Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Sources of Assistance

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 Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development supplies a wide range of technical, financial, planning and market development support for farms, agribusiness and food processors.

For anyone starting a new business, the first point of contact is the Alberta Agriculture New Venture Specialist. The staff provides coaching in product development, marketing and financing your business. They also will assist in determining resource people and information, which is needed and will assist in creating a team of specialists that can help you in developing your idea.

Call toll-free: 310-FARM (3276) and ask for a New Venture Coach.

Alberta Agricultural Research Institute (AARI)

The Alberta Agriculture Research Institute is the primary agency in Alberta for funding, coordinating and promoting strategic agricultural research initiatives and technology transfer in the agriculture and food sector.

AARI provides funding opportunities to help achieve a stronger research and innovation system that assists the agricultural and food industry of Alberta to be globally competitive, environmentally sustainable and encourage a vibrant rural economy. AARI focuses on life sciences, environmental and value-added technologies and continued emphasis on improving primary production technologies. Through funding research and development projects and programs, AARI supports discoveries and platform technologies to sustain and improve the quality of life in Alberta.

Alberta Agricultural Research Institute
500 Phipps-McKinnon Building
10020 - 101A Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3G2
Telephone: 780-427-1956

Alberta Food Processors Association (AFPA)

The Alberta Food Processors Association (AFPA) is a non-profit organization representing all segments of the food and beverage industry: growers, processors, retailers, foodservice buyers and service suppliers.

AFPA’s role is to help its members capitalize on growth opportunities in Alberta and beyond. This is accomplished through umbrella promotional programs designed to increase consumer awareness for both retail and food service, training and development programs, human resource assistance, networking opportunities and by providing programs to help companies become stronger international competitors through market information.

Alberta Food Processors Association
Suite 100W
4760 - 72 Ave S.E.
Calgary AB T2C 3Z2
Phone: 403-201-3657

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provides information, research and technology, and policies and programs to achieve security of the food system, health of the environment and innovation for growth.

There are a number of programs available to assist people in achieving their goals such as Agriculture Policy Framework Renewal Program, Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food program (ACAAF).

Check the web site for more program details and specific program contacts.

Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC)

Agriculture Financial Services Corporation offers a unique portfolio of innovative financing options to help meet the capital needs of the rapidly expanding agriculture industry.

AFSC clients include those involved in food and non-food processing, commercial-scale intensive livestock production, nutraceuticals, and manufacturers or service companies supporting the industry. If you are a new or expanding Alberta business, AFSC maybe able to provide the capital and financial counsel you need.

Toll-free: 1-800-661-3811


AVAC invests in innovative ideas that add value to agricultural commodities. They invest through coaching, knowledge, contacts and financial resources.

To be considered for financial assistance your project must add value to an agriculture commodity, be early-stage, innovative and fit one or more of AVAC’s four focus areas (new and enhanced food products, wellness products, industrial or non-food applications and new technologies that enable value-added agriculture).

Suite 220, 6815 - 8th Street NE
Calgary, Alberta T2E 7H7
Telephone: 403-274-2774

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

BDC is a financial institution, which plays a leadership role in delivering financial services, consulting services, subordinate financing and venture capital to Canadian small and medium-sized businesses, with a particular focus on technology and exporting.

Toll-free: 1-877-BDC-BANX (232-2269)

Community Futures

The mandate of the Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDC) is community and business development in areas outside major urban centres. CFDC deliver a variety of services including: local strategic economic planning, technical and advisory services to businesses; loans to small and medium-sized businesses; and, self-employment assistance programs. There are 27 CFDC located across Alberta.

Visit the web site to locate the office closest to you.

Canada Revenue Agency

The Scientific Research and Experimental Development program is a federal tax incentive program to encourage Canadian businesses of all sizes and in all sectors to conduct research and development in Canada that will lead to new, improved or technologically advanced products or processes. You can apply for investment tax credits for expenditures such as wages, materials, machinery, equipment, some overhead and contracts.

Given this program is administered under the Income Tax Act, consult your accountant to get professional advice on your eligibility.

Canada Revenue Agency
720 Harry Hays Building
220 - 4th Avenue S.E.
Calgary, Alberta T2G 0L1
Telephone: 403-691-5890

Farm Credit Canada (FCC)

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) offers a range of flexible financing products and business services to support primary producers and value-added agribusinesses beyond the farm gate. Many products and services are delivered through alliances with industry partners. FCC is devoted to helping farmers and agribusiness operators grow, diversify and prosper.

Toll-free: 1-888-332-3301

Food Beverage Canada (FBC)

Food Beverage Canada (FBC) is an industry association committed to the development of export strategies and programs that will strengthen and increase its members’ share of global food and beverage markets. The FBC is an alliance of provincial food and beverage associations in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

The programs and services that are provided can help you enter the export arena for the first time, expand your export markets or to solidify your presence in a current market.

Food Beverage Canada
#201, 17904 - 105 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5S 2H5
Toll-free: 1-800-493-9767

Industry Canada

Industry Canada’s mission is to foster a growing competitive, knowledge-based Canadian economy. The department works to improve conditions for investment, improve Canada’s innovation performance, increase Canada’s share of global trade and build a fair, efficient and competitive marketplace. Program areas include developing industry and technology capability, fostering scientific research, setting telecommunications policy, promoting investment and trade, promoting tourism and small business development, and setting rules and services that support effective operation of the marketplace.

Industry Canada
Room 725, 9700 Jasper Ave
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4C3
Telephone: (780)495-4782
Toll-free: 1-800-461-2646

National Research Council/Industrial Research Assistance Program (I.R.A.P.)

The National Research Council’s Industrial Research Program is designed to help small and medium-sized enterprises meet the unique challenges they face in bringing new products, processes or services to market. This program helps enterprises access, develop and utilize new technologies and knowledge essential for growth.

Services include:
  • technical information to facilitate innovation in production, development of new products, processes, etc.
  • financial contributions toward short-term technical problem solving and technology enhancement products
  • diagnostic services to assist companies in strategic planning to improve their competitiveness
National Research Council
Industrial Research Assistance Program
250 Karl Clark Road
Edmonton, Alberta T6N 1E4
Toll-free: 1-877-994-4727

Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Economic Diversification Canada supports activities that develop and diversify the Western Canadian economy. Funding is focused on activities that support innovation, promote a competitive and expanded business sector in Western Canada, and develop sustainable communities that improve the competitiveness and quality of life in the West.

Western Economic Diversification
Suite 1500, Canada Place
9700 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4H7
Telephone: 780-495-4164

Suite 400, 639 - 5 Avenue S.W.
Calgary, Alberta T2P 0M9
Toll-free: 1-888-338-9378

Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (AWE)

Funded by Western Economic Diversification Canada, AWE is active in the four western provinces. Each operates as a non-profit organization led by a volunteer Board. The services provided are designed to help women start and grow their own businesses. These services include training options, networking opportunities, advisory services, business loans, and referrals to complementary services.

Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (AWE)
Toll-free: 1-800-713-3558
308, 10310 Jasper Ave. (Melton Bldg.)
Edmonton, AB T5J 2W4

370, 1202 Centre St., S.E.
Calgary, AB T2G 5A5

Other Documents in the Series

  Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Preface
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Introduction
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Starting Out
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Business Planning
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Business Considerations
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Food Processing Regulations
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Facilities
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Product Development
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Processing and Packaging Equipment
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Packaging and Labeling
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Distribution and Sales
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Promotion
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Financing
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Sources of Assistance - Current Document
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Additional Resources
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Kathy Bosse.
This document is maintained by Jennifer Rutter.
This information published to the web on June 1, 2005.
Last Reviewed/Revised on April 19, 2018.