The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) is the federal and provincial governments’ primary mechanism to support the Canadian agriculture, agri-food, and agri-products sector.
Launched in April 2018, CAP will run for five years and provide $3 billion to the sector. It replaces the Growing Forward 2 program, which had supported the sector for the previous five years with an identical investment.
While the government structured CAP like Growing Forward 2, it has also implemented changes designed to improve the program: simplified and streamlined programs and services that are easier to access, and enhancements to programs that help farmers manage significant risks to the viability of their farms.
For additional details on the CAP program, select the relevant province:
Who can receive CAP funding?
Governments have made CAP funding available to a cross-section of Canadian organizations in the agricultural sector, including:
- Farmers and growers
- Food processors
- Companies along the agri-supply chain, such as manufacturers of equipment for food processors, chemical fertilizer companies, relevant industry organizations, Indigenous communities and women-led businesses in the sector.
Who manages CAP?
CAP brings federal, provincial and territorial governments under one integrated policy framework. However, as a partnership, CAP enables jurisdictions to customize their offerings. The CAP program comprises:
- Federal programs — $1 billion is available to companies across Canada on an ongoing basis until all funds have been allocated.
- Federal-provincial cost-shared programs — $2 billion is available for strategic initiatives, administered by provincial agencies and varying according to the needs of each province. Application intake periods also vary, beginning in the spring or summer, depending on the province.
Which activities does CAP support?
The federal and provincial segments of CAP share similar visions that are not quite the same.
Federal CAP programs
As a group, federal programs under CAP focus on three main themes:
- growing trade and expanding markets
- innovative and sustainable growth of the agricultural sector
- supporting diversity
These themes find expression in six specific programs administered by the federal government. For Canadian organizations interested in accessing funds, it is important to match their organizational profile and needs to the most suitable program:
- AgriMarketing — Supports exports to international markets and market opportunities through industry-led promotional activities that differentiate Canadian products and producers, and aims to leverage Canada's reputation for high-quality and safe food. The program is for national industry associations and small and medium-sized enterprises.
- AgriCompetitiveness — Assists industry-led efforts to help the agriculture and agri-food sector coordinate and build on existing capacity, enhance safety, adapt to changing commercial and regulatory environments, share best practices, and provide mentorship opportunities.
- AgriScience — Designed to accelerate the pace of innovation by supporting pre-commercialization activities and investing in cutting-edge research to benefit the agricultural and agri-food sector.
- AgriInnovate — Drives the commercialization and adoption of innovative agri-based products, technologies, processes, and services. The program supports agribusinesses to get their innovations into the market, or to adopt leading-edge technologies and processes.
- AgriAssurance — Helps industry make meaningful and verifiable third-party claims about the health and safety of Canadian agricultural products. The program is for national industry associations and small and medium-sized enterprises.
- AgriDiversity — Build the sector’s capacity by developing the entrepreneurial capacity and business skills of under-represented groups, such as Indigenous communities, youth, women, and persons with disabilities.
Federal-provincial CAP programs
Provincial programs and their areas of focus vary by province. However, funding is generally available for activities that address:
- Economic development — such as marketing, new processing equipment, ERP and supply chain management implementation, new product or process development for new markets, and business planning or succession.
- Environment — mostly aimed at farmers or growers. Eligible projects include those that improve soil health and water quality, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Protection and assurance — including food safety and traceability equipment, and contamination management.
When can organizations apply?
Federal CAP programs are now accepting applications from Canadian organizations. Deadlines vary based on the program.
Application windows for federal-provincial cost-shared CAP programs depend on the province.
Build a Strategic Plan for CAP Funding Today
The new CAP program provides valuable funding options for Canadian organizations in the agriculture and agri-food sector. To navigate these programs, companies need advisors who understand both their industry and the nuances of government investment. At BDO, our experience and relationships help us understand your business needs and challenges to build and execute a strategic plan around CAP funding programs.