Jean-Marc Demers
|Food Marketing

Resources and Canadian Business Grants for the Food Industry

Starting up and growing your business can be expensive. Did you know several resources and financial aid programmes are available to the agri-food industry? Learn more about them now to receive valuable industry advice and obtain considerable financial support for your food marketing initiatives.

Would you like to get business grants to finance your marketing projects? Our food marketing agency knows all about the resources available to you! Here are some ways to get financial assistance and valuable tips for launching and growing your business.

Is your business just starting up?

If your business is still in its start-up phase, we strongly recommend that you meet with agri-food incubators. These are valuable resources for learning, getting advice, sharing with other industry members and networking. There are agri-food incubators in various regions. For example, there’s Foodhub in Montreal, Mycélium and Ag-Bio Centre in the Quebec City region, Nova Terra in Les Appalaches, La manufacture in the Laurentians, Lafib in Alma and Campus V (for plant-based proteins) in Saint-Hyacinthe. Don’t hesitate to look online to find the incubator closest to you!

Would you like to develop your marketing assets?

Product packaging and online presence are crucial issues for most food industry members. Luckily, financial assistance is available to help you develop these marketing assets.


For food packaging

The Fonds d’action québécois pour le développement durable has created an exciting program to encourage the eco-design of recyclable food packaging and beverage containers. It is available to food processing companies to help them design packaging and containers that reduce the environmental footprint of new and existing products. Don’t hesitate to learn more about the Ecoemballage+ program to see if you could benefit from funding when creating your next packaging.


For e-commerce

Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISDE) Canada offers up to $2,400 to help you set up your website, digital campaigns and social media presence. We strongly recommend to look at the Canada Digital Adoption Program and its “Grow your business online” grant.


Are you growing and seeking financial support for marketing initiatives focused on reaching new markets?

Growth is always exciting! However, developing new markets can be costly, and attracting the attention of new customers can be challenging. You obviously need to adapt your food marketing to new audiences. That’s why various subsidies are available in Canada and Quebec to help you move forward!


Acquiring new markets in Quebec

To help local food processors develop their Quebec markets, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ) has set up the “Soutien individuel d’accès aux marches” (SIAM) program. This financial support makes it easier for food processors to access Quebec’s long-distance food distribution and marketing networks. Eligible expenses include hiring a market development or marketing specialist, as well as marketing activities and participation fees at major industry trade shows. We strongly encourage you to consider this Quebec program and see if your projects are eligible.


Exporting outside Quebec or internationally

Would you like to start expanding your business abroad? Then the CanExport SME program could be for you! Aimed at small and medium-sized companies (with fewer than 500 employees), it offers Canadian business grants of up to $50,000. In addition to supporting you in gathering information on your new market, this program allows for various expenses, such as search engine optimization; translation, adaptation or creation of marketing material; and participation in trade fairs, networking activities, virtual meetings or conferences. Applications for funding for 2023-2024 are currently open. So hurry up and take a look!

Also, the Agri-Food Export Group’s “Soutien aux exportations alimentaires” program is an attractive option to support building markets outside Quebec. Although applications for 2022-2023 are now closed, the program will be back in 2023-2024. It funds market development projects for Quebec companies marketing agri-food products and food produced or processed in Quebec. Eligible expenses include adapting promotional products (packaging and labels), adapting products and implementing a marketing and online sales strategy. This grant could help you cover the costs associated with your out-of-province marketing initiatives.

Finally, Investissement Québec’s “Programme de soutien à la commercialisation et à l’exportation” (PSCE) is also available to assist you in exporting your products outside Québec. This grant offers significant financial assistance since it accepts a wide range of expenses, such as a marketing strategy’s development and implementation (including digital strategies, the development of tools and advertising for foreign markets). This kind of support can make all the difference to your business as it enters new markets.

Would you like to have access to more financial assistance through loans?

If you’ve missed the boat on some Canadian business grant opportunities or don’t qualify for these programs, you could still get loans. Don’t hesitate to contact your bank: many financial institutions have specialist advisers for the food industry.

Also, if you’re in the agri-food industry, you may have access to financial assistance, advice and software from Farm Credit Canada (FCC). We encourage you to find out more about their services.

Finally, Canada Economic Development’s “Business scale-up and productivity” funding is also available for various sectors, including food processing. This financing program for SMEs covers up to 50% of authorized costs, which are then repayable interest-free after two years. Various marketing and market development expenses are eligible under this funding. These include hiring marketing staff, participating in trade fairs and launching advertising campaigns. Don’t hesitate to check that your projects are eligible for this funding option.


More resources 

For the agri-food industry

In addition to these financing programs, we strongly recommend that all agri-food businesses contact MAPAQ and Agriculture Canada. These government agencies offer information services from experienced advisors who can recommend the financing options best suited to your situation.


For businesses

Did you know that Investissement Québec offers a range of services to businesses? To help them carry out their projects, Investissement Québec gives business advice and strategic support. Discover their services designed to help you grow, occupy a strategic position and improve your production.


We’re here to support you

Do you have projects that require the help of food marketing experts? We’d love to hear from you! We’re available to assist you in setting up effective digital campaigns, creating packaging, drawing up a marketing plan and strategy or adapting your marketing assets and advertising campaigns. It’s always a pleasure for us to advise you and work together so you can achieve your goals. Make an appointment now so that we can meet and discuss ways in which we can help.

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