Frequently Asked Questions
The Buy BC Partnership Program funds were allocated to eligible applicants on a first come, first serve basis. This was determined based on the time of receipt of a completed Part B application.
There was tremendous interest in the program this year, and demand for funding far exceeded the available amounts.
You can work with an IAF Project Manager in advance of the application deadline. This will help you create an optimal application in advance of the deadline. It is important that project applications have been well developed with concrete activities and a well researched budget.
The Buy BC Partnership Program has two phases to application; Part A and Part B. Whereby Part A determines the eligibility of the applicant and Part B determines the project details (activities and budget). There is no need to re-submit the Part A application however you will be expected to re-develop the Part B application as it is anticipated that the project details are for specific activities, in a specified time-frame. An updated Part A is only required if there are changes to a Designated Officer (e.g. CEO/Chairperson/President, Senior Financial Officer/Treasurer, Executive Director, etc.) who signed the previously submitted application or if ownership of the business has changed.
Eligible activities include:
- Labelling Products/Packaging with a Buy BC Logo: Designing/redesigning and printing of product labels/packaging which incorporates the new Buy BC logo (on eligible products certified for Buy BC logo use) to promote specific agriculture/seafood/beverage products within B.C.
- Marketing Collateral and Promotional Tools: Designing, developing, translating, printing/producing Buy BC-branded marketing collateral and promotional tools (e.g. retail flyers, posters, marketing brochures/rack cards, stickers, banners, signage, sell sheets, shelf-talkers, point of sale materials, shopping bags, aprons, placemats/coasters, pens, pins, etc.) to promote specific agriculture/seafood/beverage products within B.C.
- BC-Focused Market Development Activities: Undertaking domestic-focused market development activities (to promote specific agriculture/seafood/beverage products within B.C.) such as tradeshows, food fairs and sales exhibitions that target consumers and/or food service/institutional/retail buyers; in-store product demonstrations; in-store retail/restaurant/food-service promotions; etc.
- Media Advertising: Developing and producing Buy BC-branded media advertising to promote specific agriculture/seafood/beverage products within B.C., including print, broadcast and online advertising campaigns.
The following applicants are eligible to receive cost-shared funding:
- Primary Agriculture and/or Seafood Producers (includes growers, harvesters, ranchers, etc.) or Cooperatives
- Agriculture, Food and Beverage, and/or Seafood Processors
- Industry Associations, Boards, or Councils
- Agricultural Fairs
- Farmers’ Markets
To be considered for cost-shared funding, an eligible applicant must:
- have a head office in B.C. or be entitled to do business in B.C.
- be selling or marketing a product that is:
- grown in B.C. (i.e. producing fresh food, beverage, or agricultural and seafood products which are 100% grown, caught, or raised in B.C.); or
- processed in B.C. (i.e. processing food, beverage, or agricultural and seafood products which are processed and packaged in B.C. with 51% or more of the direct cost of producing the product in its final form – i.e. the sum of raw materials, direct labour, variable processing, and packaging – originating in B.C.). When the main raw materials are available in sufficient quantities from B.C. producers, they must be used.
To be considered for cost-shared funding, an eligible applicant must:
- Have the ability to contribute a minimum percentage of the total project budget, in cash, towards eligible costs as follows:
- 50% for B.C.-based primary agriculture and/or seafood producers or cooperatives; agriculture, food and beverage, and/or seafood processors; agriculture fairs and/or farmers’ markets; or,
- 30% for industry associations, boards, or councils.
- have total annual gross revenues (i.e. sales) greater than $30,000/year for the most recent two years (applies only to primary agriculture and/or seafood producers and cooperatives; and agriculture, food and beverage, and/or seafood processors).
For the first application deadline/adjudication each year, $500,000 of Program funding will be allocated to support eligible projects for industry associations and $100,000 of Program funding will be allocated to support eligible projects for agricultural fairs and farmers’ markets. After the first application deadline/adjudication, all remaining Program funding will be available to applicants on a first-come, first-served basis.
Funding Acknowledgement RequirementsProject materials must recognize the funding provided by the Government of BC to qualify for cost-sharing.
NOTE: You are required to ensure the requirements are applied consistently in all project communications, materials and products, failure to do so may put committed funding at risk.
ARE YOU BASED IN BRITISH COLUMBIA?
The Buy BC Program is designed to assist the agriculture, agrifood and seafood sectors with implementing eligible projects in British Columbia only. All applicants must have a head office, or be registered in BC.
WHAT PRODUCTS (PRIMARY PRODUCTION AND PROCESSED FOOD AND BEVERAGE) ARE ELIGIBLE?
Processed Food and Beverages (including seafood, baked goods, chocolate and confectionery, sauces, seasonings, cereal preparations, soups, condiments, snack foods, dairy products, eggs, meat products, fruit and vegetable products, natural health products, pet food, fruit juice, wine, beer, cider, spirits, bottled water, etc.)
Primary Agriculture Products (including fruits, vegetables, grains, oilseeds, floriculture, nursery, sod, honey, ginseng, animal feed, hay, cattle, hogs, poultry and other livestock, etc.)
Note: Statistics Canada defines “Other Livestock” as sheep, horses, ponies, goats, llamas, alpacas, rabbits, bison, elk, farmed deer, wild boars, mink breeding stock, fox, donkeys, mules, chinchillas, wool, and embryos, other poultry (e.g., geese, ducks, roosters, ostriches, game birds, emus, pheasants, quail and pigeons), beeswax, bee pollen, queen bees and nucleus bee colonies.
IS ADVERTISING OR PROMOTIONS ACTIVITIES CONDUCTED IN BRITISH COLUMBIA ELIGIBLE FOR COST-SHARED FUNDING?
Yes, on the condition these activities meet the program’s objectives of:
- Increasing use of British Columbia’s agriculture, food and seafood sectors in the domestic marketplace; and
- Building consumer preference, demand and sales for BC agrifoods sold within the province.
ARE IN-KIND CONTRIBUTIONS ELIGIBLE FOR COST-SHARED FUNDING?
In-kind contributions can be included as part of the budget, but they are not eligible for matching funding.
WHAT TYPES OF ACTIVITIES ARE ELIGIBLE FOR FUNDING?
In order to be approved for cost-shared funding, the applicant’s project activities must meet specific criteria and purposes, which include but may not be limited to the following:
|Labelling Products/Packaging with a Buy BC Logo||Designing/redesigning and printing of product labels/packaging which incorporates the new Buy BC logo (on eligible products certified for Buy BC logo use) to promote specific agriculture/seafood/beverage products within B.C.|
|Marketing Collateral and Promotional Tools||Designing, developing, translating, printing/producing Buy BC-branded marketing collateral and promotional tools (e.g. retail flyers, posters, marketing brochures/rack cards, stickers, banners, signage, sell sheets, shelf-talkers, point of sale materials, shopping bags, aprons, placemats/coasters, pens, pins, etc.) to promote specific agriculture/seafood/beverage products within B.C.|
|B.C.-Focused Market Development Activities||Undertaking domestic-focused market development activities (to promote specific agriculture/seafood/beverage products within B.C.) such as tradeshows, food fairs and sales exhibitions that target consumers and/or food-service/institutional/retail buyers; in-store product demonstrations; in-store retail/restaurant/food-service promotions; etc.|
|Media Advertising||Developing and producing Buy BC-branded media advertising to promote specific agriculture/seafood/beverage products within B.C., including print, broadcast and online advertising campaigns.|
ARE THERE ANY TYPES OF PROJECT ACTIVITIES THAT ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR FUNDING?
The scope of the Buy BC program is to support projects that increase local consumer demand and sales of BC agrifoods. The following types of project activities are NOT eligible for funding under this program:
- Social media such as Facebook and Twitter as stand-alone activities are not eligible, using social media to promote Buy BC is an eligible activity;
- Awareness building activities with the exception of “new” products introduced to the domestic market;
- Repeat activities. All proposed activities must be new to the applicant (i.e. if the applicant has previous advertised in ‘X publication’, activity to advertise in ‘X publication’ again would be ineligible;
- Domestic market research;
- Marketing plans;
- Subsequent Packaging. Design, tool & die, and printing production costs for a first run of packaging materials are eligible.
- Educational events (e.g., producer workshop);
- Buying, starting or expanding a farm or business;
- Purchasing capital expenses (e.g., land, buildings, fences, equipment, tradeshow booth hardware, computers, mobile phones, tools, packaging plate costs, seed, livestock);
- Basic research (experimental or theoretical work which is undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge without a commercial or specific application in view);
- Requesting funds to support or sponsor a third-party activity are ineligible;
- Any costs related to providing product samples at a reduced cost or free are treated as in-kind;
- Promotional products/materials planned for re-sale, contests or gifts (Honoria are considered gifts);
- Direct income support;
- Lobbying or influencing any level of government;
- The normal operations of a business or organization (i.e., creating a strategic plan; hiring staff, holding a conference or annual meeting, education or training) which are not intended to address the objectives of this program;
- Website/IT systems upgrades. Only the cost for adding specific ‘Buy BC’ elements (i.e. landing page or branding) are eligible for cost-share;
- Building and implementing an e-commerce tool/site is not eligible;
- Any activities that may be considered to denigrate other products, commodities or regions (e.g., farmed vs. wild salmon; organic vs. conventional agriculture); and
- Membership fees.
- Cannabis-related marketing or promotional activities.
ARE TRANSLATION FEES ELIGIBLE?
Projects where the intended target audience is non-English speaking may qualify for cost-sharing on certified translation services for approved promotional materials. An estimate from a certified translation service should be included with your application. The maximum cost-share for translation services is $5,000.
Note: A copy of the English and translated materials may be requested and must be available upon request.
WHAT PERFORMANCE MEASURES DO I NEED TO TRACK AND REPORT ON?
Measures of activities such as dollar value of increased sales, volume of increased sales, number of new sales agreements signed, number of marketing materials and advertising and promotional activities completed, number of new product listings and new partnerships, new jobs, number of website visits, new economic activity, number of website visits and social media traffic, number of participants at a special event and media coverage. It’s best to develop a plan upfront and track these results for final reporting purposes. A complete list is outlined on the Buy BC Part B application form.
WHEN IS MY FINAL PROJECT REPORT DUE?
All projects must be completed and the final report submitted within 12 months of the date of project approval or before the close of the Buy BC Partnership Program, whichever comes first.
ARE YOU WILLING AND ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE ANY OF YOUR OWN MONEY TO YOUR PROJECT OR HAVE YOU SECURED CASH CONTRIBUTIONS FROM INDUSTRY PARTNERS OR NON-GOVERNMENT SOURCES?
HOW DO I APPLY?
To apply to the Buy BC cost-shared program you will first have to complete an Eligibility confirmation form (Part A of your application). Once completed the Ministry of Agriculture will determine your eligibility for the program and you will be notified. Based on your eligibility you will be supplied with a Project Application form (Part B) which will need to be completed and submitted to IAF. Please note in order to participate in the cost shared program you will also need to complete a Buy BC licensing application to be certified to use the Buy BC logo.
HOW MUCH CAN I APPLY FOR?
IS A LETTER OF INTENT REQUIRED?
CAN I APPLY FOR BUY BC COST-SHARED PROGRAM WITHOUT COMPLETING THE BUY BC LOGO LICENSING?
No, a requirement of the Buy BC cost-shared program is that applicants must have a Buy BC logo licensing agreement in place.
DO I HAVE TO COMPLETE AN ELIGIBILITY CONFIRMATION AND LICENSE APPLICATION EACH TIME I APPLY FOR FUNDING?
No, once you are eligibility has been confirmed (Part A) you will not have to reapply. The only time you may be asked to reapply would be if your business changes ownership or your organization goes thought significant personnel changes. Similarly, once you are certified to use the Buy BC logos that certification does not expire during the life of the Buy BC program.
ARE THERE ANY DEADLINES FOR FUNDING APPLICATIONS?
Yes, please refer to the program page.
WHEN WILL I KNOW IF MY APPLICATION HAS BEEN APPROVED?
Clients can usually anticipate a decision within 20 business days for complete applications, from the application deadline date.
WHAT ARE THE FUNDING ACKNOWLEDGEMENT REQUIREMENTS?
In order to be eligible for cost-share, all funding acknowledgement guidelines must be adhered to. The onus is on the applicant/client to ensure they have met the guidelines and have their communication products and media reviewed and approved by the IAF prior to publishing. Communication products that are not approved will not qualify for cost-share funding.
WHEN CAN I ISSUE A MEDIA RELEASE TO ANNOUNCE THE FUNDED PROJECT?
The BC government will work with each successful applicant to announce their project as they are approved.
Recipients will not make a public announcement concerning the project funding without the prior consent of the BC Ministry of Agriculture.
CAN I PAY SOMEONE TO WRITE MY APPLICATION?
It is expected that applicants prepare and submit their own applications. Applicants are responsible for delivery of their project.
An application submitted by a consultant on behalf of a client will result in the application being rejected. Consultant costs for the preparation of an application are not a program eligible component.
WHERE CAN I GO FOR MORE INFORMATION?
IAF encourages all potential clients for the Buy BC Program to contact IAF directly at buybc(at)iafbc.ca or phone 250-356-1662.