The federal government is providing $100 million to Farm Credit Canada (FCC) to administer an Agriculture and Food Business Solutions Fund.
The fund is targeted at “proven, viable companies through unexpected business disruptions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic,” and will support enterprises in the agribusiness and agri-food sector, including companies involved in primary production, agri-tech, manufacturing, packaging and distribution, the government says.
Launched in partnership with Forage Capital Inc. – a Calgary-based venture capital firm – the Agriculture and Food Business Solutions Fund is set up to provide companies with the financial stability and flexibility they need to rebuild their business models during challenging times. FCC is the sole investor in the fund.
“This type of investment fund will offer companies another option when faced with business disruptions. Through the application of flexible and innovative solutions, the investments will preserve jobs and strengthen food security for all Canadians,” says Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, in a press release.
The fund will help companies in times of need through innovative solutions such as convertible debt investments and other flexible financing solutions. Applications will be assessed individually on their merit, and will be supported to a maximum of $10 million.
This government funding follows the late March announcement of $5 billion added to FCC’s lending capacity, $252 million for the processing sector, AgriRecovery, and a food buying program, in addition to other wage subsidy and business programs the government has rolled out to address market disruption from COVID-19.
Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau discussed the program with Shaun Haney.