AgriAssurance Program: Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Component - Annex A: How to complete the application form

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Table of contents

General information

Begin by assessing that your organization and activities meet the eligibility criteria detailed in section 1.2 of the AgriAssurance Program: Small and Medium-sized Enterprise component Applicant Guide and section 1.4 of the AgriAssurance Program: Small and Medium-sized Enterprise component Applicant Guide.

  1. Complete the project application form by downloading and saving the form to your computer.
  2. Use the step-by-step instructions below to help you complete your application form, including the project work plan and budget.
  3. See the Additional Documents section for a list of all additional required documents to ensure you have all the documentation needed to complete your application package.
  4. Attach the documents to your form and submit.

If you experience any trouble submitting your application, or if you prefer to apply by mail or email, please contact us by telephone at 1-877-246-4682.

Applicant information

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) will use the information you provide in this section to establish your organization's identity.

Organization type

See section 1.2 of the AgriAssurance Program: Small and Medium-sized Enterprise component Applicant Guide to determine if you are eligible to apply under this program.

Legal name

Your organization’s legal name, as it appears in legal documents such as articles of incorporation, certificate of incorporation, etc.

Operating as (if used)

Enter the name under which your organization operates, if that name is different from its Legal Name.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business number

A CRA business number is a nine-digit number that gives each registered business its own unique identifier. For more information on obtaining a CRA business number, visit the CRA business number web page.

If you do not have a CRA Business Number, or do not wish to share it at this time, enter nine zero’s (i.e. 000000000).

Primary contact

Enter the contact information of the person in your organization who is responsible for responding to inquiries regarding this application.

Project contact

If your project is approved for funding, this is the person who will be liaising with AAFC during the project. This person can be the same as the Primary Contact.

Mailing address

Provide the complete address of your organization's headquarters.

Primary project location

The location where the project will take place other than your organizations headquarter, if applicable.

If you have multiple project locations, the primary location is the one with activities associated to the largest portion of the budget.

Organizational capacity

AAFC will use the information you provide in this section to understand more about your organization and to assess your ability to carry out this project.

How many employees work for your organization?

Include the number of all full-time and part-time employees on your organization’s payroll. Do not include contractors.

Describe your organization

Provide your organization’s mandate and priorities. Include a brief history of the organization including any significant changes in the past two years (for example, a significant increase/decrease of staff, changes to executive leadership, including the Board of Directors, and a change in mandate).

Does the mandate of your organization focus on any of the following groups?

This question is for statistical purposes only, and will not affect the outcome of your assessment.


Individuals who are:

  • registered on a band list
  • registered as an Indian under the Indian Act living both on or off reserves
  • Métis
  • Inuit

or, Indigenous communities and governments such as:

  • band and tribal councils
  • governments of self-governing First Nations
  • local governments of Inuit communities
  • Métis organizations
Persons with disabilities

The Employment Equity Act defines persons with disabilities as persons who have a long-term or recurring physical, mental, sensory, psychiatric or learning impairment and who:

  1. consider themselves to be disadvantaged in employment by reason of that impairment, or
  2. believe that an employer or potential employer is likely to consider them to be disadvantaged in employment by reason of that impairment

Includes persons whose functional limitations owing to their impairment have been accommodated in their current job or workplace

Visible minorities

The Employment Equity Act defines visible minorities as persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour


Individuals who are born female or who identify as female


Individuals aged 30 and under

Not applicable

Use this section if the mandate of your organization does not focus on any of the above-listed groups

Decline to identify

Use this section if the mandate of your organization might focus on one of the above groups, but you don't want to disclose that information at the time of your application

Previous funding

Please identify if you or your organization has previously received funding from AAFC. If yes, list the program(s) from which you have received funding.

Capacity to deliver this project

In your answer, consider addressing the following:

  • Has your organization managed other projects on a similar scale to this proposed project/application?
  • If applicable, briefly describe the past projects and their results.
  • What resources do you have to ensure this proposed project will be successful (e.g., human resources, financial management practices)?

Project information

AAFC will use the information in this section, in association with your project work plan and budget to do a full assessment of your project.

Project title

Provide a short, descriptive project title that accurately reflects the activities and results of the project.

Project objective

Provide a concise summary of your project.

How would you briefly describe your project to a friend or colleague, or on social media?

Please note that if your project is chosen for funding, this summary may be published on Government of Canada websites.

Project purpose

Your answer to this question should:

  • explain how the project will fill a market gap or an industry need
  • indicate how the certification will allow you to take advantage of the specific market opportunities that you have identified
  • describe how this project aligns with the Eligible Activities listed in section 1.4 of the Applicant Guide
  • describe how you plan to achieve the objectives of this project

Environmental considerations

  1. Is your project on federal land?

    All projects must comply with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012 (CEAA 2012). To help us determine if the CEAA 2012 applies to your project, indicate whether the project is on federal land. Under CEAA 2012, federal land means:

    1. lands that belong to Her Majesty in right of Canada, or that Her Majesty in right of Canada has the power to dispose of, and all waters on and airspace above those lands, other than lands under the administration and control of the Commissioner of Yukon, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut;
    2. the following lands and areas:
      1. the internal waters of Canada, in any area of the sea not within a province,
      2. the territorial sea of Canada, in any area of the sea not within a province,
      3. the exclusive economic zone of Canada, and
      4. the continental shelf of Canada; and
    3. reserves, surrendered lands and any other lands that are set apart for the use and benefit of a band and that are subject to the Indian Act, and all waters on and airspace above those reserves or lands.
  2. Have you received, initiated, or do you anticipate requiring any local, provincial, territorial, federal environmental authorizations related to this project (this does not include electrical, hydro or gas permits)?

    If a project is on federal land, additional legislative requirements such as permits or authorizations may be needed before a project can begin. AAFC staff will follow-up with you for further details and/or clarification, as required.

    Indicate in the application form whether you have or will obtain federal, provincial, territorial or municipal environmental authorizations or permits (e.g., a municipal wastewater discharge authorization). Copies of these authorizations or permits may be required by AAFC during the application assessment.

    If you have applied for any of the above-mentioned permits, provide details on whether the project has any environmental effects and risks. Positive or negative environmental effects and risks can include those related to air emissions, soil erosion, noise, effluent, waste water, solid waste, odour, construction, rare species and habitat, and nearby bodies of water. Any public concerns should also be addressed. AAFC reserves the right to request additional information.

  3. Does the project pose any risks or result in any effects to the environment, including any positive or negative effects on the surrounding environment?

    Environmental effects could include those related to air emissions, noise, effluent, waste water, solid waste, odour, soil erosion during construction, rare species, species habitat, nearby water bodies. Any public concern should also be included.

Project data collection

AAFC is committed to the fair and transparent distribution of program funds. The Department will be using the following questions for reporting purposes only; answers will not directly affect the outcome of your project’s assessment.

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

NAICS is an industry classification system developed by the statistical agencies of Canada, Mexico and the United States.

For more information, visit the Statistics Canada website.

AAFC has selected the NAICS identifiers that best suit this program for reporting purposes. To simplify the selection process, we have sorted the codes into the following four categories that we created:

  • agricultural production
  • food and beverage manufacturing
  • other manufacturing
  • other

We recognize that not all projects will fit perfectly into one identifier; if this is the case for your project, select the identifier that best defines the overall intent of your project, or the identifier that best defines the activity with the highest dollar value.

Harmonized System codes

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, generally referred to as "Harmonized System" or simply "HS,” is a multipurpose international product terminology developed by the World Customs Organization. It comprises of about 5,000 commodity groups; each is identified by a six digit code, arranged in a legal and logical structure that is supported by well-defined rules to achieve uniform classification of goods coming into or leaving Canada. As an exporter, you are responsible for the correct use of HS when declaring your goods.

To find your HS code, visit Statistics Canada's website

Input all 6-digit HS codes relating to your project activities.

To add an HS code, press the + symbol.
To delete an HS code, press the x symbol.

You may enter up to 25 HS codes per project. If you will exceed this number, or if you think HS codes do not apply to your project, contact the AgriMarketing Program.

Select any of the following groups who will directly benefit from the intent of this project’s activities

Definitions are the same as those listed above in the Organizational capacity section.

Official languages

AAFC is committed to enhancing the vitality of the official language minority communities (OLMCs), supporting and assisting their development, and promoting the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society.

If approved, would your project activities reach an audience of both English-speaking and French-speaking individuals or groups?

OLMCs consist of Francophones outside Quebec and Anglophones in Quebec. These communities are often represented by provincial and regional organizations.

If approved, would your project activities specifically target an official language minority community (French-speaking people outside Quebec or English-speaking people in Quebec)?

When it is determined that projects under this program involve activities related to the development and transfer of knowledge and may have an impact on OLMCs or are susceptible of promoting the use of English and French, AAFC will include appropriate linguistic commitments in agreements with your organization and ensure that additional expenses incurred as a result of these commitments are considered eligible for contribution funding.


  • Project web pages and/or project social media account(s) produced and maintained in both official languages
  • Project materials offered in both official languages (brochures, kits, handouts, newsletters, reports, etc.)
  • Directional and educational signs produced in both official languages
  • Project-related advertisement in OLMC media (newspapers, radio, social media)
  • Bilingual coordinator or other contractor hired to help deliver project-related activities in both official languages (for example, master of ceremony for a project event, workshop facilitator or simultaneous translator)
  • Distribution of invitations in both official languages
  • Knowledge transfer activities as listed in the applicant guide


  • One or more OLMCs are included in the project target groups (for example, as in-kind or cash partners in project budget or to be invited to project events)
  • Other groups representing OLMCs are consulted to see if there is any potential for involvement on their end
  • Travel to or from OLMCs (costs associated with these project activities included in project budget)

If funded, your organization may be required to publicly acknowledge AAFC's support for the project. In these cases, the department may request that such acknowledgments include text in both official languages.

Applicants are also encouraged to complete an OLMC self-identification section in the application form to help AAFC collect information on whether applicants are a member of an OLMC to tailor future communications activities.

Work Plan

The Work Plan is an important part of the application form for evaluation purposes.

Complete the fields for your proposed Project Start Date and Project End Date. Please note that funding for each approved project under the SME component must be undertaken and completed within the five years of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership that concludes March 31, 2023. Costs incurred before the Start Date will generally not be reimbursed.

In the Work Plan, you will be asked to indicate your Target Market(s) by Country. You can choose from a menu of 31 country options. There will also be the opportunity to specify another country if your target market does not appear on the menu by selecting Other.

Please provide the Start Date and End Date for the project work for each country that you specify.

You will be asked to indicate if the Type of Activity is either for the purpose of Certification or Other. If you select Certification, please indicate the scheme name, that is, the name of the recognized certification program. If you select Other, please provide details about the proposed activity.

The next section is especially important to the AAFC assessment process. You will be asked to identify the Expected Results of your proposed project, and indicate Performance Measures. In each Target Market you plan to access, what do you intend to achieve? Each Expected Result must have its own respective Performance Measure to demonstrate progress; each measure must be expressed as a numeric value.

Project Costs

Select the activity to add eligible costs to.

Name of cost item

Enter a short description of the eligible cost.

Eligible costs

To add an eligible cost, press the + symbol.
To delete an eligible cost, press the x symbol.
You may enter up to 25 eligible cost items per activity.


In this field, describe the cost item in more detail. The description should give a breakdown of how the number was budgeted. For example, “airfare,” is insufficient; the description should be more detailed, such as, “Roundtrip airfare from Toronto to London for the Great Food Trade Show $800 x 2 people.”

Cost category

Select the corresponding cost category for the item.

Eligible cost items

Note: Any costs incurred before April 1, 2018 are normally ineligible for reimbursement. Any costs incurred after March 31, 2023 are ineligible for reimbursement. Ineligible costs cannot be considered as part of an applicant’s cost-share.

AAFC may allow eligible costs to be incurred after a complete funding proposal has been received by the program, but prior to the signing of a Contribution Agreement if AAFC deems this necessary for the achievement of objectives under the project and if such costs are reasonable and required to carry out the eligible activities to which they relate. It is very important that you understand that in these cases, costs cannot be reimbursed until a signed Contribution Agreement (CA) between your organization and AAFC is in place, therefore these incurred costs are done solely at your risk without obligation of payment by AAFC.

The following table demonstrates the eligible costs under this program and any limitations or instructions you need to know to help you complete your budget.

Salaries and Benefits
Eligible Cost Items Limitations/Instructions

Salaries and benefits paid to or on behalf of staff to execute activities outlined in the project Work Plan. These costs do not include completing financial or performance reports for the project.

Includes Mandatory Employment Related Costs (MERCs), Employment Insurance (EI), Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Quebec Pension Plan (QPP), vacation pay and benefits*

*Benefits mean payments an employer is required to make by virtue of company policy or a collective agreement such as contributions to a group pension plan

  • Salaries and benefits must be additional to existing costs
  • Contributions towards salaries and benefits should not exceed 10% of project costs
  • Costs must be substantiated through supporting documentation, such as timesheets
  • Performance pay (e.g., bonuses) is ineligible
Contracted Services
Eligible Cost Items Limitations/Instructions

Professional or specialized services for which a contract is entered into, such as:

  • consultant/expert services
  • professional interpretation and translation services
  • seminars and technical training to buyers, including room rentals and audio/visual equipment rentals
  • A contract should be in place with the contractor, including payment terms and deliverables
  • You must use a fair and competitive or otherwise justifiable and generally accepted sound business process that results in competent and qualified contractors working on the project
  • AAFC will not reimburse costs related to certification services provides by federal governments and agencies
Eligible Cost Items Limitations/Instructions

Travel costs directly related to the project, such as:

  • per diems (accommodations, meals, incidentals and local transportation)
  • transportation, such as airfare
  • the recipient may claim cost for air, rail and ground transportation (to an out-of-city destination) for individual travel as follows:
    • private vehicle: kilometric rates ($0.55/km) as well as costs for parking at the destination. Private vehicle is not to be used if more expensive than rental, rail or air
    • rental vehicle: the cost for an intermediate vehicle (or the cost of a larger vehicle, based upon factors such as, but not limited to, safety, the needs of the traveler, and the bulk or weight of goods transported), gas, and parking at the destination
    • air: economy airfare rate only for all travel (not Business or First Class). Bookings should be made as far in advance as possible. Seat selection and baggage costs are eligible, but not premium seat upgrades. If a higher class is purchased, proof of the flight’s economy rate must be obtained for reimbursement purposes
  • hospitality, alcohol, entertainment, and gifts are ineligible
  • When travel is approved, claimants have the following options:
    • claim the established per diem, or
    • claim actual expenses incurred which are less than the established per diem
  • The per diems will contribute to covering the costs for daily accommodation, meals, local or in-city transportation (buses, taxis, vehicle rentals, etc.), ground transportation, including parking, to and from the public carrier terminal, entry documents, including passports and visas, insurance (all types), vaccinations and incidentals (personal phone calls, laundry, gratuities, currency exchange fees, etc.) for individual travel
  • If using option (a), per diems can be claimed for every day on travel status as follows:
    • Travel within Canada (CAD/day):
      • day trip with no overnight stay: $70
      • trip with overnight stay: $300
    • Travel outside Canada (CAD/day):
      • day trip with no overnight stay: $100
      • trip with overnight stays: $425
Other Direct Project Costs
Eligible Cost Items Limitations/Instructions
Other costs for project-related deliverables, such as mailing. n/a

In the application form, you will be asked to provide information under four tabs related to the Budget for your proposed project:

  1. eligible cost items
  2. sources of funding
  3. cost summary
  4. budget summary

As noted in the Work Plan, activities and their related expenses must fall within the five years of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership framework that concludes March 31, 2023.

Sources of Funding

Please see section 1.3 AgriAssurance Program: Small and Medium-sized Enterprise component Applicant Guide for information on cost-sharing, sources of funding, and government funding stacking limits.

Budget Summary

The Budget Summary tab auto-calculates all the financial information you entered in the Project Costs and Sources of Funding tabs and provides an ongoing high-level overview of your project’s budget.


Unpaid debts to the Government of Canada

The applicant for AAFC funds must declare any amounts owing to the Government of Canada. Any amounts due to the applicant under AAFC programs may be set off against any such amounts owing to the Government of Canada under any agreement or any legislation with the Government of Canada.

Lobbying activities

The applicant must ensure that a person lobbying on behalf of the applicant is registered and in compliance with the Lobbying Act.

More information on the obligations in the Lobbying Act can be found on the website of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada.

Conflict of interest

Current or former public servants or public office holders are required to avoid conflict of interest situations while employed by the federal government, and for a period of time following their service. The applicant acknowledges that any individuals who are subject to the provisions of the Conflict of Interest Act, the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector, the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons, any applicable federal values and ethics code or any applicable federal policy on conflict of interest and post-employment shall not derive any direct benefit resulting from this application unless the provision or receipt of such benefit is permitted in such legislation, policy or codes.

Consent for use, disclosure and copyright

Personal information will be treated and disclosed in accordance with the Privacy Act. You have the right to access your personal information held by AAFC and to request changes to incorrect personal information by contacting the AAFC Access to Information and Privacy Director at

For more information about AAFC’s privacy practices, you may refer to the following Personal Information Banks: Public Communications PSU 914 and Outreach Activities PSU 938.

Business information will be disclosed only in accordance with the provisions of the Access to Information Act.

Information on the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act is available at the following website: For further information about these Acts please contact the Access to Information and Privacy Director at

Copyright permission

AAFC may disclose, reproduce and distribute any part of or the whole of the documentation provided in or with this application form, within AAFC and to its authorized third parties, including other government departments, for purposes consistent with the receipt, assessment and subsequent treatment of the application.

Additional documents

In addition to the application form, the following documents are required as part of a complete application package:

Document name Description
Signature of applicant authorized representative form Applicants must have their authorized representative(s) sign and attach this form as part of the online project application package.
Consent to use, disclose and copyright Written consent required by all third-parties that submit personal and/or business information such as biographies as part of a complete application package.
A copy of the applicant organization's Certificate of Incorporation or Articles of Incorporation Certificates and Articles of Incorporation are issued and filed, respectively, by or with provincial, territorial or federal government that document the applicant's status as a legal entity.
Small and medium-sized enterprise questionnaire In this questionnaire you must demonstrate that you have developed an international market export plan for the targeted market(s).


Once you have completed your application form and all the additional documents, please submit your project application.

For technical assistance submitting your application, or at any time during the application process, you can access the technical help file by clicking on the information icon located throughout the project application form.

For more information on the AgriAssurance Program: Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) component, please contact us by:


Telephone: 1-877-246-4682
TDD/TTY: 613-773-2600

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
AgriAssurance Program: SME
Tower 7, Floor 6, Room 215
1341 Baseline Road
Ottawa ON  K1A 0C5

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AgriAssurance Program: Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Component - Annex A (PDF, 105 KB)