Is Your Business Ready to Take Its Next Steps?
A New NYS Grown and Certified Grant Opportunity Can Help
NYFVI is partnering with NYS Grown & Certified to launch a grant program to assist New York food producers, processors, distributors, and other eligible entities in bringing NYS Grown & Certified products to market. We anticipate releasing a Request for Proposals (RFP) later in 2023.
While we are working to develop the details and management infrastructure for the program, we are encouraging potential applicants to take steps now to make sure they are prepared when the full RFP is released.
Grant applications will be more competitive if the applicant is already enrolled or actively in the process of becoming part of the NYS Grown & Certified program. That is why we are encouraging all potential applicants to take a look NOW at the NYS Grown & Certified program and determine if it is a good fit for their business.
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What to Expect in the RFPs
- Nearly $6 million will be available
- Grants will be available for infrastructure and technology projects as well as research and development
- Many capital costs will be allowed
- Grant sizes will range from $20,000 to $250,000 for infrastructure and technology projects, and $10,000 to $50,000 for product research and development projects
- A 10% match (cash, grant, loan) will be required for all projects
- Funds will be awarded by region
- Applications from current NYS Grown & Certified participants or businesses actively working to become certified will be prioritized
- Applicants will need to be able to communicate clearly about their business plan and financials in the application.
Priority Areas for Project Applications
NYFVI is working on designing a program that spurs adoption of innovative practices and approaches across the industry. To be considered, all projects must have a direct and timely benefit to the New York agricultural industry and significance to the region served by the eligible applicant.
Specific priorities for projects include:
- Distribution capacity enhancement
- Environmental sustainability related to NYS Grown & Certified participation
- Food Safety
- New Product Development
- Processing and Packing
- Production automation and labor efficiency
Funding will be awarded within 4 regional groups:
- Finger Lakes and Central NY: $1 million for capital projects
- Mid-Hudson, New York City, and Long Island: $1.5 million for capital projects
- North Country, Mohawk Valley, and Capital Region: $1.5 million for capital projects
- Western NY and Southern Tier: $1 million for capital projects
Each regional group will also have an additional $200,000 available for research and development projects.
More Details on NYS Grown & Certified Program Requirements
Participation in the Grown & Certified program is free and the requirements are straightforward. To qualify, businesses must meet certification criteria:
- Products are grown and produced in New York State
- Farms participate in a third-party food safety verification program, if applicable
- Producers participate in an environmental management program, or Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM)
AEM is a voluntary, confidential, incentive-based program that helps farmers protect important natural resources. Learn more about AEM here.
If you are ready to schedule a free, confidential AEM Risk Assessment for your farm, please send an email and use Request AEM Appointment as your subject line.
Specific information on third party food safety certifications for each type of food product can be found at the links below.
More Details on Eligible Applicants:
Agricultural producers located within New York State that produce edible agricultural products are eligible to participate in NYS Grown & Certified and this grant program.
Criteria for eligible commodities can be found on the program’s website. NYS Grown & Certified applications are available for:
- All fresh market fruit and vegetable products grown in New York State are eligible to be New York State Grown & Certified by the farm business.
- Growers that sell their products to processors should review the raw ingredient suppliers section below.
- Raw Ingredient Suppliers
- Craft beverage ingredients
- Dairy Producers: If your farm sells to a New York State Grown & Certified processor or cooperative and you participate in AEM or are a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, you will be eligible to apply for the grant. Look to see if your business partners are part of the New York State Grown & Certified program here. If you don’t see their name, please reach out to your processor or cooperative directly.
- Other raw ingredients for food products, such as apples, juice grapes, small grains and legumes should apply as a processed product ingredient producer.
All product that is marketed as New York State Grown & Certified must use predominantly New York State ingredients. Processor applications are available for:
- Craft Beverages
- Dairy Products
- Other processed food and beverage products
Agricultural Co-operatives of edible products must have at least ten members residing in New York State or at least 51% of membership residing in New York State and participating in the NYS Grown & Certified program. An “agricultural cooperative” means a cooperative, either stock or non-stock, operated for the mutual benefit of the members in which (1) no member is allowed more than one vote because of the amount of stock or membership capital he or she may own therein, and (2) the cooperative does not pay dividends on stock or membership capital in excess of twelve per centum per annum.
For more information on the requirements for a cooperative to become a NYS Grown & Certified participant, please reach out via email here. Please use Co-ops as your subject line.
Distributors that represent at least ten New York State Grown & Certified producers will be eligible for these grants. A distributor is defined as a food or beverage distributor that provides direct services for agricultural producers, of edible products, such as through consolidation, storing, and delivering products, or who otherwise serves as an intermediary between producers and wholesale or retail buyers, such as restaurants, schools, grocery stores, etc.
For more information on the requirements for a distributor to become a NYS Grown & Certified participant, please reach out via email here. Please use Distributor as your subject line.
New York Not-for-Profit Corporations
New York not-for-profit corporations partnering with one or more New York State Grown & Certified producers, food processing establishments, distributors or agricultural cooperatives (as defined above). Not-for-profit corporations are generally defined in New York Consolidated Laws, Not-For Profit Corporation Law – NPC § 102. A “Corporation” or “domestic corporation” means a corporation (1) formed under this chapter, or existing on its effective date and theretofore formed under any other general statute or by any special act of this state, exclusively for a purpose or purposes, not for pecuniary profit or financial gain, for which a corporation may be formed under this chapter, and (2) no part of the assets, income or profit of which is distributable to, or ensures to the benefit of, its members, directors or officers except to the extent permitted under this statute.
Note for all Applicants:
Applicants must be currently enrolled in the New York State Grown & Certified program or provide a letter of commitment to be enrolled by the conclusion of the project. if they are selected for funding.
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The document below can be used to share information about the upcoming grant program.