November 14, 2023 by Craig Hoover

Agri-food incentives you can’t afford to ignore

If you’re an agri‑food processor or manufacturer, there are a number of valuable government incentives available to your business. However, to access these programs, you will need to navigate a complex web of requirements. From an organizational perspective, this is extremely challenging, and many companies overlook incentives because they simply don’t have time to do the research. Fortunately, we’ve already put in the work, ensuring no opportunity is overlooked and all the necessary paperwork is skillfully and strategically prepared on your behalf. To begin with, clients interested in incentives should always consider the most valuable programs available, which are detailed below.


Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) and Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SODF) provide interest‑free loans up to 15 per cent of project costs for companies investing in expanding their facilities and production equipment to increase production and bring new innovations to market. If the project is located in a rural area, the program can provide a grant up to 15 per cent (capped at $500,000) of eligible project costs. To qualify, companies must employ at least 10 people (five if located in a rural area) with a commitment to hire at least five new employees, and up to 30 per cent of the loan (to a maximum of $500,000) may be forgiven if your company achieves its hiring and spending targets. This program includes a lengthy application form that requires cash flow forecasts, market research and a business case, so it's a significant time commitment. In addition, the program is highly competitive, so it’s essential you speak to an advisor and determine your potential ⁠–⁠ and how you should structure your application ⁠–⁠ before attempting to apply.


Intended to assist high‑growth firms in their efforts to scale up, expand and support new technologies, the FedDev Ontario Business Scale‑up and Productivity Program provides repayable interest‑free loans covering up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs. The intention of this program is to encourage early adoption of new technologies and processes to improve productivity and foster innovation. Unlike EODF and SWODF (which are only available in Ontario), this program is available in multiple provinces across Canada and any business expanding a manufacturing facility could qualify. By offering interest‑free loans in a time of incredibly high interest rates, FedDev emerges as the most lucrative incentive program in Canada today. For a company to qualify, it must be hiring, and its project must meet specific criteria related to the environment, international markets and automation. In other words, the project in question should be focused on clean tech manufacturing.

Agriculture and Agri‑Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri‑Food Canada offers several programs that can be accessed by businesses anywhere in the country. This includes programs such as the Poultry and Egg On‑Farm Investment Program (PEFIP) and Supply Management Processing Investment Fund (SMPIF), both of which support new automation, technologies, expansion and increased productivity.

Tax credits

On top of all the programs covered above, there are tax credits available in each province focused on offsetting capital costs associated with manufacturing and agri‑food production. These tax credits generally cover 10 per cent of costs and work separately from grants, so your business could simultaneously take advantage of both. Like all the details above, this is a streamlined overview of a complicated topic, but you can count on your Baker Tilly advisor to consider every complexity, ensuring your business makes the most of the agri‑food incentives available.

Meet the Author

Craig Hoover Craig Hoover
Windsor, Ontario
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