Funding Food Safety in Canada: Province by Province
While compliance deadlines for the Safe Food for Canadians Act draw near, many food businesses still haven’t implemented a HACCP-based food safety program as required by the Act. The new food safety regulations are part of a big government push – federal and provincial – to modernize the country’s food safety, traceability, and biosecurity assurance systems through Growing Forward 2, a five-year, $3 billion initiative that is now in its final year. So what does this mean for companies looking for help funding food safety improvements?
Growing Forward 2 oversees a series of provincial cost-sharing programs aimed at helping agri-businesses achieve HACCP certification, but that money is running out quickly. High priority areas like Ontario and Alberta are no longer accepting applications to their programs since the funds are now fully allocated. The government has announced that a new agricultural policy framework will be launched in April 2018, but we’ll have to wait and see if a new incarnation of the program will be forthcoming.
Fortunately, producers who apply in a timely fashion may still be eligible for financial assistance in British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and Prince Edward Island. Funding and further services are provided by great organizations like the FPHRC (Food Processing Human Resources Council), which we encourage you to check out.
Post-Farm Food Safety and Traceability Program (British Columbia)
The Post-Farm Food Safety and Traceability Program offers up to $35,000 to BC producers to help control against supply chain health risks, and effectively track products in the event of a recall. Companies that are already HACCP-certified can still apply for up to $19,000 to improve traceability. Unlike previous iterations of this program, successful applicants must use the funds to purchase food safety and/or traceability software solutions from a list of approved vendors.
To determine your company’s eligibility and to apply, visit their website well before applications close on January 5, 2018.
Assurance Systems Program (New Brunswick)
The NB/Growing Forward 2 Assurance Systems Program offers funding to agricultural and agri-food organizations to increase the adoption and implementation of recognized food safety, traceability, biosecurity and animal welfare assurance systems. Applicants can receive up to $50,000 in total funding.
For more information and to apply, visit the website well before the program ends on March 31, 2018.
Food Safety, Biosecurity and Traceability Initiative (Newfoundland and Labrador)
The NL Growing Forward 2 initiative is investing $37 million into the agriculture and agri-foods industry which will be spread across three priority areas: Innovation, Competitiveness and Market Development, and Adaptability and Industry Capacity. A section of the program is dedicated to helping businesses within the NL agri-foods industry address various safety and security challenges. The following areas receive funding priority: on-farm food safety, post-farm food safety and biosecurity.
The Food Safety, Biosecurity, and Traceability Initiative is currently accepting applications for the 2017/18 year, with a goal to allocate funding completely in the fall. Funding is allocated on a case-by-case basis up to $400,000 for the length of the Growing Froward 2 Program, which is in its final year. Eligibility and application details can be found here.
Traceability Programs (Nova Scotia)
Under Growing Forward 2, Nova Scotia provided a range of programs to help finance food safety; however, most of the programs are now closed for applications. Provincial agriculture commodity groups, accredited fish harvesting groups/associations, and private or public businesses with written support of a commodity group or association may still apply for the Traceability Pilot Project Program, which covers 75% of all eligible project costs (including traceability software) up to $50,000. Applications close December 31, 2017 or when the funding runs out.
The Commingling Site Traceability Program is also available to support high-risk, high-throughput commingling sites where different species and/or animals from different herds or flocks commingle. Eligible businesses include animal assembly yards, abattoirs, community pastures, and fairs and exhibitions. This program also covers 75% of eligible costs to a maximum of $15,000 per year; however, expenses incurred after April 1, 2017 are not guaranteed as eligible for reimbursement.
Assurance Systems Program (Prince Edward Island)
The PEI Assurance Systems initiative provides financial support to the Canadian agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products industry to meet market demands for assurance and increase the industry’s national and global competitiveness.
Prince Edward Island is currently accepting applications from both public and private institutions for its On-farm and Post-farm Assurance subprograms. Funding will be cost-shared between the Government and applicant, and determined on a case-by-case basis.
More details on the program, which ends March 31, 2018, can be found here.
Food Safety Systems Program, Livestock Traceability Rebate Program and On-Farm Food Safety Program (Saskatchewan)
Saskatchewan has partnered with Growing Forward 2 to offer three agricultural/agri-food funding programs: the Food Safety Systems Program for meat slaughter and processing facilities, the Livestock Traceability Rebate Program for the purchase and/or lease of traceability technology, and the On-Farm Food Safety (OFFS) Program: an initiative which offers funding for producer program implementation and OFFS awareness efforts. These programs are demand-driven rebate programs dependant on the number of applicants received.
For more information on program eligibility and how to apply, use this helpful tool.
Food Safety Software Makes the Most of Government Funding
Government funding gives you the opportunity to make the most of your grant dollars by adopting a food safety and/or traceability software system. Software not only streamlines and simplifies HACCP-plan implementation, but also lets you:
- Automate outdated operations;
- Be audit-ready at any given moment;
- Take advantage of cloud storage and communication across facilities;
- Integrate other valuable systems like vendor management, inventory control, enhanced traceability, and more.
Ultimately, automating food safety management will save you money and improve quality. Food safety experts may not know what to look for when it comes to food safety software. We’ve put together a helpful list of three questions you can ask to make sure you maximize value.
Finally, our team at Icicle can help you put together your funding application. Contact us today for advice on how to finance your food safety program and to request a demo.
*For more information on provinces and territories not listed here, get in touch at team (at) icicletechnologies.com.