Emergency Processing Fund

Catalyzing strategic investments to maintain and increase domestic food production and processing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Program Announcement

The IAF application window for the Emergency Processing Fund is now closed; however if you are a meat processing facility looking to safeguard the health and safety of your workers and their families then please contact us for more information.


The Government of Canada committed $77.5 million to the Emergency Processing Fund to support the immediate needs of domestic production lines as a result of COVID-19.

IAF delivered funding to eligible applicants with food processing, manufacturing or greenhouse operations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

Out of the $77.5 million, IAF is administered $5 million of cost-shared funding to eligible projects up to $100,000 in size (per applicant) with the minimum application size being $10,000. For project funding requests $100,000 and over, applicants must apply directly to AAFC.

Applications were open to For-Profit Organizations, Cooperatives and Indigenous Groups. Eligible costs/activities can be retroactive up to and including March 15, 2020 and must be completed by September 30, 2020.

Do you need $100,000 or more?

If your request for funding is $100,000 or more please apply through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). Applications to AAFC are being accepted on a continuous basis until 11:59pm EDT Friday, July 31, 2020 or earlier if funding is fully allocated before that date.

Are you a Seafood Processor?

If you are a Seafood or Aquaculture Processor, you are not eligible for this program. Please refer to the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund for opportunities for the sector. Applications to the CSSF are being accepted on a continuous basis until 4:30pm PDT Monday, July 13, 2020.

What Can Funding be used For?

Program funding is designed to support specific priority areas relating to food safety and security.

Please note that activities under Priority #1 will be funded first.

Priority # 1: Emergency COVID-19 Response

To assist companies to implement changes required by COVID-19 to safeguard the health and safety of workers and their families.

  • Plant retrofits or adjustments to existing facilities to accommodate changes to processes and production as a result of COVID-19. Meat processing facilities are the highest priority, followed by all other food processing, manufacturing and greenhouse operations.
  • Temporary increased capacity for humane slaughter of surplus animals resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Priority # 2: Strategic Investments

To assist companies to improve, automate, and modernize facilities needed to increase Canada’s food supply.

  • Automation and modernization of food processing and manufacturer plants
  • Upgrades to reopen shuttered meat facilities or to attain federal registration.
  • Conversion or adaptation of existing greenhouses to increase year-round horticultural production or to increase the variety of products grown.


Thank you for your interest  in applying to the Emergency Processing Fund. Unfortunately the IAF application window for this program is now closed. Please note that any incomplete applications that have been submitted will not be considered for funding.

Eligible costs/activities can be retroactive up to and including March 15, 2020. All projects must be completed by September 30, 2020.

Conditions of Funding


 To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be a For-Profit Organization, Cooperative or Indigenous Group
  • Be a legal entity capable of entering into a legally binding agreement
  • Have been in operation for two years
  • Be directly involved in food production in one of the following two areas:
    • Agricultural food processing and manufacturing
    • Greenhouse Operations: Agricultural producers that are converting or adapting existing greenhouses to increase year-round horticultural production

 Note: Fish and Seafood processing is not eligible under this program.

Applicant Contribution

Eligible applicants are expected to contribute a minimum percentage of the total project cost as follows:

  • 50% for Small and Medium Enterprises
  • 75% for larger operators

Where SMEs are defined as enterprises with fewer than 500 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees (pre-COVID) and exclude wholly or majority owned subsidiaries of large companies and large companies are defined as enterprises with 500 or more FTE employees (pre-COVID).

Only cash contributions will be counted towards the cost-sharing ratio.

Health and Safety Protocols

Applicants will need to declare in the application that all applicable measures of the Quarantine Act are being adhered to, including but not limited to the mandatory 14-day isolation period for Temporary Foreign Workers.

Recipients should also demonstrate that they have support from the union or health and safety committee regarding proposed investment (if applicable).

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I hire a consultant to complete my application?

IAF does not directly deal with consultants who are working on behalf of organizations to apply for funding. It is expected that organizations must apply directly to IAF and provide a point of contact within the organization that IAF can liaise with. Consultant fees – to apply for the funding – are not eligible costs.

Can applicants choose more than one priority per project?

Yes, applicants can request funding for more than one priority, but the application will be assessed based on what priority the majority of funding is being allocated to.

What Personal Protective Equipment is eligible?

Non-disposable or reusable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is eligible:

  • body temperature screening / fever detection systems
  • washing stations
  • workstation dividers
  • full and half face-piece respirators
  • impact goggles and face shields.

Equipment that is required for normal operations, and all disposable or non-reusable equipment is not eligible. For a full list please refer to page 15 of the program guide

Are office and lunch room expansions / modifications eligible?

Updates to lunch rooms and office spaces are not eligible, the intent of the program is to fund retrofits or adjustments to existing plants and food processing / manufacturing facilities needed to increase Canada’s food supply. Further, new equipment for lunch rooks and offices are also not eligible as they are not directly production related.

Is the Letter of Support from the Health & Safety Committee mandatory?

Yes, if you have a Health & Safety Committee. Note: WorkSafeBC requires a Health & Safety Committee from workplaces that have more than 20 employees.

When will my application be marked as complete?

Your application will only be considered complete once the budget has been received to epf@iafbc.ca. We will date and time stamp your application with the email received date and time.

When will I know if my application is successful?

The IAF team is reviewing applications as they are received and funding decisions will be communicated as soon as possible. IAF is aware that many of these projects are time sensitive and is working with both industry and government to execute this program as efficiently as possible. We thank you for your patience.

Program Guide

Download and read the program guide now.

Have a Question?

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