$2 million announced for sustainable agriculture and natural food initiatives
Local agriculture and natural food businesses and organizations will be eligible to apply for new grants this year after a budget of $2,206,500 was announced for the renewed 2023-2025 Outaouais Biofood Sector Development Agreement.
The agreement funds regional initiatives and projects which support the goals of the 2020-2025 Outaouais Biofood Development Plan. Advancing health, food-security, environmental protection, the expansion of local entrepreneurship as well as promoting sustainable agriculture and tourism across the Outaouais region are among the plan’s major aims.
The renewed agreement adds an additional $1,121,500 to the previous 2020-2023 budget and includes financial contributions from 12 provincial ministries, regional organizations and municipalities. The region’s 4 MRCs including the MRC Pontiac and the MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais are also partners to the agreement each contributing $66,000.
“These funds will strengthen the natural food sector across the entire Outaouais making our food-production and agriculture sector more dynamic and sustainable,” said MRC Pontiac Warden Jane Toller. MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais Warden Marc Carrière described the agreement as an “improved” version that builds on the promising results of the 2020-2023 agreement.
The program is administered by the Table Agroalimentaire de l’Outaouais (TAO), a non-profit organization that collaborates with government and other organizations to support the development of sustainable food production in the Outaouais. The TAO will launch a call for project proposals this Fall and another this Winter. Eligible organizations include: non-profit organizations, municipal organizations, Indigenous communities and band-councils, cooperatives and social enterprises, agri-food businesses or groups of agri-food businesses.
The TAO said that funding applications should align with the goals of the 2020-2025 Outaouais Biofood Development Plan well as the Agricultural Zone Development Plans (PDZA) of the local MRC or municipality. While businesses and organizations that serve a particular MRC or municipality can apply, the TAO emphasized that any eligible proposal must support the Outaouais region as a whole either through projects that are regional in scope or through collaboration with businesses and organizations in other MRCs.
“This agreement represents a major development for the natural food sector in the Outaouais. Together, we are working to build the future, promoting projects that are rooted in the region, diversified, respectful of ecosystems, health and, above all, accessible to all, for vibrant, healthy communities,” said TAO President Chantale Vaillancourt commenting on the renewed agreement.
Once the first call for applications is launched in the Fall, a funding application form will be available on the TAO’s website: https://www.agro-outaouais.com/en.
More information about the Outaouais Biofood Development Plan can be found at https://www.agro-outaouais.com/en/pdbo and additional information about the funding program as well as examples of previous grant recipients can be found at: https://www.agro-outaouais.com/en/esbo. The TAO can also be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 819-281-7676.