Wine Sector Support Program: Applicant guide

Applicant guide

Purpose of this guide

This guide will:

  1. help you determine if you may be eligible for funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) under the Wine Sector Support Program
  2. provide instructions to help you complete the application form

Table of contents

1.0 About the Wine Sector Support Program

The Government of Canada announced up to $166.2 million over two years (2022-23 to 2023-24) for AAFC to implement a program to help the Canadian wine industry adapt to ongoing and emerging challenges.

The objective of the Wine Sector Support Program (the program) is to provide short-term financial support to licensed Canadian wineries as they transition and adapt to ongoing and emerging challenges impacting financial resilience and competitiveness of the wine industry.

The program provides non-repayable grant payments to licensed Canadian wineries based on their production of bulk wine fermented in Canada from domestic and/or imported primary agricultural products.

Wine includes:

  • grape wine
  • other fruit wine
  • sake
  • other primary agricultural product-based wines

Primary agricultural products include products such as:

  • grapes
  • berries
  • other fruit
  • dandelions
  • rice
  • sap

The program ends on March 31, 2024.

1.1 Eligible applicants

Eligible applicants must be legal entities capable of entering into legally binding agreements. For-profit organization types are eligible under this program, including:

  • Businesses and corporations
  • Sole-proprietorships
  • Partnerships
  • Co-operatives

To be considered for grant funding through the program, you must meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

  • hold a wine license issued by the Canada Revenue Agency under section 14 of the Excise Act, 2001, valid at the time you apply to the program and up to March 31 of the fiscal year in which a grant payment may be issued
  • be a for-profit licensed winery that produces wine in Canada for commercial sale
  • have produced wine[Endnote 1] (such as, grape wine, other fruit wines, sake and/or other primary agricultural product-based wines), fermented in Canada, that use domestic and/or imported primary agricultural products (for example, grapes, berries, other fruit, dandelions, rice and sap), in the 2021-2022 and/or 2022-2023 fiscal years
  • have grown, produced or owned the primary agricultural products used to produce the wine
  • generate a minimum of $50,000 in total sales of all wine you produced in Canada in the previous fiscal year to which you apply to the program

Ineligible wine includes:

  • cider
  • mead
  • wine that originates from processed inputs, such as
    • juice
    • concentrate
    • syrup
    • must (that is, juice that contains skins, seeds and stems)

Packaged wine that was produced before April 1, 2021 is not eligible for support under the program.

If your wine product(s) has an excise duty exemption available beyond June 30, 2022, the wine product is not eligible for support through this program.

1.2 Funding

Available funding

Total funding for the program is up to $166.2 million over two fiscal years (2022-23 to 2023-24).

If you meet the eligibility criteria in Section 1.1, your grant payment will be calculated based on the total litres of eligible wine you produced, and the determined per litre payment rate.

Eligible wine is bulk wine produced in Canada using fermented domestic and/or imported primary agricultural product(s) in the previous fiscal year from the one in which a grant payment is issued. For example, applications for the 2022-2023 fiscal year will require production information from the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

A per litre payment rate will be calculated for each fiscal year by determining the total litres of eligible wine produced in the relevant production year from information provided by eligible recipients in their applications, once the application intake period for the fiscal year has closed.

The grant funding allocation for the fiscal year will then be divided by the total litres of eligible wine under the program.

Individual grant payments to each eligible recipient will be calculated by multiplying their total litres of eligible wine by the payment rate.

Individual grant payments will only be calculated once the application intake period is closed, all applications have been assessed, and the total litres of eligible wine submitted through those applications has been determined.

Maximum amount payable

The maximum amount payable to any eligible recipient under the program will not exceed $25,000,000 per fiscal year.

Grant payments under this program are non-repayable and will be treated as income in the year the payment is received.

1.3 Eligible activities

Grant funding issued under the program is intended to be used by eligible applicants toward activities and expenditures that achieve the objective of the program indicated in Section 1.0.

1.4 Application process and timeline

The program's goal is to:

  • respond to general program inquiries made to our phone number or email address before the end of the next business day
  • acknowledge receipt of your application within one (1) business day
  • send you an identifier within fifteen (15) business days
  • assess your application and send you an approval or a rejection notification letter within 100 business days of receiving a complete application package from the last day of the application intake period, or from the date your application is deemed complete, whichever is later.

You must submit a complete application form to the program to be considered for a grant payment. Applicants must also provide supporting information for the assessment criteria (refer to Section 3.0). Missing or incorrect information could result in a processing delay or rejection of your application. Service standards for assessments only begin once the application is deemed to be complete.

The program's application intake periods for the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 fiscal years will be made available on this website. Each application intake period will start and end on a specific date, and will be limited to six (6) weeks, unless otherwise announced by the program.

The program ends on March 31, 2024.

For more information on the application, refer to Annex A: How to complete the application form.

2.0 Expected results

Grant funding awarded to successful applicants is expected to contribute to the following outcomes:

  • licensed wineries in Canada have access to financial support to adapt to economic impacts on their operations
  • net operating income remains stable for licensed wineries in Canada
  • smaller licensed wineries in Canada maintain their viability
  • the Canadian wine industry maintains its current contribution to Canada's economy.

3.0 Assessment criteria

Applications will be assessed on all eligibility criteria listed in Section 1.1 of this Guide.

You must provide the following information with your application, to support your eligibility and to verify the total litres of eligible wine indicated in your application:

  • proof of your valid wine license issued by the Canada Revenue Agency, where the effective date and expiry date of the license are clearly visible (for example, a copy of the licensing letter issued to the applicant by the Canada Revenue Agency's regional excise office)
  • production records sufficient to trace the primary agricultural product to the resultant wine (for example, blend sheets and transfer sheets)
  • records of transactions between the applicant and the primary agricultural product source(s) and/or other wine licensees (for example, shipping documents and invoices)

AAFC may contact the applicant for additional information to complete the assessment. Service standards may be modified to reflect any delays in the applicant providing additional information.

Information provided in the application and to the program will be used to assess the application. Once the assessment process is complete, each applicant will be sent an approval or rejection notification letter. If approved for funding, the letter will specify the amount of funding awarded.

4.0 Considerations

4.1 M-30 Act (Quebec organizations only)

The Province of Québec's M-30 legislation may apply to Québec based applicants only. It is the Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif (R.S.Q., c. M-30).

More information on the Act is available online or by contacting the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation at dpci@mapaq.gouv.qc.ca.

M-30 applies to various types of Québec organizations, for example, organizations located in Québec and receiving more than half of their financing from the Government of Québec may be subject to the Act.

All Québec based organizations will have to address this matter and demonstrate their compliance with the Act during the project assessment process, and prior to entering into a funding agreement.

5.0 After you apply

After you submit your application, an acknowledgment notice and your identifier (for example, WSSP-2022-12345678) will be sent to you within fifteen (15) business days, confirming that your application was submitted to the program and deemed complete.

AAFC will verify that the required application form is complete and there is sufficient detail in the application for a full assessment. If your application is incomplete, AAFC will contact you to obtain the required information. Assessment of your application will only begin once the intake period has closed.

You should not consider your application as submitted to the program until you receive the acknowledgement notice and your identifier. Contact the program by email at aafc.wssp-pasv.aac@agr.gc.ca or call 1-877-246-4682, if you have not received your identifier within fifteen (15) business days of submitting your application. It is your responsibility to confirm your application has been submitted to the program.

Please note that the submission of an application creates no obligation on the part of the Minister or of AAFC officials to provide funding. The Minister retains discretion to determine, based on other public policy and public interest considerations, whether an application will ultimately receive funding.

Successful applicants are required to enter into a funding agreement with AAFC.

6.0 Contact information

For more information on the Wine Sector Support Program, please contact the program by:

E-mail: aafc.wssp-pasv.aac@agr.gc.ca
Telephone: 1-877-246-4682
TDD/TTY: 613-773-2600
Fax: 1-877-949-4885

Mail:
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Wine Sector Support Program
1341 Baseline Road, Tower 7, Floor 6
Ottawa, ON K1A 0C5