Growing Forward 2 for Ontario's Food and Beverage Companies

October 04, 2016


Growing Forward 2 (GF2) is a five-year policy framework for Canada’s agricultural and agri-food sector. It is a $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments aimed at generating market-based economic growth in the agricultural sector. The program is nationwide and in each province tends to be focused on initiatives important to the sectors of the industry that are prevalent there, or initiatives that the government is interested in growing.

In Ontario, GF2 has awarded more than $44 million to support almost 850 projects since its launch in 2013. Food & beverage companies have been successful in securing funding for many different types of projects:

  • A GTA manufacturer of sauces and condiments was recently announced as the recipient of $350,000 in GF2 funding to support the implementation of a new Enterprise Resource Planning system
  • A York Region food processor received $100,000 to install automated baking and washing equipment and to improve refrigeration and drainage systems
  • An Ontario winery received over $43,000 to purchase a new wine press with specialized oak barrels from France that will store high-quality product and implement a stackable wine tank system
  • A GTA beverage processor received approximately $350,000 to upgrade packaging and labelling equipment and produce packaging that is made from recycled material
  • A Simcoe County food producer received $80,850 to support upgrades to its refrigeration system and create cold wash and pack areas
  • Approximately 20 craft breweries across Ontario have received over $1.6 million to help expand operations and to continue growing the province’s craft beer industry

The GF2 program continues to be a critical funding source for the companies in the food & beverage industry. The program typically provides 35% cost share funding assistance, up to a maximum available cap per project category, for projects in six areas of focus:

  1. Environment and climate change adaptation
  2. Animal and plant health
  3. Assurance systems (food safety, traceability, and animal welfare)
  4. Market development
  5. Labour productivity enhancement
  6. Business and leadership development

Projects that are deemed highly innovative will receive a higher cost-share of up to 50%. In order to get 50% cost-share, the innovation needs to benefit the entire sector, so a mechanism for knowledge sharing must be submitted along with the application for funding.

The last GF2 application intake period in 2016 for agri-processors and agri-producers is October 14, 2016, to November 3, 2016.

How can BDO help?

BDO’s Advisory Services Group can help prepare you for the Growing Forward 2 funding program application process. BDO is available to assist with activity scoping to determine eligibility, technical and financial application preparation, audit and internal infrastructure support, and documentation controls. Additionally, we can provide a strategic approach in determining how government grants and incentives including the Growing Forward 2 program fit into your company’s future growth plans.

To learn more, please contact your local BDO office or:

Tanja Radenovic
Consultant, SRED
905 270 7700

About BDO

One of the nation’s leading accounting firms, BDO Canada provides assurance, accounting, tax, and advisory services. As a member of the BDO international network, which spans more than 150 countries and 1,400 offices, BDO provides seamless and consistent cross-border services to clients with international needs.

About BDO’s Food and Beverage Practice

BDO recognizes that it is critical to both build and protect your brand, as well as to take advantage of recent developments in innovation and technology. Our professionals understand the varying priorities and concerns for food and beverage organizations in Canada. As a leader in serving the food and consumer products subsector, we help clients grow their revenue in new markets, build their brands, and control costs to maximize profitability. To ensure we stay current on the issues facing food companies in Canada, we have conducted the Food Processors Survey to learn how organizations are evolving to build sustainable value in their businesses

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