Buy BC Cost-Shared Funding is available for activities that increase the demand for, and sales of, BC agri-food and seafood products within the Province.

The Buy BC Partnership Program, delivered by IAF on behalf of the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, has two components: licensing and cost-shared funding. It is designed to increase the competitiveness of BC’s agri-food and seafood industry in the domestic market by supporting local marketing efforts through use of the Buy BC brand.

The Buy BC Partnership Program aims to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Enable industry to undertake sector or product-specific Buy BC marketing activities to increase local market share, product sales, and consumer awareness;
  • Ensure consumers can easily identify BC agri-food and seafood products at the point of sale;
  • Build and maintain Buy BC brand recognition; and
  • Build a greater awareness of and demand for, local food and beverage products across the province.
Application Window: NOW CLOSED for 2022/23 Cost-Shared Funding
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Program Overview

Once an applicant has been approved for a Buy BC logo license, select applicants can apply for cost-shared funding to help them undertake sector or product specific Buy BC marketing and promotional activities across the province. All organizations need to register themselves through IAF’s new online application portal and complete an eligibility screening before gaining access to the program application form.

Applications for Buy BC Cost-Shared Funding (for the 2022-23 funding cycle) are accepted October 26 until November 18, with successful projects starting on April 1, 2022.

Eligible Applicants

To be considered eligible for the cost-shared funding component of the Buy BC Partnership Program, applicants must:

  • have been approved for a Buy BC logo license (Can’t find your Logo License number? Contact licensing@iafbc.ca);
  • sell or market a product grown or processed in BC*
  • be able to provide a minimum percentage of the total project budget in cash as follows:
    • 50% for producers, processors, cooperatives, agriculture fairs and farmers’ markets
    • 30% for industry associations, boards, or councils;
  • have greater than $30,000 in annual gross revenue for the past two years (applicable only for producers, processors and cooperatives).
  • NEW: applicants must register their organization through IAF’s online portal and been approved to apply for Buy BC cost-shared funding.

NOTE: If you are exclusively a Retailer, Wholesaler, or Distributor, you are NOT eligible for cost-shared funding, but can apply for a Buy BC Logo License. See Buy BC Partnership Program for more details.
*Product(s) must be approved & listed under your Buy BC Logo License.

Eligible Activities & Expenses

For a project to be funded under the Buy BC Partnership Program, an application must include one or more of the following activities and expenditures. All project activities must be completed and fully paid for between April 1, 2022, and February 24, 2023, or according to project completion dates outlined in your funding contract. Project expenses are paid for upfront by the funding recipient and reimbursed by IAF following the submission of a financial (claim) report according to the approved cost-share percentage. More information on this can be found below.

Note: translation and interpretation fees to target the following activities to non-English speaking audiences in BC are considered eligible expenses.

Labelling Products and/or Packaging Products with a Buy BC Logo

  • Designing/redesigning product labels/packaging labels/packaging to incorporate the Buy BC logo
  • Printing product labels/packaging which incorporates the Buy BC logo
  • A maximum of $20,000 per applicant

Marketing Collateral and Promotional Materials

  • Designing, developing, and printing/producing Buy BC-branded materials and promotional merchandise
  • Translating Buy BC-branded media materials through a certified translation service to target a non-English speaking audience within BC
  • A maximum of $5,000 per applicant, for branded apparel to be worn by staff working out reach events

BC-Focused Market Development Tradeshows and Fairs

  • Participating in virtual or in-person tradeshows, food fairs, and/or sales expositions in BC that target consumers and/or food service/ institutional/retail buyers
  • Includes securing booth space, designing/printing Buy BC-branded booth graphics and shipping Buy BC-branded marketing collateral to the event designing/printing

BC-Focused In-Store Demonstrations and Promotions

  • Hiring brand ambassador contractors to carry out in-store retail/product demonstrations and tastings
  • Conducting in-store retail/restaurant /food-service promotions within BC
  • Hiring a Certified interpreter for a specific event/activity to target a non-English speaking audience within BC

Buy BC-Branded Print and Broadcast Advertising

  • Developing and producing Buy BC-branded broadcast and print advertising campaigns
  • Includes hiring graphic designers, photographers, advertising agencies, and/or other related contractors to develop and/or print Buy BC-branded newspaper, magazine, newsletter, transit, vehicle, and/or billboard ads; developing media plans; purchasing advertising space
Online Advertising and Social Media

  • Developing, producing, and delivering Buy BC-branded online advertising campaigns
  • Adding a Buy BC presence to an existing or new website
  • Using social media to promote a Buy BC logo licensed product
  • Developing media plans
  • Purchasing advertising space
  • A maximum of $15,000 per applicant

Maximum Funding for Eligible Expenses

After completing an eligibility screening through IAF’s online portal, applicants will be notified how much funding they can apply for under the program.

NEW! In addition to the overall funding cap for each applicant, several Activity Categories will be capped for the 2022-23 funding cycle. These figures relate to program contributions (cost-shared funding), not overall activity costs.

  • Staff wages: maximum of $2,000 for each producer/processor/cooperative applicant; maximum of $10,000 for associations for wages related to direct implementation of project activities
  • Marketing collateral and promotional materials: maximum of $5,000 per applicant, for branded apparel to be worn by staff working out reach events
  • Product labelling/packaging: maximum of $20,000 per applicant
  • Online advertising costs (including social media): maximum of $15,000 per applicant

Ineligible Activities and Expenses

The following activities and costs are not eligible under the Buy BC Partnership Program:

  • Any cost not set out as an eligible cost and expenditure in the Activity Category description
  • Any cost not specifically required for the execution of a project
  • Expenses over the maximum funding caps
  • Leases or agreements with suppliers or service providers outside the project period (starting
    April 1, 2022)
  • Activities that take place before* the project start date or after the project completion date (*pre-registration for farmer’s markets and/or tradeshow registration are considered eligible).
  • Market research, including experimental or theoretical work which is undertaken to acquire new knowledge without a commercial or specific application in view
  • Development of marketing or business plans
  • Product or new brand development
  • Subsequent Packaging Design, tool & dye, and printing production costs (only the first run of packaging materials is considered eligible)
  • Capital or equipment purchases (e.g., land, buildings, fences, equipment, tradeshow booth hardware, computers, software subscriptions, mobile phones, tools, printing plates, seed, livestock)
  • Normal operating costs associated with carrying out or expanding a business’ current operations (including office supplies)
  • Direct income support
  • Buying, starting, or expanding a farm or business
  • Website/IT system upgrades and hosting fees. Only the cost for adding specific ‘Buy BC’ elements to a website is eligible for cost-share
  • Building and implementing an e-Commerce tool or website
  • Cost of product for sampling or sale, including product discounts, coupons or subsidies
  • Retail or food services listing fees
  • Cost of travel (mileage), food and accommodation
  • Funds to sponsor a third-party activity
  • Promotional products/materials planned for re-sale, SWAG, contests or gifts
  • Stakeholder engagement or membership drives
  • Membership fees
  • Lobbying or influencing government
  • Any activities that may be considered to denigrate other products or commodities (e.g., farmed vs. wild salmon; organic vs. conventional agriculture, etc.)
  • In-kind contributions
  • Cannabis-related activities

Program Timeline

Application

Before submitting an application, please review all the information listed below paying special attention to the Notifications & Obligations. Requirements of a funding recipient and the criteria for how your application will be evaluated are outlined. Applications to the Buy BC Partnership Program are competitive. Each complete application received by the application deadline will be scored and ranked according to the evaluation criteria and funded on that basis.

Before you apply

Applications for Buy BC logo license are on-going. New licensing applications or requests to amend products lists must be submitted no later than November 9, 2021 to be considered for the 2022-23 funding cycle. Applicants must have a valid logo license to be eligible to apply for cost-shared funding.

Can’t find your Logo License number? Contact licensing(at)iafbc.ca.

All applicants to the 2022-23 funding cycle must confirm they are eligible to apply for funding. Please create an account and register your organization well in advance of the closing date. You will be able to complete an eligibility check once you have done so.

Completed application forms must be submitted through IAF’s online portal by 4:30pm PST on November 18, 2021. Late or incomplete submissions will not be accepted. Once submitted, your application cannot be changed.

Webinar

New this year! The IAF Team hosted a Buy BC webinar to learn more about this cost-shared funding program. Watch the recording here:

Confirm Your Eligibility for Cost-Shared Funding

All applicants to the 2022-23 funding cycle must confirm they meet the minimum program requirements by completing an applicant eligibility check through IAF’s online portal. A user account and organization registration can be created or updated in advance of October 26, 2021. Once registered, you will be able to access and complete a program eligibility check.

Consult Program Guidelines

Please review these program guidelines entirely to ensure you understand the objectives of the Buy BC program and what your organization is eligible to cost-share. Consult the list of ineligible costs (above) to ensure that your project is fully eligible and ready for assessment.

A complete Program Guide is available for download. If there is a discrepancy between the Program Guide (PDF) and this webpage, the webpage takes precedence.

Gather Quotes for Large Budget Items

Activities that cost over $5,000 require supporting quotes. Please ensure you upload quotes to the online portal together with your application form. We are aware that these quotes may expire before the project begins on April 1, 2022; however, we require them to verify the details of your project expenses. Quotes are not required for budget items less than $5,000.

Locate your Buy BC Logo Licensing Number

Your logo licensing number is required to apply for Buy BC Cost-Shared funding. It was sent to you via email with your Logo Licensing details.

Can’t find your Logo Licensing number? Contact licensing(at)iafbc.ca.

Don’t have a Buy BC Logo License? The deadline to apply to or update product information for a Buy BC logo license during the 2021 Fall intake is November 9, 2021.

Complete a Project Application Form

NEW! Starting this Fall, during the 2022-23 intake period, IAF has consolidated the application form and budget template into a single fillable PDF form. This form must be filled out using Adobe Software to retain your application details (i.e., Adobe Reader or Adobe Pro). A free version of Adobe Reader can be downloaded if it is not already installed on your computer.

Your funding application will consist of one fillable PDF application form that details your project activities, objectives, timelines and project budget. Please include a breakdown of expenses to verify eligibility.

  1. Quotes are required for expenses over $5,000

Applicants are encouraged to include only activities that they are confident will be completed on time and within budget.

IAF Program Staff will be providing several resources to address any questions and assist you with the development of your funding application. Check the resource section below for a list of all available resources.

Completed application forms must be submitted through IAF’s online portal by 4:30pm PST on November 18, 2021. Late or incomplete submissions will not be accepted. Once submitted, your application cannot be changed.

Ready to Apply?

The application window for Buy BC Cost-Shared Funding for 2022/23 is now closed. Please subscribe to the newsletter to learn more about future funding opportunities.

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Notifications & Obligations

Funding Notifications and Contracts

Funding is awarded on a competitive basis and the budget is limited. Only a limited number of projects will be approved. Complete applications submitted by the deadline will be scored against the program evaluation criteria and adjudicated by the Technical Review Committee in February 2022.

If an application is approved, IAF will inform the applicant of the details of the decision and any associated terms and conditions via email. The applicant will then enter into a Contribution Agreement with IAF which outlines the obligations of each party for the approved project which will commence April 1, 2022.

If an application is not approved, the applicant will receive a written response from IAF via email with reasons for the decision.

Funding Acknowledgements

All marketing and communications materials produced as part of your project require approval from IAF to ensure program funding has been acknowledged appropriately. Communications materials that you must submit to IAF (communications(at)iafbc.ca) for approval before production include:

  • Labels and packaging materials
  • Print ads
  • Radio ads
  • Television ads
  • Paper ads for mailing
  • Digital ads (email, search engine marketing, social media, videos etc.)
  • Print collateral such as brochures, rack cards, and flat sheets
  • Website updates

If a program client does not submit their communications materials to IAF for approval before they are produced/distributed, they run the risk of that item not being eligible for reimbursement.

Reporting Requirements

Funding recipients are required to complete a two-part project activity report and financial reporting as part of their funding agreement for this Program.  Completion of Part One of project activity reporting must be completed before successful applicants receive a Contribution Agreement. Once the Contribution Agreement (funding contract) is fully executed, a funding recipient will be sent a financial reporting template in advance of the project start date: April 1, 2022. This template must be filled out and submitted to IAF with copies of all paid invoices/receipts to receive a funding reimbursement. Only eligible activities and expenditures approved in your project budget will be considered for cost-sharing under the program.

Project-specific reporting deadlines will be outlined in each program participant’s Contribution Agreement. All project reports must be submitted on time and with the required information.

Expenses will be reimbursed based on confirmation of eligibility, invoices/receipts submitted, the approved project budget, and cost-share ratio which will be outlined in the Contribution Agreement.

Changes to Contracted Projects

Projects are approved by the IAF Board based on the stated objectives, the scope of activities, and the applicant’s capacity to carry out the work. Once a contract for the project has been established and fully executed, we are not able to make repeated adjustments to the approved budget or set of activities.

Each project is allowed one opportunity to make a project change due to extenuating circumstances such as a cancelled event or natural disaster. A change in the company’s marketing strategy or operations does not constitute a valid reason for adjusting an approved project budget. Clients will forfeit any funding tied to activities that they are unable to complete in the stated timeframe.

Any changes to projects under contract will need to be approved in writing by IAF before they are made. Activities undertaken that have not been pre-approved are not eligible for funding.

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be reviewed and scored against the evaluation criteria below.

Considerations for Evaluation

  • If the applicant has had a project funded by IAF previously, did they complete all of the project reports on time?
  • Were they responsive and professional in their communications with IAF Staff?
Considerations for Evaluation

  • Were the activities completed on time and within budget?
  • Did the applicant request multiple revisions to the project for items that were within their control?
  • If the applicant has had a project funded by IAF previously, did the project(s) meet targeted results for sales, or goals for advertising etc.?
Considerations for Evaluation

  • Has the applicant completed any market research?
  • Has the applicant completed a marketing and/or business plan?
  • If yes, to what extent is market research or plan fully developed?
  • Does the market planning/research support the proposed project objectives and/or activities?
Considerations for Evaluation

  • Are the project activities well-defined, with clear timelines, expense details, deliverables etc.?
  • Does it seem that the activities can be completed within the allotted budget and timeframe?

Considerations for Evaluation

  • Does the budget contain ineligible costs under the program?
  • Are budget line items reasonable and within industry standards?
  • Are large budget items (i.e. $5,000 and more) supported by quotes?
Considerations for Evaluation

  • Are targeted results in line with project activities?
  • Does the project objective and activities align with Program objective?
Considerations for Evaluation

  • The timeframe given for activities is reasonable

Resources

Buy BC Webinar

New this year! Join the IAF Team for a Buy BC webinar to learn more about the program. Following a short presentation there will be an opportunity for Q&A.

November 10, 2021 from 1:00 – 2:00pm

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Book a Consult Call

Consultant calls are available between Nov 3 and Nov 17, 2021. Priority is being given to first time applicants. If you are interested in booking a call, please follow the link and complete the form to express your interest.

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Buy BC Program Guide

For a PDF version of the program details please download the Program Guide.

Note: All details are presented on this webpage. If there is a discrepancy between the Guide and the website, the website take precedence.

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Have a Question?

Our team is here to support you, contact us today!

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Funding provided by:

CAP Logo, Province of BC Logo, Government of Canada Logo

Please note: the Government of BC may, from time to time, give instructions to IAF in relation to the delivery and administration of this program. IAF must and will comply with those instructions.

Please visit the BC Government’s Buy BC website for information on other local marketing resources and initiatives.