AgriMarketing Program: Applicant guide
Purpose of this guide
This guide will:
- help you determine if you may be eligible for funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) under the AgriMarketing Program
- provide you with directions and explanations to assist you in completing the project application form
Your completed application form will provide AAFC with the information needed to make decisions about eligibility and funding. It is highly recommended that you read this guide and Annex A: How to complete the application form in its entirety before you complete the form.
Important information regarding challenges with COVID-19
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada, as well as many provinces and territories, have established guidance on discretionary travel and public health orders restricting gatherings/events of different purposes and sizes in order to contain COVID-19 spread. These measures remain in effect until further notice.
AAFC will be considering COVID-19 restrictions during the review of project applications under the AgriMarketing Program.
As you plan your activities for 2021-22 (year 4) and 2022-23 (year 5), AAFC encourages you to:
- propose activities that are not reliant on travel and in person meetings
- plan alternative delivery models in case of continued restrictions or international/local outbreaks
- consider how your organization can adapt to support your clients in the context of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic
Some examples of activities to consider include virtual tours and meeting platforms, market research and/or engaging in-market staff. Contact the program if you would like to discuss your plans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Table of contents
- 1.0 Canadian Agricultural Partnership
- 2.0 Expected results
- 3.0 Assessment criteria
- 4.0 Reporting on your project
- 5.0 Considerations
- 6.0 After you apply
- 7.0 Contact information
- Annex A: How to complete the application form
1.0 Canadian Agricultural Partnership
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector. In addition, producers will continue to have access to a robust suite of Business Risk Management (BRM) programs.
The Partnership came into force on April 1, 2018.
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership focuses on six priority areas:
- Science, research, and innovation – to help industry use science and innovation to improve resiliency and increase productivity
- Markets and trade – to open new markets and help farmers and food processors improve their competitiveness through skills development, improved export capacity, underpinned by a strong and efficient regulatory system
- Environmental sustainability and climate change – to help the sector reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, protect the environment and adapt to climate change by enhancing sustainable growth while increasing production
- Value-added agriculture and agri-food processing – to support the continued growth of the value-added agriculture and agri-food processing sector
- Public trust – to build a firm foundation for public trust through solid regulations, improving assurance systems and traceability
- Risk Management – to enable proactive and effective risk management, mitigation and adaptation to create a resilient sector
The AgriMarketing program is a program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
For more information, please visit the Canadian Agricultural Partnership website.
1.1 About the AgriMarketing Program
The AgriMarketing Program aims to increase and diversify exports to international markets and seize domestic market opportunities through industry-led promotional activities that differentiate Canadian products and producers, and leverage Canada's reputation for high quality and safe food.
1.2 Eligible applicants
A non-profit corporation that is a legal entity separate from its members and directors formed for purposes other than generating a profit to be distributed to its members, directors or officers. While, a non-profit corporation can earn a profit, the profit must be used to further the goals of the corporation rather than to pay dividends to its membership.
The following non-profit corporation organization types are eligible under this program:
- associations in Canada operating on a national industry-wide basis in the agriculture, agri-food, agri-based products sector, including fish and seafood
- associations in Canada operating on a regional basis in the agriculture, agri-food, agri-based products sector, including fish and seafood, that represent significant Canadian production within that sector and can demonstrate their ability to deliver a project from a national perspective
- eligible applicants must be legal entities capable of entering into legally binding agreements
- eligible applicants should be members of the Canada Brand (For further information on becoming a Canada Brand member, please visit Join Canada Brand)
1.3 Funding and cost-sharing
The maximum AAFC contribution for a project will normally not exceed $2.5 million per year up to a maximum of $10 million over five years.
Eligible project costs will normally be shared between AAFC and you as follows:
- a maximum of 50% AAFC and a minimum of 50% Applicant
A more favourable cost share of a maximum of 70% AAFC and a minimum of 30% Applicant may be available for activities in new and emerging markets. The questionnaire on diversification in the "attachments" section of the project information tab of the application form will assist in assessing if the applicant is diversifying into new and emerging markets.
You must clearly indicate all sources of funding for the project, including your contribution and other industry and/or partner sources of funding including:
What is a cash contribution?
A cash contribution is an expense requiring a cash outlay, by either your organization or by a participant/contributor (such as a partner or other government), during the term of the Contribution Agreement (CA). Specifically, a cash contribution is an expenditure for an eligible project cost incurred and paid for by your organization, or another project participant.
AAFC will only reimburse cash contributions for eligible project costs that are incurred and paid for by your organization. A cash contribution made by another project participant should be reported as part of your sources of funding, and must be an eligible project cost.
All costs claimed or contributed under the program must fall within the program cost categories and respect all limitations, including effective dates of the contribution agreement. For more information and details on cost categories, eligible/ineligible costs and other limitations, refer to the Project costs section of Annex A.
While an expense may fall within a program cost category, there are limitations to the types of expenses which may be claimed. For more information and details on cost categories, eligible/ineligible costs and other limitations, refer to the Project costs section of Annex A.
For further clarity, ineligible costs include, but are not limited to:
- hospitality, alcohol, entertainment and gifts
- the refundable portion of the GST, HST, value-added taxes or other items for which a refund or rebate is eligible
- cost for activities intended to directly influence/lobby governments
- other costs not specifically required for the project
1.4 Eligible activities
The program will prioritize projects that:
- contribute to the Government's trade and economic priorities of: diversifying markets, increasing annual agricultural exports, and supporting Canada's economic growth
- focus on new/priority markets that align with AAFC's and the Government's international priorities
Following Section 1.3 (funding and cost-sharing) above, a more favourable cost share of 70:30 (AAFC: Applicant) may be available for eligible activities in new and emerging markets. This focus on diversification into new and emerging markets aligns with AAFC and the Government’s international priorities.
Eligible activities include:
- industry-wide advertising and promotion, including in-store and food service promotions and product demonstrations for buyers (businesses and consumers)
- incoming, outgoing and exploratory missions
- market research
- technical training for buyers about Canadian products and product handling
- trade seminars designed to inform industry representatives of specific attributes of Canadian agriculture, agri-food, fish and seafood products
- industry-to-industry trade advocacy (note: activities aimed at lobbying Canadian and foreign governments are ineligible)
- participation in or attendance at trade shows and multilateral industry meetings and conferences.
Please note: Funding under the AgriMarketing Program is not available for attending within the Canada Pavilion flagship tradeshows. Visit Canada Pavilion Program for more information about trade shows.
Consideration may be given to those who wish to exhibit within a sector hall.
1.5 Ineligible activities
Ineligible activities include:
- core business of the organization, including, but not limited to:
- maintenance and hosting fees of member websites and social media accounts
- forums and working groups
- annual, member, and board meetings
- product development and commercialization, including product trials
- basic and applied research, analysis and development of industry-specific policies not related to market access or market development
- activities intended to directly lobby governments
- training for consultants or employees
1.6 Application deadlines
Applications were accepted on an ongoing basis from February 13, 2018 to March 31, 2020 for the first three years of the program.
Starting December 1, 2020, a call for proposals process will be undertaken for projects for the 2021-22 (year 4) and 2022-23 (year 5) funding years. Applications will be accepted as of December 1, 2020 until January 31, 2021. The Program will prioritize applications received within these dates.
Eligible applications received after January 31, 2021 will only be considered if sufficient funding remains.
The program ends March 31, 2023.
2.0 Expected results
Federally delivered CAP activities will help the agriculture and agri-food sector grow and become more resilient. Budget 2017 set an ambitious target to grow agri-food exports to $75 billion by 2025.
Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector is one of the most respected in the world. Government plays a key role in providing tools to help the sector adapt to and align with public values.
Today’s globalized marketplace creates both new opportunities and challenges for the performance and sustainable growth of Canada’s diverse agriculture and agri-food sector. The sector’s success is dependent on strong collaboration between industry and governments to remain competitive and prosper in this complex environment.
The expected outcome of the AgriMarketing Program is to help industry to identify and seize opportunities in global markets by supporting industry-led market development and promotional activities that help to differentiate Canadian products and producers, and leverage Canada’s reputation for high-quality and safe food.
Performance indicators, which are used to measure the relevance and effectiveness of both projects and the program, include:
- increased exports
- number of new markets explored
- results of marketing activities (for example, sales and leads)
- results of trade advocacy activities (for example, number of issues resolved)
Applications must demonstrate how the proposed project will address the industry/sector need, as well as provide clearly defined targets and performance measures.
3.0 Assessment criteria
Your application will initially be assessed against the following criteria:
- the application is complete and the proposed project is eligible
- the proposed activities, including expected results and outcomes, support the program's objectives and priorities
- all sources of funding for the project funded under this stream are identified
If these criteria are met, a more thorough review of your application will be done. This will include:
- reviewing your organization's capacity to deliver the project, taking into consideration your resources and timelines
- assessing the degree to which the proposed project can demonstrate a current or potential market opportunity or need
- ensuring the proposed activities and expenditures are eligible, reasonable and required to meet the project objectives
- evaluating the organization's strategy to diversify into new and emerging markets
- evaluating the project's impact to stakeholders and how it benefits the sector
- reviewing your organization's performance on previous projects where you received AAFC funding, including administration of the projects
- evaluating the sector's export potential and market access opportunities for example, recent or anticipated changes in market access, and the project's value for money
- assessing the strategic merit of the project (Does your project link to the AgriMarketing Program Questionnaire provided with the application?)
- assessing how the activities complement or build upon previously completed AgriMarketing projects
The assessment process will determine an appropriate amount of funding for approved projects. This will be based on the:
- scope and duration of project
- reasonableness of proposed eligible expenses
- importance of proposed eligible activities for greater impact to the sector
- reasonableness of the overall projected cost of eligible expenditures given the projected outcome(s)
- other sources of funding
- due diligence in obtaining and reporting on performance reports
AAFC will provide a written decision letter outlining the level of assistance awarded and any other conditions, if applicable.
Each application will be meticulously reviewed for eligibility, appropriateness, and impact. For an applicant to prove that the activity cost meets each of the above three elements, it is important that each activity and corresponding cost is provided in a manner that is required for an appropriate assessment by AAFC. Please refer to Annex A for detailed information on how to complete a project application.
- each activity requires an explanation of the benefits and impact to the target market proposed in each activity, and how each will be measured and assessed.
- please outline the anticipated number of participants, but also be mindful that AAFC is looking for more detail on how this activity will positively impact the audience.
- each activity must be clearly defined and articulated in each section of the application.
- each cost must clearly outline how the value was calculated.
4.0 Reporting on your project
If your project is approved, AAFC will communicate the level of reporting necessary in writing in advance of the signing of a contribution agreement. The reporting includes progress, performance and financial reports.
You will be required to provide progress reports describing the activities completed and progress made towards deliverables, as described in the Project Work Plan. Progress report frequency is either quarterly, semi-annually or annually, depending on risk level.
You will also be required to provide performance reports annually and at the end of the project. The reports will track progress against mutually agreed to performance measures outlined in the Contribution Agreement.
Financial reporting is required with each request for reimbursement of expenditures, in addition to year-end accounting and other financial reports. When submitting a claim for reimbursement, supporting invoices representing 10%, 20% or 40%, or another percentage may be required.
Other reports may be required at AAFC's discretion.
5.1 M-30 Act (Quebec organizations only)
The Province of Quebec’s M-30 legislation may apply to Québec based applicants only. It is the Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif (R.S.Q., c. M-30).
More information on the Act is available online or by contacting the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation (MAPAQ) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
M-30 applies to various types of Quebec organizations, for example, organizations located in Québec and receiving more than half of their financing from the Government of Quebec may be subject to the Act.
All Quebec based organizations will have to address this matter and demonstrate their compliance with the Act during the project assessment process, and prior to entering into a contribution agreement.
6.0 After you apply
Once an application has been submitted, an acknowledgment notice will be forwarded to the applicant.
Note: You should not consider an application as submitted to the program until you receive the acknowledgement notice.
Our goal is to:
- acknowledge receipt of your application within one business day
- respond to general inquiries made to our phone number or email address before the end of the next business day
- assess your application and send you an approval or a rejection notification letter within 100 business days of the close of December 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021 application intake window, or within 100 business days of the application being deemed complete, if received after the December 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021 intake period
After your application is received, AAFC verifies that all required forms and declarations have been completed accurately and there is sufficient detail in the application for a full assessment.
Next, a full review and assessment of your application against the principles and criteria of the program will be carried out by assessors including program administrators and other technical reviewers within the department (and in some cases in other departments).
At any point after you apply, we may contact you for more information.
Should your application be approved, a program officer will communicate with you to go over the details of the approval including activities, funding levels as well as start and end dates. The program officer will then follow up with you to negotiate the details of the contribution agreement you will be required to enter into. It should be noted that even if an approval is granted, AAFC does not have the authority to reimburse recipients for costs incurred until a Contribution Agreement is signed.
Please note that even if a project meets all eligibility criteria, the submission of an application creates no obligation on the part of the Minister or of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada officials to provide funding for the proposed project. The Minister retains discretion to determine, based on other public policy and public interest considerations, whether an application that meets the criteria identified in this Guide will ultimately receive funding.
7.0 Contact information
For more information on the AgriMarketing Program, please contact us by:
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
1341 Baseline Road, T7-7-216
Ottawa, ON K1A 0C5
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