Grants for Food and Beverage Guidebook
Who qualifies for Food & Beverage grants in Canada?

The first step in qualifying for a Food & Beverage grant is simple: You must operate a Food & beverage business! There are many sub-categories in the term ‘Food & Beverage’.


  • If you are an incorporated food company in Canada with fewer than 500 employees, you probably qualify for Food & Beverage grants.  
  • Eligibility criteria vary from program to program, so make sure you read the applicant guide carefully (and ask for help when you need it!).
  • Every grantor has its own mandate and definition of what a “food” business is. Don’t count yourself out if your business doesn’t completely fit the mould – explore the options and ask questions to find out for sure!

The first step in qualifying for a Food & Beverage grant is simple: You must operate a Food & beverage business! There are many sub-categories in the term ‘Food & Beverage’, so let’s take a look at what this includes: 

  • Breweries
  • Distilleries
  • Farmers including meat, poultry, eggs, fruits, and vegetables
  • Foodservice
  • Non-alcoholic beverage producers
  • Processors and manufacturers 
  • Restaurants and bakeries

Food & Beverage grants are administered by both provincial and federal government programs. They are also often awarded by other organizations or non-profits with a stake in the industry. Eligibility for these grants varies greatly from one program to another. Here are some common themes of eligibility for the many different Food & Beverage programs out there:

  • To receive a grant from the Canadian government, your business must be registered in Canada. This requirement is consistent across all types of programs administered in Canada. 
  • Your business must be incorporated and have a business number. 
  • Your business must have been established for at least 1 or 2 years before you can begin to secure funding. If you haven’t had your first birthday, it’s still a great idea to see what’s out there so that you are able to hit the ground running once you become eligible.
  • Most business grants across all industries are for SMEs, meaning you must have fewer than 500 employees. 

In the Food & Beverage space, it’s common for food-grant programs to cater to one specific industry or sub-sector. For example, grants for farmers tend to be more for operational practices to promote sustainability and new technology, while operational expenses are seldom eligible for other Food & Beverage businesses. It’s important to know the purpose of the program before you start your application, so be sure to double-check!

Wondering what options are out there for food startups? Young companies may not be eligible for as many grants as mature ones, but that doesn’t mean you don’t qualify completely. Check out our blog library for more articles on grants for startups. 

Next Chapter – How much Food& Beverage grant funding can I get?

Let’s break down some of the most popular types of grants and see how much funding can be secured for one application.

Calculate your potential grant funding

Curious about how much grant funding your company can get?