require assistance to address a specific packaging challenge.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • Provide participating food companies with access to innovative packaging expertise
  • Develop a new packaging concept/prototype or identify a solution to address a specific technical packaging challenge
  • Provide participating companies with a solid business case to assist with the implementation of the proposed new packaging solutions.

For more information, visit the Funding Programs page or contact:

Lilian Yu, Food Scientist

PEI Bio|Food|Tech
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown PEI C1A 7N8

PEI Food Product Development Fund

The PEI Food Product Development Fund is available to Prince Edward Island companies to access the professional, technical assistance services of BIO|FOOD|TECH. This assistance can be applied to the development and testing of new and improved products and processes, and other technical development-related activities. The fund contributes 50% of project costs to a maximum contribution of $50,000.

For more information, visit the Funding Programs page or contact:

PEI Bio|Food|Tech
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown PEI C1A 7N8
Tel: (902) 368-5548
Toll free: 1 (877) 368-5548
Fax: (902) 368-5549
E-mail: biofoodtech@biofoodtech.ca

New Brunswick Research and Productivity Council (RPC)

Funded/Offered by: New Brunswick Research and Productivity Council (RPC)

Summary: RPC has been a contract corporation providing research and development and technical services since 1962. Typical projects involve developing innovative products and improving resources and manufacturing productivity as well as offering analytical and testing services. Research is facilitated with not only an experienced staff but also with a collection of more than 50,000 standards, monographs, reports, and scientific and technical journals. RPC serves most industry sectors in Atlantic Canada including utilities, aquaculture, information technology, environmental, pulp and paper, mining and forestry. The range of services includes metallurgy, specialty NDE applications, design, environmental analytical chemistry, pest management, fish health, and DNA diagnostics. In addition, RPC partners with other organizations to offer programs such as the Industrial Research Assistance Program in conjunction with National Research Council of Canada.

Eligibility requirements: RPC is a contract company; although they focus on assisting small- to medium-sized businesses, their services are available equally to the public and private sectors.

For more information:

Research and Productivity Council
921 College Hill Road
Fredericton, NB E3B 6Z9
Tel: (506) 452-1212
Toll Free: 1-800-563-0844
Fax: (506) 452-1395
E-Mail: info@rpc.ca
Web site: www.rpc.ca

For technical and analytical inquiries, please contact:

April Boudreau
Client Services
Tel: (506) 425-1212
Toll Free: 1-800-563-0844

Pilot Plant, Product Development, R&D, and Sensory Analysis Services

Funded/Offered by: Prince Edward Island Bio|Food|Tech Centre

Summary: BIO|FOOD|TECH provides professional technical services to the food and bioprocessing industries from CONCEPT to PILOT to MARKET through three integrated business divisions: food technology, bioscience technology and lab services.

For more information:
P.O. Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Tel: (902) 368-5548
Toll free: 1 (877) 368-5548
Fax: (902) 368-5549
E-mail: biofoodtech@biofoodtech.ca

Marketing Support Program (MSP)

Funded/Offered by: InnovationPEI

Summary: The MSP is geared towards initiating and expanding PEI’s export market and, as such, assists businesses to develop from start-up through to international exporting. The government provides help with the consumer research and in identifying effective advertising and promotional tools. To this end, it gives a non-repayable contribution to businesses that require marketing advice and support. It also follows through on its support, monitoring the business for two years thereafter.

Eligibility requirements: Manufacturers, processors or providers of exportable services are eligible for this program as long as the company is a sole proprietorship, partnership, cooperative or limited liability.

Each business is allowed up to two applications per year, totalling up to $40 000.

For more information on the program and the eligibility requirements, please visit the PEIBD website, http://www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/IPEI_MarktngSup.pdf

For more information:

Innovation PEI
94 Euston Street
PO Box 910
Charlottetown PE C1A 7L9
Tel.: (902) 368-6300
Toll-free: 1-800-563-3734
Fax: (902) 368-6301
E-mail: innovation@gov.pe.ca
Web site: www.peibusinessdevelopment.com

Research and Development Assistance

Funded/Offered by: Opportunities New Brunswick

Summary: Opportunities NB (ONB) is New Brunswick’s lead business development organization driving economic growth and job creation in the province. They:
Offer support services to help New Brunswick business of all sizes grow and succeed.
Proactively pursue high growth opportunities through exports and foreign investment; and
Work with industry partners, economic development stakeholders and public sector partners to identify, build and support a portfolio of significant high growth opportunities both within and outside the province

For more information:

Opportunities New Brunswick
Place 2000
P. O. Box 6000
250 King Street
Fredericton NB E3B 9M9
Tel: (506) 453-5471
Toll free: 1-855-746-4662
Fax: (506) 444-4277
E-mail: info@onbcanada.ca
Web site: www.onbcanada.ca

Business Development Program (BDP)

Funded/Offered by: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Summary: The goal of the BDP is to help set up, expand and modernize small business by offering financing in the form of interest-free, unsecured, repayable contributions.

It looks to support projects that meet the following criteria:

  • Provide economic benefit to an area or a community
  • Demonstrate need for financial assistance
  • Be economically viable
  • Financing is available to most business sectors except retail/wholesale, real estate, government services and services of a personal or social nature.

Eligibility requirements: Both commercial and not-for-profit applicants are eligible.

Eligible activities include business studies, capital investment, training, marketing, quality assurance, and not-for-profit activities that support business in the region. Assistance is also available to help you bid for and acquire public and private procurement contracts or to develop an innovative product or service.

To find out more about the BDP and the amount of financing available, contact the ACOA office nearest you.

For more information:

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Head Office
Blue Cross Centre, 3rd Floor
644 Main Street
PO Box 6051
Moncton NB E1C 9J8
General Enquiries: (506) 851-2271
Toll Free: (800) 561-7862
Fax : (506) 851-7403
Secure Fax: (506) 857-1301
Device For The Hearing & Speech Impaired (TTY): (506) 851-3540
Access to Information/Privacy : (506) 851-3845


Grants Available to Dairy and Finished Food Product Manufacturers

Initiative to Promote the Development of Specialty Products

Funded/Offered by: Ministère des Affaires municipales et des Régions

Summary: In order to sustain the creation of new activities in rural areas with projects related to resources, know-how, knowledge and innovation capacity of rural developers, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Regions, provides the rural environment with a 7-year initiative to promote the development of specialty products. This financing measure will help support micro-projects within the bio-food sector, the non-timber forest products general and forest products, and the culture and heritage and artisan products.

Funding: The minimum goal is 32 projects per administrative region, and 480 projects for the whole of rural Quebec throughout the seven-year period of the policy, which corresponds to an average of 70 projects per year. The value of the total budgetary envelope allocated to this initiative is 12 million dollars. The annual budget of $1,125,000 in 2007 will increase to $1,500,000 in 2008 and to $1,875,000 per year during the last five years of the policy.

The financial assistance takes the form of grants that can reach $25,000 per project; however, these cannot be used as a substitute for existing governmental programs. Only one grant can be allocated per product, and no business can obtain more than $75,000 in assistance for the duration of the seven years of this initiative.

The following developers are eligible:

  • An incorporated non-profit organization (NPO), a non-financial cooperative
  • A social economy enterprise incorporated as a NPO or as a cooperative
  • An incorporated private company
  • A private entrepreneur, a self-employed worker

For more information:

Communications Branch
Aile Chauveau, 3rd Floor
10 Pierre-Olivier-Chauveau Street
Québec , QC G1R 4J3
Tel: (418) 691-2019
Email: communications@mamrot.gouv.qc.ca
Website : www.mamrot.gouv.qc.ca/publications/regions/ruralite/produits_specialite…

Support for Innovation

Sponsored by: Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec

Summary: This program is made up of three components each of which has collective or individual sub-components.

  • Component 1: Productivity and competitiveness. This component's goal is to frame the execution of innovation projects applied to products and processes and the marketing of innovations, or to assist in the implementation of an innovative process.
  • Component 2: Deriving economic value from research. This component's goal is to determine the economic value of research results or emerging technologies which can have a major impact on the food processing industry to offer assistance up to the premarketing stage.
  • Component 3: Design and development of intervention tools. The goal of this component is to act as a lever to help establish national or international projects which could have an impact on the innovation culture within Quebec's agrifood industry, and on the structure of this industry. TRANSAQ intends to achieve this goal by designing and developing intervention tools, namely networking, comparative analysis, and company support and assistance activities.

Financial Support:

  • Component 1: Financial support for this component cannot exceed $200,000 per project, and $300,000 per applicant for the duration of the program.
  • Component 2: Financial support for this component cannot exceed $200,000 up to a maximum of $300,000 per applicant for the duration of the program.
  • Component 3: Financial support cannot exceed $200,000 per project per year. The maximum subsidy is $600,000 per applicant for the duration of the program.


  • Component 1: Legally incorporated businesses whose main activity is food processing in Quebec at the time of application, or financially autonomous profit centres, that is production units which belong to Quebec or foreign interests and have the authority to undertake or execute projects to improve productivity or competitiveness, are eligible.
  • Component 2: Promoters, whether they are researchers or entrepreneurs, who have access to promising research results, and wish to proceed with the various steps leading to the premarketing of a product or technology are eligible.
  • Component 3: Industry associations and non-profit organizations whose clients are agrifood businesses or business networks are eligible.

For more information:

Support for Quality in the Cheese Sector

Sponsored by: Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec

Summary: Support for quality in the cheese sector aims to help businesses acquire the skills and tools they need to improve the quality and safety of food products. By adopting such tools, businesses can ensure the quality and safety of their products thereby overcoming some market challenges.

The program has three components:

  • Component 1: Implementation of a quality control and management plan;
  • Component 2: Implementation of a recognized quality control and management plan which incorporates HACCP principles (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point);
  • Component 3: Supporting an organization which represents the sector in offering professional services in quality management or cheese plant management .

Financial Support:

  • Component 1: Financial support is set at $40,000 per business. No more than 75% of outside consultation fees, up to a maximum of $20,000 per business, and no more than 75% of other eligible costs to a maximum of $20,000 per business. The total amount of eligible expenses must be at least $5,000 per project.
  • Component 2: Financial support is set at $60,000 per business. No more than 75% of outside consultation fees up to a maximum of $30,000, no more than 50% of eligible capital costs up to a maximum of $10,000 per business, no more than 75% of eligible costs other than those related to capital costs, and outside consultation fees up to a maximum of $20,000 per business.
  • Component 3: The support granted is equivalent to no more than 75% of outside consultation fees up to a maximum of $300,000 and for a maximum duration of two years.

Eligibility: Legally incorporated businesses established in Quebec are eligible for components 1 and 2. At the time of application or once the project is completed, the main activity of these businesses must be milk processing for the production of cheese. Agricultural production businesses which have been producing cheese for more than a year are equally eligible for these two components. Eligibility for component 3 is limited to organizations which represent the sector.

For more information:

Support for Management, Operations and Investment

Sponsored by: Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec

Summary: The goal of this program is to help TRANSAQ assist food processing businesses in the execution of projects which aim to improve skills and increase competitiveness. Projects must have a significant impact on the strategic development of businesses by allowing them to improve their competitiveness and accelerate their growth.

The program is intended for legally incorporated businesses of 250 employees or less. Also, at the time of application or once the project is completed, food processing must be the main activity of these businesses in Quebec. The program also targets businesses involved in agriculture or aquaculture production which have been involved in food processing for more than a year and whose processing activity is strategic for their development.

Financial Support: The total amount of support which a business can receive through this program cannot exceed $100,000 per applicant for the duration of the program. Moreover, the sum of government support (municipal, provincial, and federal) granted for a project cannot exceed the greater percentage of eligible expenses authorized by related programs, including this program.

Eligibility: In order for a project to be eligible, an analysis conducted by an external consultant must demonstrate that it fulfills specific needs. Eligible projects involve studies which specifically relate to the activities of the business. These include the implementation of management tools, the recruitment of qualified employees, the design of marketing tools, the acquisition of specialized, high-performing equipment or of advanced production technologies, specialized studies and the production of documents in support of business plans and of their execution. Projects must lead to economic benefits for Quebec.

For more information:

For more information on available support programs in Quebec, please consult the directory of programs and services for food processing businesses published by Transformation Alimentaire Québec on the Web site of the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ):


Grants Available to Canadian Dairy and Finished Food Product Manufacturers

Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC)

Funded/Offered by: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

Summary: Made up of 52 agricultural, agri-food and rural organizations, the AAC was created in 1996 to administer Ontario’s share of the Canadian Adaptation and Rural Development Fund. Currently, it offers 279 projects, including publications, services and programs, totaling $45 million in grants and loan and partial loan guarantees to its members.

Eligibility requirements: The eligibility requirements depend on which programs/services you are applying to. For more detailed information, please visit www.adaptcouncil.org. A list of member organization websites is also available through this link.

For more information:

Agricultural Adaptation Council
192 Nicklin Road
Guelph ON N1H 7L5
Tel: (519) 822-7554
Fax: (519) 822-6248
E-mail: canadapt@adaptcouncil.org
Web site: www.adaptcouncil.org

Research and Innovation at OMAFRA

Research and innovation is important for everyone.

It affects all aspects of our lives:

  • produces safer, higher quality food
  • protects our environment
  • produces bioproducts and renewable fuels
  • achieves growth and profitability
  • build stronger rural communities.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs spends over $60 million yearly on research and innovation.

For more information: www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/research/index.html

For more support programs and services please visit OMAFRA's web site: www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/food/industry/funding-prog-index.htm

Rural Economic Development (RED) Program

The Rural Economic Development (RED) program assists with the costs of projects that benefit rural Ontario. Why? In today's economic climate, we can no longer rely on our traditional strengths and advantages to stay competitive in the global market. Communities that succeed in the new economy are those that can attract and retain creative individuals --innovators in technological, cultural and social enterprises. As a province we share a common goal: to create and retain jobs, to revitalize our communities, train and develop the skills of our workforce.

The priorities of the RED program are:

  • Support the Food Processing Sector
  • Community Revitalization
  • Improve Access to Skills Training and Enhancement

For more information, visit: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/rural/red/

Western Canada

Grants Available to Dairy and Finished Food Product Manufacturers

Buy BC

Funded/Offered by: B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Food (BCMAF)

Summary: To assist BC’s agri-food sector, the MAFF created the market development program, Buy BC. This program – open to growers, processors, packagers, distributors and retailers of food and beverage — encourages consumers to buy food, fish, beverages and agricultural products grown, produced or packaged in BC.

Buy BC features a retail program (raising consumer awareness with Buy BC labelling on eligible products), a partnership program (encouraging industry to market their products creatively) and a sharing program (providing B.C. food to families who rely on food banks).

Eligibility requirements: Individuals, firms, associations, commodity groups, councils, institutes, commissions and marketing boards as well as other government ministries and agencies may apply. The licence is free. Participants must adhere to the guidelines, regulations, rules, standards and policies set out in the Program User’s Guide.

For more specific information about this program, please visit www.bcac.bc.ca/buybc.

For more information:

Buy BC Program and Partnership Program
Donna Anaka
Manager, Promotions
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries
Tel: (604) 666-3921
E-mail: donna.anaka@gems8.gov.bc.ca

Use of the Buy BC logo and Sharing Program
Kim Kettyls
Manager, Market Development
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries
Tel: (250) 356-6925
E-mail: kim.kettyls@gems2.gov.bc.ca
Enquiry BC (toll-free): 1-800-663-7867

Food Safety - Processing (Processor)

Funded/Offered by: Government of Alberta – Agriculture and Rural Development

Summary: The Food Safety — Processing program is designed to allocate funds for processors to work towards implementing systems plans that result in demonstrated behaviour changes in food safety practices.


  • Assistance will be on a 70/30 cost shared basis (government / applicant) to a maximum of $25,000 for incremental staff wages and to a maximum of $20,000 for private industry consultant fees
  • Assistance will be on a 50/50 cost shared basis (government / applicant) to a maximum of $50,000 for capital items.
  • Maximum funding is $50,000 for the Growing Forward implementation period.

Eligibility: The Food Safety - Processing program is targeted at facilities operating in Alberta that are:

  • Food processing plants involved in producing food or drink for human consumption.
  • Primary packaging manufacturers whose products come into direct contact with food products.

Applicants must not be a federally registered meat, poultry or meat storage facility, processed fruit and vegetable, honey, dairy,fish/seafood facility. Retail and foodservice are not eligible for this funding.

For more information:

Tel: 310-FARM
Email: GrowingForward@gov.ab.ca
Website : www.growingforward.alberta.ca/ProgramAreas/EnhancedFoodSafety/FoodSafet…

Business Opportunity Grant

Funded/Offered by: Government of Alberta – Agriculture and Rural Development

Summary: The Business Opportunity Grant program is designed to provide assistance to Alberta primary agriculture producers, and small agri-business organizations in accessing one-to-one expertise that will contribute to helping their business adapt to the changing business environment. It is aimed at individuals and small business organizations that are looking to transform their operation to meet market and consumer demands. Contracting services such as, independent risk management consultants, advisory and business opportunity analysis services that will contribute to making informed and calculated business decisions will be supported.

Funding: Assistance will be provided on a cost shared basis up to 75/25 with the applicant, when individual producers or business are the sole beneficiary to a maximum of $15,000 per applicant per year, or up to 90/10 government and the applicant when the project will benefit an organization, group or industry sector.

Eligibility: The Business Opportunity Grant program is targeted at Alberta ’s primary agriculture producers, small agri-business and new entrants to the industry.

Some of the projects/areas that funding may be used for include:

  • Farm business financial assessments.
  • Enterprise analysis and opportunity assessment.
  • Benchmarking, feasibility studies, and opportunity/profitability assessments.
  • New business - market research.
  • Business management consultants/coaches.
  • Business and marketing plans.
  • Succession plans.
  • Business structures and the legal and financial expenses associated with the business model formation

For more information:

Tel: 310-FARM
Email: GrowingForward@gov.ab.ca
Website: www.growingforward.alberta.ca/ProgramAreas/Management/BusinessManagemen…

Agri-Business and Product Development

Funded/Offered by: Government of Alberta – Agriculture and Rural Development

Summary: The purpose of the Agri-Business and Product Development Program is to stimulate new investment in value added food and agri-product processing sectors. This program targets agri-food processing companies and producers with innovative, market driven opportunities to commercialize a product, create healthy or healthier products or expand their business.

Funding: Contact program for more information.

Eligibility: The Agri-Business and Product Development program is targeted at:
Existing or prospective Alberta agri-food processors (companies, partnerships) who are producing and marketing crop-related value-added products.

Alberta producers, producer groups or value chains that use crop or livestock inputs in products that are produced in Alberta.

Some of the projects/areas that funding may be used for include:

  • Feasability studies - for assessment of options and determining costs for eligible capital projects.
  • Market research.
  • Marketing plans.
  • Business plans.
  • Value chain development.
  • Business and competitiveness assessments.
  • Financial assessments.
  • Product development.
  • Packaging development.
  • Promotional materials.
  • Legal and financial expenses associated with the business model formation.
  • Consultants/Business Coaches.

For more information:

Tel: 310-FARM
Email: GrowingForward@gov.ab.ca
Website: www.growingforward.alberta.ca/ProgramAreas/BusinessCompetitiveness/Prod…