Protein banner containing three photos collaged together

Funding Sustainable Transitions

Advancing the sustainability of your protein business operations can include additional upfront costs, but funding to support this transition is available at all levels of government.

Federal Government Programs Promoting Sustainability

Environmental sustainability is one of the main priorities identified under the current agricultural policy framework agreement, the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP). Under CAP, the federal government offers several programs to support the development and implementation of systems that promote the sustainability of the agri-food sector.

The development of the federal-provincial-territorial (FPT) Next Policy Framework provides a great opportunity to refine national and provincial agri-food sustainability policy and programming and will be available next fiscal year.

Federally offered programs related to sustainability include:

AgriAssurance Program - Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

The Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Stream that provides incentives to companies to help implement third-party assurance certification projects that address international market requirements, thus helping expand export opportunities for Canadian agricultural and agri-food products.

AgriAssurance Program - National Industry Association  

The National Industry Association (NIA) Stream funds national-level industry projects to develop and adopt systems, standards, and tools to support health and safety claims about Canadian agricultural and food products. The assurance systems enable the industry to make credible, meaningful, and verifiable claims about its products and how they are produced.

Living Laboratories Initiative

This is a new federal government initiative that brings together farmers, scientists, and other collaborators to co-develop and test innovative practices and technologies. Through a nationwide network of living labs, the initiative focuses on innovative solutions to environmental issues related to agriculture, such as climate change, soil health, water quality, and biodiversity. The goal of the Living Laboratories Initiative is to accelerate the development and adoption of sustainable practices and technologies by Canadian farmers that help to mitigate and adapt to climate change, reduce water contamination, improve soil and water conservation and maximize habitat capacity and biodiversity on agricultural landscapes. The program is funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).

Canada’s Climate Action Programs for Farmers

Farmers are major players in Canada’s fight against climate change. The federal government is providing more than $350 million under its Agriculture Climate Solutions and Agricultural Clean Technology program. Budget 2021 proposed to provide an additional $200 million, as part of the government’s Agriculture Climate Solutions over two years, starting in 2021-2022, to support the immediate adoption of on-farm projects that accelerate emission reductions by improving nitrogen management, increasing adoption of cover crops and normalizing rotational grazing.

Agri-food Sustainability Programs in Manitoba

Manitoba is one of the leading collaborators in the national-level sustainability initiatives highlighted in the previous section. The government has implemented a number of provincially led sustainability initiatives in support of the agriculture and agri-food industry, including the following:

Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan

In 2017, the Manitoba government released its Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan, which has a bold vision of making Manitoba one of Canada’s cleanest, greenest, and most climate-resilient provinces. The Climate and Green Plan identifies priority areas, including those in the agriculture sector, green initiatives, and implementation strategies.

Conservation and Climate Fund

This fund was established by the Manitoba government to support projects and initiatives that align with the priorities identified in the Climate and Green Plan. The fund covers the costs of eligible projects of up to $200,000 per applicant per year. Incorporated non-profit organizations, academic and educational institutions, Manitoba municipalities, Northern Affairs, and Indigenous Communities and businesses are eligible to apply for the fund.

Ag Action Manitoba Assurance Program

The assurance program provides financial assistance to help farmers and industry service providers implement beneficial management practices (BMP), based on the risks identified in their environmental farm plan (EFP). Financial assistance ranges between 25 and 50 per cent of the total BMP project cost. To apply for funding, eligible applicants must have a valid statement of completion of an EFP.


For more information on funding for your operation’s sustainability transition or to get this information in an alternate format, email us at: