Growing Forward 2 for Organizations and Collaborations

This page was published under a previous government and is available for archival and research purposes.

New: GF2 Results Spotlight

The GF2 Results Spotlight below shows some of the ways that organizations and collaborations have improved with GF2 funding. The featured results will be updated regularly and each spotlight will focus on new results within one GF2 area of focus.

Spotlight: Innovative technologies help Holland Marsh growers protect their crops

Collaboration between vegetable growers, a farm organization, and a grower co-operative is leading to improved plant health and more efficient vegetable production in the Holland Marsh.

The Bradford Co-op, the Fresh Vegetable Growers of Ontario, and individual vegetable growers in the Holland Marsh - an extremely fertile vegetable growing area near Bradford just north of Toronto - are collaborating on a project with the University of Guelph to test innovative technologies that will make their Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs for key crops like onions and carrots more efficient and cost effective.

"We work together with industry partners and growers to fund and collaborate on our IPM programs in the Marsh," explains Bradford Co-op General Manager Matt Sheppard. "There is tremendous value in early detection and this project is helping us identify issues in real time so we can provide the correct advice and solutions to growers."

Read the full story here. This article originally appeared in the October 2016 Agricultural Adaptation Council newsletter.

Innovative technologies help Holland Marsh growers protect their crops

What's new with Growing Forward 2

Applications are now being accepted until February 16, 2017.

In Ontario, Growing Forward 2 (GF2) offers resources, tools and cost-share funding assistance to eligible organizations and collaborations to grow their profits, expand markets and manage shared risks.

The Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) administers GF2 to organizations and collaborations across Ontario on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

How to apply for GF2 cost-share funding assistance

  1. Review the Cost-share Funding Assistance Program Guide for Organizations and Collaborations
  2. Submit a pre-proposal prior to completing an application form. This step provides the AAC an opportunity to review the project and provide feedback.
  3. Enrol in the GF2 Client Portal as an organization or a collaboration, prior to submitting an application. Organizations and collaborations must register in the GF2 Client Portal by a person who is authorized to sign the application form on behalf of the applicant and bind the applicant. The lead applicant for a collaboration must enrol online through the GF2 Client Portal.
  4. Submit your application in Word and the project work plan, total sources of funding, budget, and forecast in Excel to the AAC at (PDF versions not accepted). Application forms, instructions and submission deadlines can be found on the AAC website.
  5. Send all items outlined on the Application Checklist (as provided in the application form), including the signed Declaration and Attestation forms for Collaboration Members (if applicable), via email, mail or fax to:

The Agricultural Adaptation Council
381 Elmira Road North, Unit 1
Guelph, ON
N1K 1H3
Telephone: 519-822-7554
Fax: 519-822-6248

Table of Contents

Cost-share funding assistance program

Who can apply?

Areas of focus

Important information before you apply

GF2 Program Guide for Organizations and Collaborations

Application intake dates

Contact AAC

GF2 Cost-share Funding Assistance Program

Growing Forward 2 (GF2) is a project-based merit program available to eligible Ontario-based organizations and collaborations.

GF2 may provide:

  • up to 50 per cent cost-share funding of total eligible costs
  • funding requests above 50 per cent must demonstrate how the project is innovative and may receive up to 75 per cent of total eligible costs. Refer to the innovation criteria in Section N of the GF2 Program Guide for Organizations and Collaborations.

GF2 is intended to drive positive change. We are looking to support projects in six areas of focus that align with one or more of the program's nine priorities:

  • Use best business and leadership practices
  • Use energy, water and other inputs efficiently
  • Be more adaptable to climate change
  • Maximize labour productivity
  • Access new and emerging markets
  • Retain and expand existing markets
  • Market products that meet buyer demand through adoption of food safety, traceability or animal welfare assurance systems
  • Respond quickly and effectively to risks
  • Reduce key risks

Who can apply?


Organizations are any not-for-profit, Ontario-based, legally recognized entity involved in the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based bioproducts sector capable of entering into a contract, including, but not limited to: associations; marketing boards; municipalities; economic development offices; and, indigenous groups. Organizations must have a membership comprised primarily of Ontario residents.

Federal, provincial, territorial government departments or agencies, and academic/research institutions are not eligible organizations.


Collaborations are combinations of two, or more, legally recognized for-profit businesses and/or non-profit associations/organizations, and/or academic/research institutions in the agriculture, agri-food, agri-based bioproducts sector, primarily located in Ontario.

The lead applicant, and all collaboration members, must be actively and directly engaged in the project and have a vested interest (i.e. financial investment, resources, project oversight, expertise, outcomes, etc.) in the project.

Collaboration funding is intended for projects that support the competitiveness and resiliency of the agri-food industry in the province.

Areas of focus

GF2 cost-share funding assistance supports projects in these six focus areas.
  • Environment and climate change adaptation
    GF2 supports training and benchmarking, as well as improvements in equipment and technology that reduce the potential for off-site impacts from operations. Projects that improve nutrient use efficiency, nutrient application, resource management and management of water will be considered. Organizations and collaborations can also undertake projects to reduce waste and manage inputs, such as water and energy, more efficiently. This will help to improve their overall operational, economic and environmental performance.
  • Animal and plant health
    GF2 is intended to help organizations and collaborations reduce the spread of disease and pests, and to assist the industry in addressing national or industry standards for biosecurity.
  • Assurance systems (Food safety, traceability, and animal welfare)
    GF2 supports projects where the industry uses recognized standards and puts systems in place to effectively manage risk, access new markets, and retain and expand existing markets. Assurance systems include traceability, animal welfare and food safety.
  • Market development
    GF2 supports projects related to market assessment or audits, planning, training and skills development, meeting industry standards or practices, implementation of a marketing plan for a new or existing global or domestic market, and new product or process development. It is expected that organizations and collaborations will work to access new or expanded sales channels within Ontario or across Canada, and to export markets in the U.S., and other countries.
  • Labour productivity enhancement
    GF2 funding enables organizations and collaborations to increase their understanding and planning related to resource use, supply chain optimization, human resources and production efficiencies, and to make improvements that increase automation in their facility, streamline processes and procedures, integrate systems across multiple business processes, and improve overall resource management.
  • Business and leadership development
    GF2 provides funding for business assessment and performance benchmarking, training and skills development, strategic feasibility, succession, expansion and overall business planning. Completion of projects will improve understanding of their operations and position them to make informed decisions related to financial and risk management, business growth, leadership and governance, and production efficiencies.

Important information before you apply

It is strongly encouraged that the applicant submit a pre-proposal prior to completing an application. This will provide the AAC an opportunity to review the project and provide feedback. The AAC requires 5 to 10 business days to respond to pre-proposals. Pre-proposal forms can be found on the AAC website.

Before submitting an application form, organizations and collaborations, must register in the GF2 Client Portal, by a person who is authorized to sign the application form on behalf of the applicant and bind the applicant. Collaborations must identify a lead applicant and the lead applicant must be enrolled in the GF2 Client Portal.

GF2 is a merit-based program. Applicants need to be specific about the results they plan to achieve and demonstrate the knowledge, analysis and planning that will lead to a successful project. GF2 is intended to drive positive change; therefore, only the most impactful proposals will be funded.

Innovation is key. Projects that are deemed innovative may receive higher cost-share. See Section N: Checklist for Innovation Funding in the GF2 Program Guide for Organizations and Collaborations.

GF2 Program Guide for Organizations and Collaborations

It is recommended that you take the time to read the GF2 Program Guide for Organizations and Collaborations before applying.

Application intake dates

Applications intakes will close by:

  • February 16, 2017

Contact AAC

The Agricultural Adaptation Council administers the GF2 cost-share funding assistance program for Organizations and Collaborations. Refer to their website for program details, pre-poposal and the GF2 program guide.

Strong Partnerships in Action

To accelerate the effectiveness and long term success of Growing Forward 2 in Ontario, the ministry has developed strong partnerships with innovative and experienced organizations. Learn more about our GF2 partners.