It might be a little late in the offering, but Equine Canada invites small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) involved in the promotion and sale of equine genetics, horses, ponies, donkeys or mules to apply by October 10, 2010, for upwards of $50,000 each for promotional activities that target markets outside of North America.
Applications approved by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) can receive matching grant funding available through the AgriMarketing Program (AMP) for activities carried out between January 1 and March 31, 2011. The path to funding for SMEs was paved when Equine Canada received its own Contribution Agreement for AMP funding in mid-September when the Government of Canada solidified its planned investment of $135,033 this year in support of the association’s work for the export promotion of Canadian-bred horses and genetics.
The objective of the AMP is to enhance the Canadian agriculture, agri-food, fish and seafood sectors\’ marketing capacity and competitiveness by assisting industry to identify market priorities and equip itself for success in global markets.
AMP requires SMEs to work with Equine Canada who will confirm their export-readiness and submit funding applications on their behalf. Funding proposals from SMEs are for company-specific export market development and export marketing activities for the promotion and sale of Canadian-bred horses and genetics that target markets other than Canada and the USA. The program will cost-share eligible expenses at 50 per cent, up to a maximum of $50,000, with the SME providing the remaining 50 percent.
SMEs can find more information at www.equinecanada.ca/breedsandindustry/. Questions can be directed to Michael Arbour, Equine Canada Chief Financial Officer, tel: 613-248-3433, ext. 108 or email: [email protected].
In a separate funding stream for national associations, such as Equine Canada, AMP assists them to conduct generic activities on behalf of all members. Approved activities must be designed in a manner that enables the association to obtain information for the benefit of all members and the industry as a whole. In the case of association funding, horses and genetics can only be marketed from a Canadian perspective rather than from an individual company perspective.
Equine Canada will use its funding by March 2011 to broaden the international awareness of the quality and availability of Canadian-bred horses and genetics. Activities will include developing more online tools such as web and social media platforms that will educate Canadian stakeholders in export development, financing available to exporters and their customers, the use of the Canada Brand, and most importantly, help Canadians make greater connections with international buyers. Along with promoting Canada’s equine sector from a large trade fair booth at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky from September 25 to October 10, additional activities include conducting market investigations by attending meetings and trade shows in the USA, China and Chinese Taipei, and showcasing Canada’s mature and developed equine sector to delegates from around the world at events and seminars in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta.