The Food Safety Program (FSP) seeks to increase adoption of new or improving existing food safety practices and systems by BC on-farm and BC post-farm businesses to enable the BC agrifood sector to meet existing and new national and international food safety regulatory requirements.

The Food Safety Program (FSP) is a five-year, up to $6.7 million program funded by the Governments of Canada and British Columbia through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The program is delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC (IAF).

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Program Objective & Goals

FSP seeks to build public confidence in foods and beverages that are processed or handled for consumption and trade by BC businesses along the agrifood value chain. The objective of FSP is to increase the adoption of food safety systems by BC on-farm and post-farm businesses.

To achieve this, cost-shared funding will be provided to increase the number of eligible BC on-farm and post-farm businesses that will:

  1. Identify and document risks through on-site food safety assessments,
  2. Proactively mitigate the risks identified in those assessments, through the adoption of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), Preventative Control Plans (PCPs), or Best Practices (BPs).
  3. Achieve third-party certification of On-Farm Food Safety (OFFS) or Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) based systems through recognized national and international food safety accreditation bodies.

Approach

Program Structure

IAF will deliver program funding through two funding streams:

Stream 1: On-Farm, e.g., growers, packers, and ranchers.

Stream 2: Post-Farm, e.g., processing, packaging, warehousing, transporting, distributing, and importing operations.

FSP is a first-come, first-served program; therefore, applicants must be clear and specific about the food safety results their projects will achieve. Following the submission of an application and prior to funding decisions being made, project applications are screened and reviewed by IAF. This review involves:

  • Ensuring application completeness.
  • Organization/Applicant eligibility check.
  • Project alignment and eligibility check.

If eligible, IAF will reach out to the applicant within 10 business days of submission to co-create a project workplan for the project. If the project is approved, IAF will inform the applicant of the details of the decision and any associated terms and conditions by email within 4 weeks of a submitted workplan. To speed up the process, IAF will do our best to provide your details as quickly as possible, generally within 10 business days. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until funding is fully committed.

IAF will provide one week notice of application closure through the FSP webpage and the FSP newsletter. Reminder: submitting an application is not a guarantee of funding, projects are funded on a first-come, first served basis until funds are fully committed.

IMPORTANT: High demand is expected for FSP. Submit completed application(s) as soon as possible to increase your funding chances.

Cost-shared funding is available for eligible activities under three categories. Each eligible participant may apply for and receive up to a total funding limit of $25,000 during the program term ending March 31, 2026.

Eligible Activities Categories Cost-Share Ratio Funding Limits
On-site food safety assessment:
Food Safety (including Traceability) on-site assessment resulting in a project workplan
70% $25,000
Food Safety Improvement (FSI) (GAPs, GMPs or BPs):

Pro-actively mitigate food safety risks identified in gap-assessment/ pre-audit through implementation of GAPs, GMPs or BPs

70% Equipment/facility upgrade for regulatory compliance: $20,000

All other Food Safety improvements, including consulting or training: $25,000

Third party audited OFFS/HACCP Certification(s)

Get certified in one or more recognized OFFS/ HACCP food safety systems in their businesses (incremental/new)

70% $25,000
Maximum total funding per applicant during program term 70% $25,000

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible Applicants

All Applicants must:

  • Have an active nine-digit business registration number (BN) from the Canada Revenue Agency or have an active GST number and file business or farm income taxes in BC.
  • Be based and operating in BC.
  • Be a society, not for profit corporation, corporation, cooperative association, or an individual.
  • For post-farm applicants, be provincially and federally licensed, as required, to operate their businesses in BC.
  • For on-farm applicants, provide a copy of BC Assessment showing farm status*.
  • Operate an agrifood business that produces / processes / handles food, commodities, or beverages for human alimentary consumption.
  • Be following all requirements of the law and agree to remain in compliance for the term of the Sustainable CAP Initiative if the application is approved.
  • Be registered with the BC Premises Identification Program if they raise “animals” as defined in the Premises Identification Regulation made under the Animal Health Act, S.B.C. 2014, c. 16.

*The Food Safety Program will consider a microgreen producer eligible for funding, even when they do not qualify for “farm status” due to the BC Assessment requirements for amount of land in production, as long as they meet all other Food Safety Program eligibility requirements and employ a controlled environment structure, defined below.

Eligible Applicants for Stream 1: On-Farm include:

  • Farmers/growers producing crops for human consumption.
  • Producers/ranchers raising animals for human consumption.
  • Packers or co-packers that handle food for human consumption.

Eligible Applicants for Stream 2: Post-Farm include:

  • Processors, transporters, warehouses, distributors, packers, and importers that handle food and beverage for human consumption.
  • Processing facilities (beyond basic washing, grading, and packaging) located on or off a farm premise and not covered by a certified on-farm food safety program.
  • Food hubs, which are shared-use food and beverage processing facilities that offer food and agriculture businesses access to commercial processing space, equipment, expertise, and resources to support business development and growth.

Ineligible Applicants

  • Operations that grow, process or handle health or nutrition supplements (sold or represented as a supplement to a diet that may be inadequate in energy and essential nutrients).
  • Operations producing pet food or food not intended for human consumption.
  • Retail, restaurants, or other foodservice operations.
  • Unlicensed, unregistered, or uninspected operations where licensing, registration or inspection is required by law.
  • Aquaculture and seafood production, processing, or handling businesses.
  • Any other business deemed ineligible by the Ministry.

Eligible Activities and Costs

Cost-shared funding is available for a range of eligible activities under three distinct categories.

Eligible Activities under this category focus on obtaining a gap assessment of the food safety risks and traceability capacity of a business; resulting in a food safety workplan to address identified gaps.

Assessments must include:

  • Impact of the project on improving food safety and traceability and controlling food safety risks.
  • Impact of the project in addressing identified business need or opportunity.
  • Costs for an onsite gap assessment by third-party accredited auditors to identify opportunities for food safety (including traceability) improvements.
  • Development of a food safety workplan outlining the actions needed to implement a HACCP based food safety program, including traceability planning.

A list of pre-approved Accredited Food Safety Professionals for the program may be found here.

Participants can also seek the services of approved Certifying Bodies (CB) for conducting the onsite gap assessment. A list of pre-approved Certifying Bodies may be found here.

Eligible activities under this category focus on developing traceability plans, developing and implementing written food safety programs, purchasing equipment that is directly related to food safety, making facility upgrades for regulatory compliance, and conducting laboratory testing required to reduce food safety risks. High quality activities should include those which demonstrate the largest impact on reducing food safety risk.

This assumes that the applicant will have buildings and equipment as a starting point and funding will be provided for further improvement. Approval for full equipment purchase may be considered if equipment upgrades are more costly than buying new equipment, this will be assessed by IAF on a case-by-case basis. The purchase of land or buildings is not eligible.

Eligible Activities in this category include:

2A. Equipment purchases and/or facility modifications to meet regulatory compliance or have a strong impact on food safety. Please note this category is capped at $20,000 per eligible participant for the program term.

  • Incremental Premises upgrade:
    • Wall, doors, ceilings, and overhead structure repairs to prevent accumulation of contaminants, improve ability to clean and prevent entry of pests.
    • Floor repairs to improve ability to clean and enable removal of water to drains.
    • Drain repairs allowing rapid removal of wastewater and equipping with traps and back flow prevention.
    • Building upgrade to enable proper segregation of material storage (ingredients /packaging), waste material and waste material handling equipment.
    • Providing for change/lunch/washrooms that do not open into processing or packaging areas.
    • Equipment sanitizing stations.
    • Shatterproof lighting and windows.
    • Ventilation upgrade to prevent dust and condensation build up.
    • Ventilation to maintain positive air pressure.
    • Hand washing stations, soap and paper towel dispensers, hand sanitizing stations, footbaths, and related signage.
    • Facility modifications so food handling areas do not open directly outside.
    • Installing self-closing doors.
    • Water recirculation & treatment methods (e.g., ultraviolet, ozonation, filtering systems)
    • Personnel hygiene-dedicated lunchroom and storage facilities for personal items.
  • Incremental Storage upgrade:
    • Addition/upgrading cold storage/reefers, chillers, freezers.
    • Temperature monitoring devices, data loggers.
    • Storage for non-food chemicals, sanitizers, and chemical agents.
  • Incremental Equipment upgrade:
    • Equipment linked to control of significant food safety risks (e.g., hazards controlled at CCPs).
    • Equipment upgrades to food safety materials (non-toxic, smooth, and non-absorbent).
    • Initial set up and calibration of new equipment with direct impact on food safety.
    • Stainless steel worktables, food grade containers.
    • Instruments to monitor process parameters at CCPs (e.g., temperature monitoring devices, data loggers, pH meters, water activity meters).
    • Equipment/tools for testing chemical levels in water (e.g., chlorometer, ORP meter/automated chemical dispensing system).
    • Designated utensils (e.g., scoops, pails, containers, brushes, brooms, shovels, bins, totes).
  • Incremental Sanitation and pest control
    • One-time undertaking the pest control survey and establishing pest control program (routine inspections not included).
    • Cleaning equipment (e.g., hoses, nozzles, bin washers, floor cleaners).
    • Cleaning utensils to support the development of a utensil control system (e.g., color-coded brushes, squeegees).
    • Cleaning and sanitizing verification (e.g., ATP luminometer, micro and allergen test kits).
  • Containers suitable for chemical application/use, pre-mixing unit/automated chemical dispenser, foam systems.
    • Re-usable protective clothing (e.g., aprons, boots).
  • Foreign body detection
    • Metal detectors, magnets, parts.

2B. Other food safety improvements to meet regulatory compliance or have a strong impact on food safety.

  • Incremental third-party Consultation/ Advisory costs to:
    • Develop or improve written food safety program components (e.g., food safety policies, procedures, schedules, and records) for prerequisite programs, HACCP/PCP/OFFS and CCP validation.
    • Develop or improve traceability and recall plans. Conducting a “mock recall” is only eligible if not applying to the Traceability Adoption Program under Sustainable CAP.
  • Incremental third-party accredited Staff Training either on-line or in-person. A list of industry training courses may be found here.
    • One-time training of staff on newly developed or updated procedures, policies or practices related to food safety.
    • Food Safety Skills Development – Formal education or training course by a third-party accredited organization; includes manual/materials and training.
  • Validation of food safety process (outlined in HACCP plans/CCPs) control measures.
  • Baseline or Incremental Laboratory Analysis
    • One-time cost to establish or improve environmental monitoring program testing performed by an accredited third-party laboratory to obtain validation results.
    • Conduct shelf-life validation studies.

Please Note: Traceability Implementation – The development or improvement of traceability or recall plans, including training, are Eligible Activities under this category. However, funding for the purchase, installation and use of dedicated equipment, hardware or software required to specifically improve traceability capacity can only be accessed through the Traceability Adoption Program (TAP). Mock recall activities may be funded under one or the other of FSP or TAP.

Eligible Activities under this category must focus on final audits leading to successful certification(s) in nationally or internationally recognized food safety programs. Participants are eligible for multiple OFFS/HACCP Plans if they are incremental or new to the product being certified by the applicant. Annual re-certifications are not eligible.

Only final audit and certification costs by a third-party leading to a successful certification to the following accredited, national, and internally recognized food safety certification programs are eligible in this category.

The following list contains certifications recognized under the Food Safety Program. Please note that this list is not exclusive. Other certifications may be accepted but require preapproval by the Ministry.

Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Schemes:

  • British Retail Consortium (BRC)
  • Food Safety System Certification (FSSC) 22000
  • Global Red Meat Standards (GRMS)
  • International Food Safety Standard (IFS version 6)
  • PrimusGFS
  • Canada G.A.P.
  • Safe Quality Food (SQF 2000)
  • Global GAP

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Recognized Food Safety Plans:

  • Preventive Control Plans (PCPs) as per Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA)
  • Food Safety Enhancement Program (CFIA’s FSEP)
  • Canada Grains Council
  • Canadian Cattlemen’s Association Verified Beef Production
  • Canadian Cervid Alliance
  • Canadian Hatching Egg Producers: Canadian Hatching Egg Quality
  • Canadian Herbs, Spice and Natural Health Products Coalition
  • Canadian Honey Council
  • Canadian National Goat Federation: On-Farm Food Safety Program
  • Canadian On-Farm Food Safety Working Group
  • Canadian Pork Council: Canadian Quality Assurance Program
  • Canadian Sheep Federation: Food Safety Farm Practices: Canadian Verified Sheep Program
  • Canadian Trucking Alliance
  • Responsible Distribution Canada
  • Chicken Farmers of Canada: On-Farm Food Safety Assurance Program
  • Dairy Farmers of Canada: Canadian Quality Milk
  • Egg Farmers of Canada: Start Clean-Stay Clean
  • Ontario Veal Association: Veal Quality Assurance Program
  • Turkey Farmers of Canada: On-Farm Food Safety Program

Ineligible Activities and Costs

Process equipment for running the business (or enhancing productivity) as well as normal day-to-day operating costs associated with regular business are ineligible. Ineligible activities/costs include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Facility or equipment upgrade to only enhance operational performance and not linked to food hazard reduction.
  • Activities that are peripheral or not directly connected to food safety, including, but not limited to:
    • Dead-stock disposal and removal or general waste removal from the premises, such as garbage, compost, or recycling removal.
    • Activities that support food quality only rather than food safety.
    • Activities that support adapting to the requirements of the COVID 19 pandemic that are unrelated to food safety.
    • In-house (non-recognized) HACCP systems.
    • First aid related training (or training kits).
  • Traceability equipment.
  • Security cameras, pad locks, fencing, gravel or repairs external to the facility.
  • Any cost not specifically required for the execution of a project.
  • Non-food safety day-to-day operating costs; activities associated with carrying out a business, such as salaries and benefits of non-contract staff (e.g., full-time and part-time staff), office space, leasing and ongoing rental of facilities, equipment and machinery, utilities, phone, internet connection and data usage, materials, labor, board, committee and annual meetings.
  • Costs associated with food safety that are inherent in the day-to-day operations of the business or for the ongoing maintenance of a food safety program (e.g., ongoing expenses for employee salaries, consumables (cleaners, sanitizers), disposable gloves, hairnets, ingredients, packaging material, ongoing pest control services, laundry services, hiring of external sanitation crews; ongoing calibration).
  • Mentoring and coaching in-house.
  • Sponsorship of conferences and learning events or initiatives.
  • Any travel costs.
  • Purchase of vehicles (including reefer trucks, trailers for portable washrooms, etc.), furnishings, land, building and facilities.
  • Lease of land, buildings, and facilities for the purpose of starting up a new business or as p­art of normal operations.
  • Financing charges, loan interest payments, bank fees, and charges.
  • Any cost, including a tax, that is eligible for a rebate, credi­­­t, or refund (including a refundable portion of the Government Sales Tax).
  • Gifts and incentives.
  • Permits and approvals.
  • Legal fees.
  • Expenses incurred for the same activities that are also funded under other approved Provincial programs.
  • Costs incurred before the approval of the Eligible Activities in a Funding Agreement, or after the activity’s completion date identified in the Funding Agreement between a Participant and the Recipient.
  • Costs claimed by Eligible Participants after the end of the Term, or after the expiry of the time for making a claim included in a Funding Agreement, whichever occurs first.
  • Costs related to activities that promote British Columbia products explicitly over those of another province or territory; and
  • Costs related to activities that directly influence or lobby any level of government.

Applications

Important Dates

Applications will be accepted, starting on November 28th, 2023, on a rolling basis until funding is fully committed.

Due to high demand for 2024/25 fiscal year funding, the ongoing Food Safety Application window will close on March 15th, 2024, at 4:30PM. Applications may reopen in 2024/25 dependent on available program funding.

Eligible applicants will receive an invite from IAF within 10 business days of submission, to co-create a project workplan for the project with IAF’s Technical Program Advisor (TPA). If the project is approved, IAF will inform the applicant of the details of the decision and any associated terms and conditions by email within 4 weeks of a submitted workplan. To speed up the process, IAF will do our best to provide your details as quickly as possible, generally within 10 business days. Note, creation of a project workplan does not guarantee funding.

All activities for projects funded in the 2023/24 fiscal year must be complete by March 15th, 2024. Applications will continue to be received for 2024/25 fiscal year funding, but project activities must begin after April 1st, 2024. Please note that you must have an approved workplan by January 31st to be contracted for the 2023/24 fiscal year. If your workplan is approved after January 31st, you will be contracted for the 2024/25 fiscal year.

IAF will provide one week notice of application closure through the FSP webpage and the FSP newsletter. Reminder: submitting an application is not a guarantee of funding, projects are funded on a first-come, first served basis until funds are fully committed.

  • November 28, 2023 – Applications open
  • January 31, 2024 – Workplan deadline for the 2023/24 fiscal year funding.
  • March 15, 2024 – Project completion deadline for projects funded in the 2023/24 fiscal year.
  • March 15, 2024 – Application Deadline for 2024/25 fiscal year funding.
  • April 1, 2024 – Activities for projects funded in the 2024/25 fiscal year may begin.
  • January 31, 2025 – Workplan deadline for 2024/25 fiscal year funding.
  • March 15, 2025 – Project completion deadline for projects funded in the 2024/25 fiscal year.

Application Process

Applicants can apply through the IAF Client Portal. The application process will generally consist of:

REMINDER: Do not wait to start this process – it can take up to two business days to validate your organization!

Create a personal profile (name and email)

Provide organization information, including:

  • Name
  • Contact details
  • Type of organization
  • BC ID / CRA numbers
  • Primary contact
  • And more

IAF will validate your account, then you will receive an email granting you access to the portal. Please note this can take up to two business days.

Select the Food Safety Program from Funding Opportunities and provide:

  • Stream Selection
  • Applicant type
  • Project start & end dates
  • Alignment with program priorities
  • Description of key activities, who will oversee/undertake work, and timeline
  • Demonstrate how all technical, environmental, regulatory standards and/or requirements (as applicable) are met.
  • Copies of relevant documents (e.g., a letter of commitment from their Senior Management team to confirm their commitment to the improvement of their food safety system; a provincial or federal operating license, if one is required for the business; a letter from financial institution confirming the applicant’s ability to provide its share of the shared costs for, and to complete, the Eligible Activities; and documents supporting other requirements for eligibility that may be set by the Province.)
  • Performance measurement information
  • Funding request / project budget
  • Performance measurement information
  • Funding request / project budget

Eligible applicants will receive an invite from IAF within 10 business days of submission, to co-create a project workplan for the project with IAF’s Technical Program Advisor (TPA).

Applicants may be required to provide supplementary materials in support of their application (e.g., budget, water license, change approval). These documents can be uploaded through the IAF Client Portal as attachments to the application.

IAF staff are available to answer questions regarding eligible activities, costs and/or the application process. IAF may also contact applicants for additional information or clarification to assess their application. Applicants can contact foodsafety@iafbc.ca with any questions about the program or to receive support in developing their application.

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

Need help with IAF’s Client Portal?

We’ve created a number of tutorials and FAQs about the IAF Client Portal to help you navigate this resource successfully.

Demographic Information

As this program is funded under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, you are required to provide additional demographic information. The demographic information is collected by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and must be done prior to submitting your application. To provide your demographic information:

  • Start drafting your application in the IAF Client Portal.
  • Copy your application ID (it will be provided to you at the Demographic data section of the application, or see the top of your application form). You will need to put this ID into the Ministry’s form.
  • Visit the Ministry’s webpage through the link on the application and complete the form. (Note: this will open a new browser tab).
  • Once the form is complete, copy the Ministry’s confirmation number and enter it in the application form. It should look something like this AB123456

Note: Demographic information will not be used to assess eligibility for the program.

Review and Adjudication

The FSP is a first-come, first-served program; therefore, applicants must be clear and specific about the food safety results their projects will achieve. Prior to funding decisions being made, project applications are screened and reviewed by IAF. This review involves:

  • Ensuring application completeness.
  • Organization/Applicant eligibility check.
  • Project alignment and eligibility check.

If eligible, IAF will reach out to the applicant within 10 business days of submission, to co-create a project workplan for the project. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until funding is fully committed. All decisions regarding application status are final. All applicants will receive a funding decision email from IAF via the IAF Client Portal.

Notifications & Obligations

Funding Notifications & Contracts

If the project is approved, IAF will inform the applicant of the details of the decision and any associated terms and conditions by email within 4 weeks of a submitted workplan. To speed up the process, IAF will do our best to provide your details as quickly as possible, generally within 10 business days.

Funding is application and project-specific and must be used for the approved project and related expenses. Funds are non-transferable. Retroactive costs will not be considered.

Projects funded in 2023 may begin on or after the Contractual Funding Agreement is signed and must be completed by March 15, 2024. If the project is not approved, the applicant will receive a written response from IAF.

Changes to Contracted Projects

If you are not able to complete your project according to the approved workplan, please inform the IAF Team as soon as possible using the IAF Client Portal.

Funding Acknowledgement

This program is funded by the Governments of Canada and British Columbia through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership. As such, acknowledgement of funding is required when publicly communicating about a project and/or funding. To ensure appropriate acknowledgement, all communications and marketing materials, including public announcements or social media posts, must be pre-approved by the IAF Communications Team. Details on correctly acknowledging funding can be found on the project resource hub. Materials can be submitted via the IAF Client Portal.

Reporting Requirements

Successful applicants must complete a final report prior to receiving funds from the program. This report must be filled out and submitted to IAF along with all invoices for the project to be considered for funding reimbursement. It is important that the final report is submitted on time and with all required information. Expenses will be reimbursed based on the submitted receipts, the approved project budget, and the corresponding cost-share ratio. All reporting will be completed via the IAF Client Portal.

Apply

Applications are Closed

Due to high demand for 2024/25 fiscal year funding, applications closed on March 15th, 2024, at 4:30PM. Applications may reopen in 2024/25 dependent on available program funding.

Resources

Definitions

A Critical Control Point (CCP) is any manufacturing step at which the application of a control measure is essential to prevent or eliminate any biological, chemical, or physical hazard that presents a risk of contamination of a food or to reduce the hazard to an acceptable level. Critical control points are essential components of a HACCP food safety program to produce safe products.

Farm products are produced and handled under a wide range of conditions, using a variety of farming inputs and technologies (e.g., agricultural chemicals, commercial fertilizers, veterinary drugs etc.) and on various sizes of farms. Biological, chemical, and physical hazards may therefore vary significantly from one operation to another. Each operation will need to consider the Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs) that promote the safety of products, considering the conditions specific to the site, the type of produce and the production/handling methods used. Once produce is contaminated, removing, or killing pathogens is difficult. Therefore, prevention of microbial contamination at all steps from production to distribution is strongly favored over treatments to eliminate contamination after it has occurred.

Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) guidelines provide guidance for manufacturing, testing, and quality assurance to ensure that a food product is safe for human consumption. Many countries legislate that food manufacturers follow GMP procedures. GMP guidelines are not prescriptive instructions on how to manufacture products but are a series of general principles that must be observed during manufacturing. When a company is setting up its quality program and manufacturing process, there may be many ways it can fulfill GMP requirements. It is the company’s responsibility to determine the most effective and efficient quality process. GMP certification shows that your staff is trained to properly perform their duties, informs your clients that you have documented, written and functioning GMPs, and that quality is built into your product.

HACCP is a systematic and preventive approach to food safety that is the basis of all food safety management systems. It is the most recognized and trusted food safety program in the industry and is globally recognized. It is recommended by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, and the United Nations international standards organization for food safety. Having a functional and certified HACCP system promotes the marketability of your products in the international marketplace. HACCP based certification informs your clients that you have a documented, functional, and properly managed HACCP Food Safety System that consistently ensures your product safety.

There are several benefits to be gained by implementing a HACCP-based system:

  • HACCP is globally recognized as a proven, food safety system and is the global basis for many other certifications.
  • Many regulatory bodies require some food sectors to be HACCP certified.
  • Many buyers will only do business with HACCP certified companies.
  • HACCP certification is almost always required for export.
  • Your business is at a competitive disadvantage if you are not HACCP certified.

A Preventive Control Plan (PCP) is a written plan outlining how you ensure that food is safe and fit for consumption and conforms to consumer protection and animal welfare requirements, as applicable. Using preventive controls to prevent, eliminate or reduce to an acceptable (safe) level hazards associated with food products is an internationally accepted approach based on the CODEX Alimentarius General Principles of Food Hygiene.

The Agricultural Land Reserve Use Regulation defines a controlled environment structure as a structure that provides a controlled environment intended to intensify crop production.

  • This includes:
    • Vertical farming systems.
    • Rotating tray systems.
    • Any other structure that minimizes the use of land, controls the use of light, air, water or nutrients or relies in whole or in part on automation.
  • This does not include:
    • A greenhouse.
    • A structure for mushroom production.
    • A structure described in section 8 (1) (b) or (2) that is used for producing cannabis in accordance with section 8.

FAQ

Your organization must register through the IAF Client Portal to apply to IAF programs. Please note, if you have not already registered this process can take up to 2 business days and must be completed before the application deadline.

Retroactive costs will not be considered. All projects must receive IAF approval before starting activities or incurring any project costs. Project start dates are as of approval.

IAF provides payments by EFT (direct deposit). To get your EFT information set up to ensure timely delivery of your payment(s), please follow the directions provided here to update your client portal.

No, provided the last time you completed the form was in the same fiscal year, you can input the confirmation number provided by the Ministry into another application form.

If you last completed the form a year or more ago, please complete a new Demographic Data Collection Survey for IAF Applicants.

Yes. The purpose of the Food Safety Program is to advance a company’s already existing strategies through cost-sharing. If you have a set budget or limited resources, we can work within the budget that you have allotted to spend, and the funding should assist you in bringing on the help that you need.

Yes. The program funds pre-audit assessments as well as third party HACCP-based audits. We encourage all eligible businesses, no matter where you are on the food safety spectrum, to apply for program funding!

All new third-party HACCP certifications are eligible for funding. You must successfully pass your audit and achieve your HACCP-based certification to be funded, unsuccessful audits won’t be reimbursed. Annual re- certifications are not eligible.

A “Valid form of Gap-Assessment/ Pre-audit” is a pre-requisite to accessing funding under Category 2: Food Safety Implementation. While there are many types of industry assessments that may be accepted, an official definition of the type of assessments that are considered valid when applying to the program is available in the definitions section above.

If you don’t have a valid Gap-Assessment/ Pre-Audit, or yours has expired, Stream 1: On-Farm of FSP will fund eligible on-farm businesses to get an assessment done. Once approved, your organization will enter into a Contractual Funding Agreement with the program for the purposes of funding/ reimbursing a Gap-Assessment/ Pre-Audit for your business. The Contractual Funding Agreement must be signed & submitted before you may start your activities.

*Any activity occurring before your contractual funding agreement starting date will not be reimbursed. Only assessments conducted by Accredited Food Safety Professionals (AFSP) will be considered valid and eligible for reimbursement.

Each facility is unique, therefore, funding is determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on what a company needs most to move it along the food safety spectrum. In general, all participants are eligible for the full funding limit. You will work with the Technical Program Advisor (TPA) to develop a Workplan that is right for your business.

No. Seafood establishments are not eligible for this program.

The Food Safety Program will consider a microgreen producer eligible for funding, even when they do not qualify for “farm status” due to the BC Assessment requirements for amount of land in production, as long as they meet all other Food Safety Program eligibility requirements and employ a controlled environment structure.

The Agricultural Land Reserve Use Regulation defines a controlled environment structure as a structure that provides a controlled environment intended to intensify crop production.

  • This includes:
    • Vertical farming systems.
    • Rotating tray systems.
    • Any other structure that minimizes the use of land, controls the use of light, air, water or nutrients or relies in whole or in part on automation.
  • This does not include:
    • A greenhouse.
    • A structure for mushroom production.
    • A structure described in section 8 (1) (b) or (2) that is used for producing cannabis in accordance with section 8.

No – Stream 1: On-Farm funding cannot be used for processing activities. For processing activities, you need to apply for Stream 2: Post-Farm funding.

In general, Post-Farm processes begin where the On-Farm product loses its original form. For example, peeling/cutting of fruits and vegetables, slaughter of poultry/animals, etc. In case of ambiguity, please discuss this with the Technical Program Advisor (TPA). Under no circumstance should you apply for the same activity under both funding programs.

No – The On-Farm funding can only be used for improving the food safety. Animal welfare and environment sustainability (improving water/air/land quality etc.) are peripheral activities not directly connected to food safety.

In general, Post-Farm processes begin where the On-Farm product loses its original form. For example, peeling/cutting of fruits and vegetables, slaughter of poultry/animals, etc. In case of ambiguity please discuss this with the Technical Program Advisor (TPA). Under no circumstance should you apply for the same activity under both funding programs.

No. Eligible Participants ONLY seeking funding for one or more OFFS or HACCP certification audit(s) can apply for those activities with no need for an on-site food safety assessment.

Eligible Participants seeking funding for food safety improvements or combination of food safety improvements and OFFS/HACCP certification audits, need a completed on-site food safety assessment, which is a pre-requisite to funding for those other components.

Yes. In lieu of the on-site assessment, participants may submit their most recent (within 1 year) annual provincial, federal inspection report or food safety compliance audit report from an accredited Certifying Body (CB) to IAF for consideration by IAF’s technical expert based on FSP eligibility guidelines. If approved, the participant may proceed for funding without the need for an on-site food safety assessment. If the submission is not approved, the participant will need to complete their on-site assessment by an accredited food safety professional prior to seeking funding for food safety improvements.

Eligible Participants that have never been inspected or audited, or have not been inspected/audited for more than 1 year, by federal, provincial, or accredited Certification Body (CB), need to complete their on-site assessment by an accredited food safety professional before they are eligible funding for food safety improvements.

Claims may be submitted with your project reporting in IAF’s Client Portal. Please view the project resource hub for more details on reporting.

You cannot submit claims against partially completed projects. You can only submit claims once all activities under the respective project are completed.

Have a Question?

Contact the IAF Team

Want to Join the pre-approved Accredited Food Safety Professionals List?

Please submit a request form.

Comments or Concerns?

Please complete the Food Safety Program’s dispute resolution form and an IAF staff member will be in touch.

Program Guide

Download the Program Guide.

Funding Acknowledgement Requirements

Download the Funding Acknowledgement Requirements.

Have an Active Project?

Please visit the program’s Project Resource Hub for more information.

Program Support Resources

Accredited Food Safety Professionals

A list of pre-approved Accredited Food Safety Professionals.

Certifying Bodies

A list of pre-approved Certifying Bodies who are able to undertake a Gap Assessment for FSP.

Industry Training Courses & Food Safety Software

View a list of industry training courses for food safety and food safety software.

Land Owner Statement

Download the Land Owner Statement form for the Food Safety Program.

Ministry Provided Resources

BC Centre for Disease Control Resources

View Resources on Food Safety provided by the BC Centre for Disease Control

BC Food Safety Act

View BC’s Food Safety Act.

BC Food Safety Act: Meat Inspection Regulation

View the Meat Inspection Regulation section of the Food Safety Act.

BC Government: Food Traceability

Learn about regulations and funding related to traceability.

BC Government: Food Safety & Sanitation Plans

B.C. food processors are required to develop, maintain, and follow a written Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)-based food safety plan and sanitation plan.

BC Milk Industry Act

View the Milk Industry Act

BC Milk Industry Standards Regulation

View the Milk Industry Standards Regulation section of the Milk Industry Act

BC Public Health Act: Food Premises Regulation

View the Food Premises Regulation section of the Public Health Act

CFIA: Food Labelling for Industry

The Industry Labelling Tool is the food labelling reference for all food inspectors and stakeholders in Canada.

CFIA: Preparing a Preventative Control Plan

A Step-by-Step Guide for Preparing a Preventive Control Plan provided by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

CFIA: Toolkit for Food Businesses

If your business is new to federal food regulations, follow these steps to help understand the requirements of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), as well as other food-related requirements.

Government of Canada: Agriculture, food, forestry and fishing regulations

If you operate a business in the agriculture and agri-food industry, you should be aware of the regulations that apply to your operations.

SAI Global

Free webinars and white papers on BRC, SQF, GFSI and HACCP

Safe Food for Canadians (SFCR)

SFCR generally applies to businesses that import or prepare food for export or interprovincial trade.

Funding for this program has been provided by the Governments of Canada and British Columbia through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

SCAP Logo, Province of BC Logo, Government of Canada Logo

Please note: the program funders 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.