Ontario’s greenhouse industry has witnessed rapid growth over the last decade. Nowhere else in Canada has a larger or faster growing greenhouse sector than in Ontario, who dominates with over two-thirds all Canadian greenhouse vegetable production. From 2011 to 2016, Ontario added 25.7 million square feet (29.8% increase) of greenhouse vegetable space. This 5-year space increase exceeds production in every province combined except for British Columbia.

This intense growth improves Ontario’s economy and improves food availability/options for consumers, which is why the province has launched a new government grant in support of commercial greenhouse producers. The Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative (GCII) funds projects that help commercial greenhouses increase competitiveness, enter new markets, or expand in current markets.

The Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative provides up to 90% of project expenses to a maximum $0.14/sq. ft. of production space.

Applications for GCII greenhouse grants are accepted on a continuous basis until September 28, 2018. For those businesses approved through the program, expenses can be claimed retroactively until March 23, 2017. All projects must be completed by September 20, 2019.

Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative

Consumers have expressed growing interest in locally-sourced fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers over recent years, which has led to significant expansion of greenhouse space in Ontario. This growth improves domestic options and availability, but also means greenhouses can begin exporting products internationally.

The Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative (GCII) is an Ontario government grant that returns up to 90% of eligible project expenses back to businesses who are improving the province’s greenhouse sector. Greenhouse businesses can apply for up to two projects that directly improve competitiveness, innovation, and access to new markets.

Projects Suitable for GCII Greenhouse Grants Ontario

Some of the business-expanding projects identified for funding support through GCII include:

  • Energy Efficiency;
  • Input Reduction;
  • Production Improvement;
  • Biosecurity;
  • Waste Management;
  • Traceability and Food Safety;
  • Labour Production Efficiency;
  • Business Planning; and
  • Marketing.

GCII Greenhouse Funds: Eligible Businesses

To qualify for the Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative (GCII), applicants must:

  • Be an Ontario-based commercial greenhouse businesses in Ontario;
  • Grow or propagate vegetables, fruit, culinary herbs, or floriculture; and
  • Have had at least 20,000 sq. ft. of production area as of March 23, 2017.

How to Apply for GCII Greenhouse Funding

To apply for the Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative, greenhouse businesses must prepare and submit a comprehensive application package that includes:

  • Farm business information;
  • A greenhouse business plan; and
  • Project (activity) information.

Applications can be submitted to the Agricultural Adaptation Council anytime until the September 28, 2018 program deadline. Generally, applicants will be informed about a decision on their application within 20 days of submission.

To discuss your project’s suitability for GCII, or to receive support throughout the application process, please contact a Government Funding Planner™.

Apply for Canadian Government Funding

This post originally appeared on Mentor Works. Mentor Works helps established for-profit companies find and leverage Canadian business grants and loans.