Develop New Products or Processes


Stream: Processor



For projects focused on developing products or processes to retain an existing market, grow an existing market or access a new market, and to significantly increase sales.

Who should apply?

See “To apply you must”.

For the purposes of your application:
advanced manufacturing technology means technology that enhances an agri-food product manufacturing process through automation, robotics, or digitalization.
automation or automated technology is at least one operation of an agri-food product manufacturing process becoming fully automated as a result of the project.

To apply you must

Be a minimum of one of the following:

  • For any eligible projects, a processor that manufactures products in a facility with fewer than 200 employees
  • For eligible projects that do not include capital costs, an owner of an established brand or intellectual property that does not meet processor eligibility criteria but is located in Ontario, and has an agreement or arrangement for the transformation of their product(s) in Ontario
  • For eligible projects that do not include capital costs, a new processor business (new entrant) that:
    • Constitutes a legal person
    • Is new to the food and agri-product processing industry and has business projections that demonstrate potential annual gross business income of $30,000 or more within three years of applying
    • Files personal income taxes in Ontario
    • Has not filed taxes of $30,000 or more in annual gross business revenue as a food or agri-product processing business in the two years prior to applying for funding
    • Has a valid Premises Identification (PID) Number (if a processing facility is established)

Have a marketing plan that includes:

  • Market research analysis that supports entry into the specific domestic or export market
  • Sales targets and an assessment of other potential business impacts
  • Implementation strategy

Eligible activities and expenditures

  • Third-party advisory costs for agri-based bio-product, food or beverage product and process development activities, which may include:
    • Regulatory review
    • Ingredient, material or packaging sourcing
    • Formulation development
    • Process development
    • Scale-up trials
    • Shelf life determination
    • Testing or analysis to verify and complement development process including:
      • Nutritional, microbial, chemical, an allergen
      • Sensory/consumer
    • Product physical testing
    • Packaging related activities
    • Package testing to ensure compatibility with product
    • Labelling development and design for marketing purposes
    • Labelling development to ensure compliance with regulations
  • Costs of automated, advanced manufacturing and/or robotic processing equipment and technology and/or software systems directly related to developing a new product or process through:
    • Acquiring new processing equipment and technology (including installation and configuration)
    • Retrofitting or modifying existing processing equipment and technology (including installation and configuration)
  • First-time training of key personnel on new, project- related equipment, technology and processes (e.g., train the trainer) related to value-added agri-food/agricultural products
  • One-time costs for rental of facilities, processing equipment or machinery required specifically for the project

Ineligible activities and expenditures

  • Product samples not related to a new product launch or a promotional event (e.g., tradeshow)
  • Product samples produced from normal production
  • Retail or food services listing fees
  • Activities currently being conducted for existing products in existing markets
  • Costs and activities associated with expanding facility capacity or output, without developing a new product or process for an agri-based bio-product, food or beverage product
  • Projects or activities that focus on a new package size without the requirement of formulation change or process change
  • Costs and activities associated with equipment, technology or software that is not advanced manufacturing/automation and directly related to the development of a new product or process
    • This includes costs and equipment that are required for the operation of eligible equipment
  • Travel and meal costs
  • In-kind contributions
  • Activities and expenditures as detailed here

Available cost-share

35 per cent, up to a maximum of $75,000

Required documentation

  • Copy of a marketing plan, detailing how the project activities will allow you to expand or maintain existing domestic market access, or access a new domestic market
  • Implementation strategy
  • Quotes or proposals for all activities and capital expenses that will be sourced from third-party suppliers (e.g., consultants) detailing services, outcomes and costs

Merit assessment criteria

Applications will be assessed against the extent to which:

  • Marketing Plan is fully developed
  • Sales are increased through project activities
  • Relevant business impacts are anticipated and have been quantified, such as:
    • Reduced identified risks
    • Job creation or retention
    • Increased sales and revenue
    • Increased profitability
  • Markets are increased or retained as a result of the project
  • All components of the project are directly linked to developing the new product or process
  • Equipment or technology components of the project are:
    • leading-edge
    • not widely adopted by the Ontario agri-food industry
      • Incremental changes to equipment models will not be considered leading edge or not widely adopted
    • The applicant will share information about the project to benefit the sector or industry (may include news release, an article in a trade magazine, presentations, social media/website, hosting an open house)
    • The project will result in secondary benefits for assurance systems and the environment
    • Funding reduces business risk
    • Resources, experience and skills necessary to oversee and carry out the project are identified
    • Project work plans are clearly defined and aligned to project goals

Other Useful Information:

If you are interested in applying as a new processor business (new entrant) or a brand/intellectual property owner, contact OMAFRA at 1-877-424-1300 or agpartnership@ontario.ca.

What's Next?

Is this project for you? Find out if you meet the program requirements
Program Requirements


For more information on upcoming application intakes, visit omafra.gov.on.ca

Edit date: November 27, 2019

Need Help?

For assistance with the Online Program Guide, please contact the Agricultural Information Contact Centre – Mon. to Fri., 8 am – 5 pm, 1-877-424-1300 or ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca