Ontario Food Companies Qualify for Large Food Safety and Traceability Grant
Posted: Mar 30, 2011 by Michelene Maguire | 0 comments
With $30.2 million in funding, the Food Safety and Traceability Initiative (FSTI), run by the Ontario government, is something to seriously consider. Ontario food companies are eligible for up to $25,000 in funding. From my point of view, the province is trying to take a proactive stance on food safety and traceability.
If we take a look at just Toronto, the largest city in Ontario, the number of food safety related incidents are just staggering. One in six residents of Toronto, or 450,000 people, will contract a foodborne illness each year. If you’re reading this and you live in the States, double check your local statistics because you might be equally as shocked.
But let’s get back to the specifics on what will be covered with this grant. It is split up into two parts: food safety and traceability. You can apply for $15,000 on one and $10,000 on the other. For the food safety section, you can apply for anything relating to the three main Biological, Chemical or Physical categories. For the traceability section, you can apply for basically anything that focuses on systemizing your traceability. The goal here is to create a process that will help you meet a mock recall requirement, which stipulates that you can recall 100% of your contaminated product within 48 hours.
Some key points that get burried in the application information:
1. You can apply for anything purchased since April 1, 2009
Some things you can apply for on the Food Safety section of the grant:
2. You have 18 months to complete the projects
3. The requirements if you get the loan are minimal (receipts and 2 update reports)
4. It’s a match program – 50% gets matched on your spend but capped. So if you are investing something larger (ie. a new ERP system), it’s worth applying because you can bank both parts of the grant and get $25,000
5. If you’re federally registered as apposed to provincially registered then you are only eligible for $15,000
6. If you’re a distributor and not a processor then you can only qualify for the $15,000 traceability section
7. You absolutely have to attend a session to get a certificate
8. You have to register with ONtrace for a premises registry. This is not an obstacle; it’s five minutes of work and if you can’t get through before the deadline then you just tell them it’s in progress.
1. Cost of first audit
2. Cost of training or education on Food Safety
3. Really anything that involves the three main areas of food safety (Biological, Chemical and Physical)
What’s not included:
1. Anything that would be considered a capital expense. For example the shiney new lab in your building is not going to get you funding
Some things you can apply for on the Traceability section of the grant:
1. This is pretty open. As long as you term that it will have an impact on the imput, product or output stage of your product it would count
2. You can also claim staff costs, hardware and software
If you’re applying for the grant and you’re considering applying to purchase software, then we can help you with your application. Feel free to contact me directly or hit us up on our website using livechat. We have many people monitoring firstname.lastname@example.org so you’ll get a fast answer that way too.
If you’re thinking about applying to buy hardware like a new listeria testing station, than we can still help you but you will probably want to contact the OMAFRA helpline. They can be reached at 1-866-641-FOOD or email@example.com. I recommend this because it’s worth a quick call to confirm the equipment you’re applying for is eligible.
As the VP, Marketing, IndustryBuilt Software, Michelene leads a great team of marketing specialists and business development representatives who help find the right type of companies to partner with. She has more than 15 years of experience working with software companies with very specialized offerings. When she’s not thinking about marketing, she is chasing after her preschooler and working on her MBA. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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