Food Safety Systems Producer FAQs

Food Safety Systems Producer FAQs

The following FAQ’s are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions. Please refer to the Program Terms and Conditions for more detailed information.

What is the purpose of the Food Safety Systems Producer Program?

To help producers invest in equipment and tracking systems to improve On-Farm Food Safety practices, enhancing producers’ business competitiveness and food safety performance.

Am I eligible for this Growing Forward 2 Program?

Eligibility is based on enrollment/registration in your commodity specific OFFS program.

What is a commodity specific OFFS program?

The recognized On-Farm Food Safety program for your commodity (i.e. beef, dairy, sheep, etc.).

Is there anything I need to do before I apply for this program?

Complete any required training and be enrolled / registered in a commodity specific recognized OFFS program as of the date of your application. A listing of the OFFS programs can be found on page 10 of the Program Terms and Conditions.

How do I know if I’m enrolled/registered in my OFFS program?

Contact your commodity organization to determine your enrollment status. You can find specific OFFS program contact information under “Links and Resources” on the right hand side of the program page at www.growingforward.alberta.ca

Please contact your commodity organization for more information (this Growing Forward 2 program does not administer the specific OFFS programs).

Will I be required to obtain a Growing Forward registration number?

No, the Growing Forward registration number is no longer required.

Who is eligible to apply for funding?

Primary Agriculture Producers, Packers, and Producer-Graders. Please refer to sections 2.17, 2.18 and 2.19 of the Program Terms and Conditions.

How do I apply for this program?

1. Determine if you have met the eligibility requirements.

2. Determine if your activities are eligible.

3. Download the Application Form, complete in full and mail to the Program at:

Growing Forward 2 Food Safety Systems Producer Program

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

303, 7000-113 Street

Edmonton, AB T6H 5T6

Can I fax or email my application form?

No. Applications are accepted by mail only. Fax or email submissions will NOT be processed as per Section 4.3 of the Program Terms and Conditions.

What do I need to include in my application?

You must include your name, contact information and the specific OFFS program you are enrolled in and implementing in your operation relating to your application. If you provide a valid email address, your approval letter will be emailed to you. If you do not have a valid email, the letter will be mailed to you.

What do I need to include in Part B: Proposed Work Plan, on page 2 of the application?

An itemized list of the items you wish to purchase. Please list each individual item that has a cost associated with it.

For example, if you are purchasing a cattle scale, you need to list each item as:

1 – Purchase heavy duty load bars - $1,250.00

2 – Purchase a scale platform - $1,500.00

3 – Purchase a weigh scale indicator - $1,100.00

Are freight charges an eligible expense?

Yes. Freight is an eligible expense; however, it must be identified as a separate item on your application as it is not a standard expense.

When do I have to complete my activities by?

You must include a final completion date in Part B for each activity. Approved expenses must be incurred within the fiscal year you apply (April 1 – February 28 of the following year). Expenses incurred outside of those dates will not be eligible for reimbursement. Your approval letter will also state completion and deadline dates.

What activities are eligible for reimbursement?

Only those activities that support the implementation of an OFFS program are eligible. You MUST contact your commodity OFFS program directly if you have questions about exactly what equipment/purchases are eligible for reimbursement.

What activities are NOT eligible for reimbursement?

Activities that are not eligible are those that:

primarily support traceability, livestock welfare, or biosecurity;

primarily enhance production or product quality;

activities that occurred outside the Program Term.

How long will it take for my application to be reviewed?

Due to the high interest in this program, please allow 6-8 weeks for your application to be reviewed. You will then receive an approval letter that provides details on approved eligible activities and expenses, completion dates, and the reimbursement claim submission process.

What do I do if I have not heard anything after waiting 8 weeks after mailing my application?

All correspondence will be sent to the email address you provide on your application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that your email spam filters are adjusted and that the email did not end up in your junk folders. If, after checking your email spam filters and junk folders, you have not received a notification from the Program, you may call the program area. Due to the high volume of applications, it may take at up to a week for the program to respond

What happens if my application is incomplete or I forgot to sign the Statement of Certification (Part C)?

An incomplete or illegible application can significantly delay the review and/or approval of your application and it may be returned to you for resubmission. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure the application is completed in full. If the application is not complete, it will not be processed and will be returned. You must then reapply. Your place in the queue will not be held.

What is the cost share on eligible expenses of the Program?

The program will reimburse 70% of the approved eligible expenses, or the maximum, whichever is less.

What is maximum funding level under this Program?

The maximum payment you may receive is $5,000 over the Program Term (April1, 2013 – March 31, 2018).

Is my funding dependent on a third party OFFS audit?

While we recommend that you maintain your OFFS registration by completing the commodity requested audits, audits do not influence potential funding under this program.

I manage multiple commodities within my operation. Can I apply under each commodity?

Yes. You can apply under each commodity within your operation, as long as you have met the eligibility requirements for each commodity group.

Do I have to pay upfront for my approved expenses before I submit my reimbursement request?

Yes. All of the Eligible Activities and Eligible Expenses identified in your approval letter must be paid in full before you request reimbursement. Invoices must clearly indicate ‘paid in full’.

How do I submit my Reimbursement Claim?

When you are sent your approval letter, it will include the Reimbursement Claim Form that you need to complete and submit along with the invoices and/or proof of payment, including instructions on where to send your claim. You MUST complete the form in full. Incomplete forms or incorrect information will significantly delay payment processing.

What do I need to send with my Reimbursement Claim form?

You must include all applicable invoices/receipts that clearly indicate payment has been made in full. All invoices MUST be issued in the name of the grant recipient, according to your Approval Letter. Incomplete/inaccurate submissions will significantly delay payment processing

Where can I get more information?

Please refer to the Program Terms and Conditions for more information and visit http://www.growingforward.alberta.ca

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