Frequently Asked Questions
The BC Agrifood and Seafood Market Development 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.
The BC Agrifood and Seafood Market Development 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.
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 BCASMD Program enables industry to apply for cost-shared funding opportunities from preparing for business in domestic and international markets by acquiring marketing skills training, conducting market research and developing strategic plans to helping experienced exporters expand their markets and sales outside of B.C.
Steps to Funding
Part A - Eligibility Confirmation Form
Notice of Eligibility
Engage with a Pre-qualified consultant
For Market Research and Market Development Planning applications only
Part B - Project Details Form
Market Skills Training – Supporting the ability of permanent marketing staff within an eligible organization to complete eligible market skills training courses at qualified educational institutions. List of pre-qualified Marketing courses.
Marketing Information & Research – Identifying, analysing and understanding current and emerging opportunities in BC, across Canada and internationally by:
- Contracting pre-qualified consultants to conduct new market research studies (new research or analyzing secondary research); and/or
- Purchasing existing market information or market research studies from qualified market research firms (i.e. existing secondary market research).
Market Development Planning – Contracting pre-qualified consultants to develop marketing plans, export plans, or branding strategies for marketing in BC, across Canada or internationally.
Export Market Development Activities & Export-focused Marketing Collateral and Promotional Tools – Undertaking international and interprovincial* market development activities such as:
- trade shows, food fairs, sales exhibitions;
- trade missions and trade advocacy events;
- market access activities;
- buyers’ meetings/networking events;
- in-store promotions/demonstrations; and/or
- designing, developing, translating, printing/producing marketing collateral and promotional tools to promote specific products in export markets
*Due to funding agreement limitations, seafood processors/cooperatives/industry associations are not eligible for cost-shared funding support of interprovincial-focused market development activities.
Applicant organizations must have a head office or be registered in BC and market products grown or processed* in BC. Eligible participants are:
- Primary agriculture producers (Please note that while agriculture producers are eligible for support, seafood producers (e.g. fishers and harvesters) are not eligible);
- Agriculture, food & beverage processors and/or seafood processors;
- Agriculture, food & beverage cooperatives; and
- Recognized agriculture, food & beverage and seafood industry associations, boards or councils.
Producers, Processors and Cooperatives must have annual gross revenues greater than $30,000 in the most recent two years to be eligible for the program.
* BC processed food is any food, seafood or beverage product processed and packaged in BC with more than 85% of the product’s main ingredients produced in BC. In cases where the main ingredients are not reasonably available in BC in sufficient quantities, the food must be processed and packaged entirely in BC.
Funding is available on a first-come, competitive basis until funds have been fully allocated. Participants must contribute 50% in cash of the total project cost. In-kind contributions can be included as part of the overall project budget, but are not eligible for matching funding.
All Final Project Reports (including all receipted expenditures) must be completed and submitted within one month of project end date (your anticipated project completion date will be included in your application). The program will run from September 2018 – February 2023.
If this is your first time applying to the program, complete Part A of the Application (Eligibility Confirmation Form) and submit your completed form to IAF at funding(at)iafbc.ca.
NOTE: There are two versions of Part A, one for Producers, Processors & Cooperatives and another for Industry Associations, Boards and Councils. Please ensure you are selecting the correct Part A.
Once submitted, Part A of the Application will be assessed by the Ministry of Agriculture to confirm your organization’s eligibility for cost-shared funding through the BC Agrifood and Seafood Market Development Program. If required, the Ministry will follow up with your organization directly to seek further information or clarification. You must provide all information requested in the application form to demonstrate your eligibility.
Please allow 7 to 10 business days for Part A of the application to be reviewed and your eligibility confirmed.
Please note that applicants who re-apply to the Program will only be required to submit an updated Part A of the Application (Eligibility Confirmation Form) if there have been changes to the Designated Officer (e.g. CEO/Chairperson/President, Senior Final Officer/Treasurer, Executive Director, etc.) who signed the previously submitted application or if ownership of the business has changed.
Upon confirmation of eligibility by the Ministry, IAF will then provide your organization with written confirmation of program eligibility along with instructions to complete and submit Part B(s) of the Application (Project Details Form) to provide details on the specific project and activity(s) you are undertaking.
Please note that confirmation of eligibility (e.g. submission and approval of Part A of the Application) does not guarantee that your organization’s project will receive funding. Funding decisions will be made by IAF based on the project details you provide in Part B of the Application and availability of funding.
For applicants pursuing Market Research and Market Development Planning applications only.
Upon written confirmation of program eligibility from IAF, your organization will contact one or more of the pre-qualified consultants to request a quote for services and discuss your project.
The pre-qualified consultant will provide you with a completed Project Overview Form that provides a description of project activities and associated costs. This information will help you complete Part B of the application form.
Complete and submit a fully completed Part B of the Application (Project Details Form).
Based on a review of the information provided in the application, IAF may request further supplementary documentation, such as a marketing plan, to assist in making an approval decision.
The IAF board will meet to review applications and make funding decisions. Our directors are farmers and food processors from a variety of sectors who bring valuable expertise to the table. Rest assured your application will be considered by a knowledgeable panel of industry peers.
Following the adjudication of the applications IAF will be in contact with you as soon as possible. If your project is approved, you will receive confirmation with the details of the decision and any terms and conditions.
To apply for the BC Agrifood & Seafood Market Development Program please complete Part A of the Application (Eligibility Confirmation Form) and submit to IAF at funding(at)iafbc.ca.
Following the successful completion of Part A, IAF staff will provide Part B(s) of the Application (Project Details Form) directly to eligible participants.
Funding Acknowledgement RequirementsProject materials must recognize the Government funding 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.
For more information
ARE YOU BASED IN BRITISH COLUMBIA?
All applicants must have a head office in B.C. or be entitled (including being appropriately registered, licensed or certified, as appropriate) to do business in B.C.
WHAT ARE THE ELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES UNDER THE BC AGRIFOOD AND SEAFOOD MARKET DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM (BCASMDP)?
Marketing Skills Training
Supporting the ability of permanent marketing staff within an eligible organization to complete eligible marketing skills training courses at qualified educational institutions.
Market Information & Research
Identifying, analyzing and understanding current and emerging market opportunities in B.C., across Canada and internationally by:
(A) contracting pre-qualified consultants to conduct new market research studies (i.e. conducting primary market research and/or analyzing secondary market research to provide customized market intelligence); and/or,
(B) purchasing existing market information or market research studies from qualified market research firms (i.e. existing secondary market research).
Market Development Planning
Contracting pre-qualified consultants to develop marketing plans, export plans or branding strategies for markets in B.C., across Canada or internationally.
Export Market Development Activities and Export-Focused Marketing Collateral and Promotional Tools
Undertaking interprovincial*/international market development activities such as tradeshows, food fairs, and sales exhibitions; trade missions and trade advocacy events; market access activities; buyers’ meetings/networking events; and in-store promotions/demonstrations; and, designing, developing, translating, printing/producing marketing collateral and promotional tools to promote specific agrifood/seafood products in B.C.’s export markets.
*Please note that seafood processors/cooperatives/industry associations are not eligible for cost-shared funding support for interprovincial-focused market development activities
WHO IS ELIGIBLE UNDER THE BCASMDP?
The following BC-based applicants are eligible to receive cost-shared funding:
- primary agriculture producer*;
- agriculture, food and beverage, and/or seafood processor**;
- agriculture, food and beverage cooperative***;
- recognized agriculture, food and beverage and or seafood industry association, board, or council****;
To be considered for cost-shared funding, an eligible applicant must:
- have a head office in B.C. or be entitled (including being appropriately registered, licensed or certified, as appropriate) to do business in B.C.;
- be selling or marketing a product that is grown or processed***** in B.C.;
- have the ability to provide, and commit to providing a minimum percentage of the total Project budget in cash, towards eligible Project costs as follows:
- 50% for producers, processors and cooperatives;
- 30% for industry associations, boards, or councils; and
- have total annual gross revenues (i.e. sales) of at least $30,000 for the two most recent consecutive years (only applies to producers, processors and cooperatives).
* Please note that while agriculture producers are eligible for support, seafood producers (e.g. fishers and harvesters) are not eligible.
** Processing food, beverage, or agricultural and seafood products which are processed and packaged in B.C. with more than 85% of the product’s main ingredients produced in BC (note: in cases where the main ingredients are not reasonably available in BC in sufficient quantities, the food must be processed and packaged entirely in B.C.
*** Producing fresh food, beverage, or agricultural products which are 100% grown or raised in B.C.
**** Industry associations, boards, or councils that represent B.C. agrifood and seafood sector businesses /organizations.
***** Food, beverage, agricultural or seafood products which are processed and packaged in B.C. with more than 85% of the product’s main ingredients produced in BC(note: in cases where the main ingredients are not reasonably available in BC in sufficient quantities, the food must be processed and packaged entirely in B.C.
IS THERE A LIST OF PRE-QUALIFIED CONSULTANTS WHO CAN UNDERTAKE MARKET RESEARCH AND MARKET DEVELOPMENT PLANNING PROJECTS?
Please see the full list of pre-qualified consultants
IS THERE A LIST OF ELIGIBLE MARKETING SKILLS TRAINING COURSES?
Please see the full list of eligible courses.
ARE CANNABIS PRODUCTS ELIGIBLE?
Cannabis is not currently eligible for cost-shared funding through the BCASMDP. Once cannabis has been legalized and a sales and distribution system is operationalized, the eligibility of this product will be revisited by the Ministry of Agriculture and any changes to eligibility will be communicated through the Program website.
ARE THERE ANY TYPES OF PROJECTS THAT ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR FUNDING?
The following types of projects are NOT eligible for funding under this Program:
- The normal operations of a business or organization (i.e., hiring staff, holding a conference or annual meeting etc.) which are not intended to address the objectives of this program;
- Purchasing capital expenses (e.g., land, buildings, fences, equipment, computers, mobile phones, tools, packaging plate costs, seed, livestock);
- Website/IT systems upgrades, or building and implementing an e-commerce tool/site;
- Sponsorship (requesting funds to support or sponsor a third-party activity);
- Any costs related to providing product samples at a reduced cost or free;
- Social media such as Facebook and Twitter as stand-alone activities (note: using social media to promote agrifood/seafood products is an eligible activity, if part of a broader marketing campaign);
- Cannabis-related marketing or promotional activities;
- Buying, starting or expanding a farm or business;
- Direct income support;
- Lobbying or influencing any level of government;
- 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.
ARE TRANSLATION/INTERPRETATION 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 and/or Certified interpretation services for approved market development activities. An estimate from a Certified translation/interpretation service should be included with your Application. The maximum cost-share for translation/interpretation services is $5,000.
Note: A copy of the English and translated materials may be requested and must be available upon request.
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 cost-shared funding.
WHAT PERFORMANCE MEASURES DO I NEED TO TRACK AND REPORT ON?
HOW DO I APPLY?
First-time applicants who apply for cost-shared funding, are required to complete and submit multiple applications to IAF, including:
- Part A (Eligibility Confirmation Form) which will be assessed by the Ministry to confirm the applicant’s eligibility for cost-shared funding;
- Part B (Project Details Form) which will be reviewed by IAF’s Board of Directors to determine if the applicant’s proposed project and activities are approved for cost-shared funding.
DO I HAVE TO COMPLETE PART A OF THE APPLICATION (ELIGIBILITY CONFIRMATION FORM), AND PART B OF THE APPLICATION (PROJECT DETAILS FORM EACH TIME I APPLY FOR FUNDING?
HOW MUCH CAN I APPLY FOR?
HOW MUCH MONEY (IN CASH) DO I NEED TO CONTRIBUTE TO MY PROJECT?
Producers, processors and cooperatives must have the ability to provide, and commit to providing 50% of the total project budget in cash towards eligible project costs.
Industry associations, boards, and councils must have the ability to provide, and commit to providing 30% of the total project budget in cash towards eligible project costs.
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 submitted to the IAF for review and approval by the BC Government prior to publishing. For more information on funding acknowledgement: Funding Recognition Requirements
WHEN CAN I ISSUE A MEDIA RELEASE TO ANNOUNCE THE FUNDED PROJECT?
The BC Government and IAF 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 prior consent of the BC Ministry of Agriculture. For more information: Funding Recognition Requirements
WHEN IS MY FINAL PROJECT REPORT DUE?
The deadline for your final project report will be specific to your project. Interim project reports may be required. Please contact a Program Manager for further details.
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 BCASMDP to contact IAF directly at funding(at)iafbc.ca or phone 250-356-1662.