Food Safety Obstacles To Market Program

This program focuses on assisting products to get to market by assisting companies with overcoming a specific retail food safety requirement/obstacle that prevents a product from getting to an identified retail market in a timely manner, or keeping those markets open when requirements change.

Intake is ongoing until funds are fully subscribed.  Apply early as funds are limited and the work will need to be scheduled.

Who is eligible?

  • Nova Scotia-based agriculture producers or agri-food and beverage processors with a product already being sold direct to consumers who are ready for retail sales OR who will have a retail market closed to them because of their lack of a food safety program.
  • Preference will be given to products that contain, at a minimum, 20 percent Nova Scotia-based agricultural products as ingredients

What are eligible activities?

  • Gap assessments to specific retails or food safety program requirements to assess what needs to be done for compliance
  • Program coaching of company’s quality assurance staff on plan development or revisions, and implementation and employee training
  • Pre-audit assessment in preparation for a third-party audit to meet a specific food safety program standard

Service definitions

  • Gap Assessment: on or offsite assessment and report to a predetermined standard supplied by the individual company involved; facility inspection (onsite) and written food safety program review; written food safety program review only (offsite); facility inspection onsite only.
  • Program Coaching; assistance with the development and/or implementation of a food safety program.  This can be done on or offsite depending on the aspects the individual company needs assistance with.  This may or may not include employee/individual training.
  • Pre-Audit Assessment: conducted at a facility or offsite based on the company’s written food safety program at least one month in advance of a third-party audit that is already booked.  Individual company must consider itself to be audit ready, food safety program in place and implemented.

Please note: assisting a processing facility with seeking federal registration is not covered under this program.

Is there a pre-requisite?

Yes. For all projects receiving funding of more than $3000, applicant companies are required to complete two of Perennia’s On-line Food Safety Fundamentals Courses before work can begin on their project.   Each course takes between 1-3 hours to complete and can be done at your own pace.  To learn more, visit Food Safety Fundamentals.

This pre-requisite may be waived if certificates of completion from recognized, food safety courses can be provided.  Completion of provincial (or other) food handlers courses does not meet this requirement.

What funding is available?

Funding is available to a maximum of $10,000 per annum per applicant.

Is there an equity requirement?

Yes. Projects are cost-shared to a maximum of 50/50 with applicants (for example, a $6,000 project would receive $3,000 in funding).  Applicants must pay 20 percent of their contribution for the project to begin, with the remaining 80 percent of their contribution due at project completion.

What is the application process and requirements?

  • Complete the application form specific to this program.  Incomplete applications will not be considered for funding so please ensure you submit a completed application. All information will be kept confidential and used for application assessment purposes only.
  • Once an application is received, applicants should be prepared to be contacted by a Perennia team member to get further information or to have follow up questions answered.
  • Applications will be reviewed quickly for approval so projects can move forward.
  • Successful applicants must be able to complete payment of 20 percent of their portion of the project before work begins.
  • Scheduling of the project may begin immediately upon application approval with a signed project plan.
  • Status of your application can be checked by e-mailing