Technology and Equipment to Improve Labour Productivity


Stream: Processor



For projects to implement advanced manufacturing technologies and equipment to enhance labour productivity.

Who should apply?

Processors with projects in any agri-food sector may apply, but processors with projects in the following sectors* are currently given preference:

  • Meat Processing and Meat Product Manufacturing
  • Bakeries and Tortilla Manufacturing
  • Fruit and Vegetable Preserving and Specialty Food
  • Dairy Product Manufacturing
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 processor that manufactures products in a facility with fewer than 200 employees
  • Have completed an audit, assessment or labour productivity plan that demonstrates the need and impact of the project in addressing current deficiencies, opportunities and risks
  • Have baseline Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for productivity, energy usage and waste management
  • And meet one of the following criteria at a minimum:
    • Be implementing advanced manufacturing technology, automation or robotics
    • Be an Indigenous partner business
    • Be operating in Northern Ontario

Eligible activities and expenditures

  • Capital expenses and installation or configuration costs directly related to improving labour productivity with new automated, advanced manufacturing, robotic equipment and technology and/or software systems*
  • Development of new or translation of manufacturing policies, feedback systems, preventative maintenance procedures and standard operational procedures, such as processing standards (time, temperature, speed etc.); proactive, preventative maintenance routines; and employee scheduling systems
  • One-time costs associated with training key personnel on project-related new equipment, technology and software systems (e.g., train the trainer)
  • One-time labour costs specifically required for the project, such as third party advisory fees
  • One-time costs for rental of facilities, processing equipment or machinery required specifically for the project

*Exceptions may apply if your business is an Indigenous partner business, or if your business is operating in northern Ontario

Ineligible activities and expenditures

  • Building structure modifications
  • Costs and activities associated with expanding facility capacity or output, without increasing the degree of automation or level of productivity
  • Costs and activities associated with equipment, technology or software that is not advanced manufacturing/automation and directly related to labour productivity improvements*
    • 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

25 per cent, up to a maximum of $200,000

Required documentation

  • Audit, assessment or productivity implementation plan that demonstrates the need and impact of the project in addressing current deficiencies, opportunities or risks
  • Quote or proposal from third-party organization or consultant, detailing services to be provided costs and outcomes
  • Quote detailing costs of equipment and/or technology

Merit assessment criteria

Applications will be assessed against the extent to which:

  • Applicants are:
    • Operating in Northern Ontario
    • Indigenous Partners
  • Plan, audit or assessments demonstrate need for the project
  • Project will lead to significantly enhanced labour productivity and efficiencies
  • Project will make a measurable impact on KPIs
  • Relevant business impacts are anticipated and have been quantified, such as:
    • Reduced identified risks
    • Job creation or retention
    • Increased sales and revenue
    • Increased profitability
  • All components of the project are directly linked to labour productivity improvements
  • 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
  • Sector specific targeting with current focus on the following; Meat Processing and Meat Product Manufacturing, Bakeries and Tortilla Manufacturing, Fruit and Vegetable Preserving and Specialty Food, or Dairy Product Manufacturing.
  • Funding reduces business risk
  • Project is aligned with program outcomes
  • 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 an Indigenous partner business, or if your business is operating in northern Ontario, contact OMAFRA at 1-877-424-1300 or agpartnership@ontario.ca to discuss costs that are eligible for your application.

Agri-food sectors that are given preference under this Project Category are subject to change.

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