Ontario Launches Program to Help Ag Businesses Expand Reach

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The federal and Ontario governments are investing up to $6 million through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership to create the Grow Ontario Market Initiative, an April 17 news release said. The new cost-share initiative will help food and beverage processors, farm businesses and agri-food sector organizations to expand into domestic and foreign markets.

“By supporting the diversification of products and markets, we are contributing to the growth of Ontario’s agri-food industry,” Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal minister of agriculture and agri-food, said in the release. “These investments will help our producers and processors meet evolving market needs and strengthen our sector’s resilience.”

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, the release said. Eligible businesses can apply for support through this program starting on May 19, 2023.

“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,” Lisa Thompson, Ontario minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, said in the release.

The release noted the initiative was developed following discussions with agri-food sector businesses and sector organizations.

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