Bakers Journal

Health and safety funding

March 31, 2020
By Bonny Koabel CPA, CGA

Bakeries can receive up to $250,000 in Government funding

PHOTO CREDIT: © kalpis / adobe stock

On January 15, 2019 Safe Food for Canadian Regulations (SFCR) came into effect, requiring all food manufacturers including bakeries to have a quality system in place. While some requirements were immediate, food manufacturers have between 12 to 30 months to phase in the rest of the requirements including food safety preventative measures and traceability protocols.

Meeting SFCR will require most bakeries to establish a food quality system, whether your product is sold only in Ontario requiring a HACCP Food Quality System, or nationally and internationally, which requires BRC or SQF Food Quality Systems. If your company requires a food quality system, you will be very pleased to learn that the Canadian Government can assist you with funding for training and certification of your Food Quality System through the Canada Job Grant.

Canada Job Grant
The Canada Job Grant (CJG) assists employers with third party training of their existing employees. CJG’s goal is to increase the skill level of Canada’s existing workforce and help Canadian companies become globally competitive.

CJG may be used for any type of third party training a company requires including Quality System, Sales, Accounting software and ERP software training. CJG applicants must use a Canadian based training company in order to receive funding.

What types of costs will the CJG funding cover?

CJG funding will cover the following costs related to implementing a Food Quality System:

  • Fees charged by training providers
  • Textbooks, software and small testing equipment required for the training
  • Quality System certification fees

How much Funding?
The funding is up to $10,000 per employee and varies per province and territory. Below are the funding amounts for Ontario:

(A) Funding for Less than 100 Employees
The CJG covers 80 per cent of the training costs to a maximum of $10,000 per employee. For example, if a company spends $15,000 in training an employee, they will receive the maximum Training Grant amount of $12,000.

(B) Funding for More than 100 Employees
COJG covers 50 per cent of the training costs to a maximum of $10,000 per employee. For example, if a company spends $15,000 in training an employee, they will receive the maximum Training Grant amount of $7,500 per employee.

When Should I Apply for the CJG?
In order to answer this question, we need to understand more about the Federal Grants in Canada.

  1. A Grant is a limited amount of funding that must be approved before any expenditures are made. If you apply for the CJG when training is in process, or after training is complete, your company will be ineligible to receive the grant. You need to apply for the CJG and get an approval before the training starts.
  2. CJG opens at the start of the Government fiscal year, which is April 1st, and ends March 31 of the following year. It is recommended that companies apply for all required training for the Government’s current fiscal year as soon as possible to ensure funding.

Proof of payment needs to be provided to the Government in order to receive reimburse for the training costs. It takes at least 6 weeks to receive your training CJG funding from the date proof of payment is submitted.

Once the CJG application form is completed you submit it online, and a government representative will get in touch with you. The government representative will review the application and ask for any additional details they need. The approval decision will be made within a few weeks of your meeting with the Government Representative.

Keep the CJG in mind for all company training needs; even if there are no training needs today, maybe you can use it in years come. Remember to apply early, as close to the start of the Government fiscal year as possible to ensure your funding.

As part of your Food Quality System upgrades to your plant you may require new flooring and refrigeration. You have also need safety equipment such as a metal detector. In order to cover the costs of these expenses, you can apply for the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) funding program that will be opening sometime in the spring.

CAP opened in 2018 and is a 5 year, $3-billion Grant initiative by the Federal, Provincial and Territorial governments to assist Canada’s food manufacturers. CAP has many different funding streams to support food safety initiatives including:

  • Enterprise Resource Planning and Supply Chain Management Systems – CAP covers 35 per cent of costs up to $100,000
  • Food Safety and Traceability System Improvements – CAP covers 50 per cent of costs up to $75,000
  • Food Safety Equipment – CAP covers 35 per cent up of costs up to $10,000
  • Traceability Equipment – CAP covers 35 per cent of costs up to $10,000

When do I get the funding?
In order to receive payment, you need to provide the Government an invoice for the expenses and proof of payment. Once the Government receives this documentation it takes at least 6 weeks to receive your CAP funding.

How Does CAP Funding Work?
CAP opens at different times of year depending on the province or territory. In Ontario, CAP opens twice a year, in the spring and the fall: CAP is a competitive funding program and applicants are not guaranteed funding. If you apply and are denied, you may reapply.

It is also important to mention that you must wait for funding approval before moving forward with the expenditures. If you spend before receiving CAP approval, those will be disqualified from funding.

In order to find out more about funding in your Province or Territory please see the following links:

Only Nunavut if left to announce their funding.

CAP funding will be available until 2023 which gives you plenty of time to apply for funding and make the food safety requirements that you need for your bakery.

How do I apply for the CJG?
Here are the links for the Provincial and Territorial CJR funding websites:

Bonny Koabel CPA, CGA is President of AKR Consulting Canada a Mississauga, ON firm specializing in Government Grants, Subsidies, Tax Credits, Refunds and Rebates to the Food Industry since 2003.

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