January 9, 2019 – Quebec – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Following the renewal of the Programme Proximité until 2022, Jean-Claude Poissant, Parliamentary Secretary to the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, and André Lamontagne, Quebec Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, announced the first request for proposals. Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, this program, with a budget of $8 million over five years, is intended to bring agricultural producers and artisanal processors closer to consumers. It supports the development and consolidation of collective marketing initiatives in the community and also assists companies that wish to better position themselves in these markets.
The Programme Proximité supports the application of the 2018–2025 bio-food policy, Feeding Our World, by contributing to the development of the regions’ attractiveness. It is consistent with one of the Policy’s courses of action, supporting the development of initiatives related to local marketing and gourmet tourism. In addition, the bio-food policy identifies local markets as one of the growth vectors on which Quebec must focus.
“The Government of Canada is proud to encourage the development of initiatives that bring producers, processors and consumers closer together. This proximity makes it possible to make Quebec products accessible and promote them while supporting the development of the local economy and the maintenance of quality jobs for middle-class families in the regions of Quebec.”
– Jean-Claude Poissant, Parliamentary Secretary to the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
“The government encourages local marketing because this approach responds to the growing interest of consumers who want to know the origin of the food they buy and supports the local economy. In doing so, these initiatives bring consumers and producers closer together while providing a valuable showcase for Quebec’s bio-food products as well as for the artisans in the sector. This strategy also promotes the development of a variety of innovative and prosperous business models that are assets to the vitality of the regions.”
– André Lamontagne, Quebec Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
The program has two components:
- Component 1 is intended to develop or consolidate collective local marketing initiatives. The assistance granted totals $50,000 per project for the duration of the program.
- Component 2 is intended to develop a range of products and services that meet consumers’ needs with a view to local marketing. The assistance granted totals $25,000 per project for the duration of the program.
The first period for applications for funding under Component 1 – Support for Collective Initiatives runs from January 8 to February 8, 2019. Funding applications for Component 2 – Support for Individual Initiatives can be submitted on an ongoing basis starting January 8.
The program supports both collective initiatives (public markets, agrotourism routes, etc.) and companies that wish to develop a range of products and services in order to better position themselves in local markets.
About one in five agricultural businesses is active in local markets. In Quebec, there are
- more than 175 public markets;
- about 880 agricultural producers who practise agrotourism and more than 1,000 companies active in food tourism;
- about 20 virtual markets on the Web;
- nearly 300 farms offering community-supported-agriculture baskets; and
- more than 5,000 companies that sell on the farm.
The Canada–Quebec Bilateral Agreement Implementing the Canadian Agricultural Partnership represents funding from the federal and provincial governments totalling $293 million over a five-year period, from 2018 to 2023. This agreement supports strategic initiatives that will help sectors innovate, grow and prosper. Sixty percent (60%) of the funding for these initiatives comes from the Government of Canada and forty percent (40%) from the Government of Quebec.