- Should we apply for the program? Our company does not have many resources.Yes. The purpose of the On-Farm Food Safety Program is to advance a company’s already existing strategies through cost- sharing. If you have a set budget or limited resources, we can work within the budget that you have allotted to spend, and the funding should assist you in bringing on the help that you need.
- We are almost ready for our food safety system to become certified. Should we apply for the program?Yes. The On-Farm program funds pre-audit assessments as well as third party HACCP-based audits. We encourage all eligible businesses, no matter where you are on the food safety spectrum, to apply for program funding!
- What if we want to work towards a secondary HACCP certification, recertification, or multiple certifications?All third-party HACCP certifications are eligible for funding, whether it’s a new certification or a recertification. You must successfully pass your audit and achieve your HACCP- based Certification in order to be funded, unsuccessful audits won’t be reimbursed.
- What is a Valid Form of Gap-Assessment (Pre-Audit)?A “Valid form of Gap-Assessment/ Pre-audit” is a pre-requisite to accessing the Food Safety Implementation funding under the On-Farm Food Safety (OFFS) Program. While there are many types of industry assessments that may be accepted, the OFFS program has posted an official definition of the type of assessments that we will consider valid when applying to the program. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the definition on our project website www.bconfarmfoodsafety.com and in our program guide.
- What if I don’t have a valid form Gap-Assessment/ Pre-Audit, what do I do? Am I still allowed to access Food Safety Implementation funding?If you don’t have a valid Gap-Assessment/ Pre-Audit, or yours has expired, the On-farm Food Safety (OFFS) Program will fund eligible on-farm businesses to get an assessment done. All participants must fill out both Part A and Part B applications forms in full and be approved by the program. Once approved, your organization will enter into a Contractual Funding Agreement with the program for the purposes of funding/ reimbursing a Gap- Assessment/ Pre-Audit for your business. The Contractual Funding Agreement must be signed & submitted before you may start your activities. *Any activity occurring before your contractual funding agreement starting date will not be reimbursed. Only assessments conducted by Accredited Food Safety Professionals (AFSP) will be considered valid and eligible for reimbursement, all other assessments.
- How do I apply for the program?The first part of the application (Part A: Eligibility Form) is accessible to everyone on the www.bconfarmfoodsafety.com. The second part of the application (Part B: Funding Application) is only accessible to clients who are deemed eligible. Access to the second application form is given via email to eligible clients. Detailed application steps can be found on our project website www.bconfarmfoodsafety.com or on Section 5 “Application Process” of the program guide.
- How do I know how much funding my company is eligible to receive?Each facility is unique, therefore, funding is determined on a case-by-case basis, depending what a company needs most to move it along the food safety spectrum. In general, all participants are eligible for the full $10,000 worth of funding. You will work with the TPA to develop a Workplan that is right for your business.
- Can I use the full $10,000 worth of funding? Yes, if all your activities are deemed eligible.
- Is my west coast seafood establishment eligible?No. Seafood establishments are not eligible for this program.
- Can I submit claims against the approved activities in part (i.e. post partial completion) or in full (i.e. after completion of all approved activities under the project)?You cannot submit claims against partially completed projects. You can only submit claims once all activities under the respective project/ category/ group headings are completed.
- What are the project/ category/ group headings? There are five groups headings under the three project headings as detailed below:
i. Gap Assessment
ii.Food Safety Improvement Activities
1. Food Safety Improvement Consulting
2. Equipment/Facility update
iii. HACCP final audit/ certification
Claims can be submitted after completion of all approved activities under any of the five groups headings above (therefore, technically you can submit a maximum of five claims if you have approved activities under all five group headings)
- What is the timeframe for completion of my approved activities?The claims must be submitted before the deadline provided by the TPA in your Workplan and Schedule A of your Funding Agreement. We however strongly recommend that you identify projects (which meet the eligibility criteria) that can be realistically completed within 6 to 8 months.
- Can I seek an extension for my approved activities in case I am unable to complete them within the approved deadline?Yes – you can (& must) seek deadline extension (amendment) to avoid losing the approved funding. By delaying your activity completion, you will however be putting yourself at a disadvantage in comparison to participants who complete activities ahead of time since they will be in a better position to seek additional funding before program funds run out (assuming they have not reached the funding limits). For more information, please refer to Section 9 Important Information of the program guide.
- How do I communicate with the program manager/ registrar regards clarifications/ amendments? All inquiries and communication need to be done through your “My Profile” on the Funding Program website www.myonfarmprofile.com.
- We have On-Farm (farming) as well as Post-Farm activities (processing) in the same premise. Can we use the On- Farm funding for the processing activities since the processing activity is an extension of the farming activity? No – On-Farm funding cannot be used for processing activities. For processing activities, you need to apply for the Post Farm funding at www.bconfarmfoodsafety.com
- I am unclear on where my On-Farm process finishes, and Post-Farm process begins (boundaries are blurring)In general, Post-Farm process begins where the On-Farm product loses its original form e.g. peeling/cutting of fruits and vegetables, slaughter of poultry/animals etc. In case of ambiguity – please discuss it with the TPA. Under no circumstance should you apply for the same activity under both funding programs.
- Can I use the On-Farm funding for improving the health of my farm and animal welfare? No – The On-Farm funding can only be used for improving the food safety. Animal welfare & environment sustainability (improving water/air/land quality etc.) are peripheral activities not directly connected to food safety. For more information, please refer to Appendix B “Project Categories for Eligible Activities and Costs” and to the program’s website www.bconfarmfoodsafety.com.