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Enhanced Agri-Québec program will support producers while they transition to organic agriculture

Starting in 2017, participating operations or those that want to register in the Agri-Québec program may benefit from a new component that will offer better support to producers transitioning to organic agriculture or aquaculture.

The increase in support, which covers a maximum period of three years, will be granted starting in the year where the income from pre-certified products eligible for Agri-Québec represents at least 50% of the total allowable income of the operation. Furthermore, because of an agreement with the Conseil des appellations réservées et des termes valorisants (CARTV – organization that oversees reserved designations and added-value claims), participating operations that meet conditions will automatically be considered for this new component.

The Agri-Québec program allows operations to receive a government contribution every year, which represents a minimum of 3.2% of the operation's allowable net sales (ANS). The enhanced program means an increase in the government's contribution of 4% for ANS of up to $100,000 and 2% for those between $100,000 and $1.5 million. As a result, an operation that has ANS of $100,000, the annual benefit would be a total of $8,200, i.e. an additional $4,000. In the case of an operation with $200,000 in ANS, it would see its benefit reach $12,400, i.e. an additional $6,000.

We would like to remind you that during the transitional period to organic agriculture, the operation will face increased risks and additional investments even though the sales price still reflects that of a conventional product.

For example:
Annual incomeAllowable net salesPercentage of support201720182019Possible total depositAdditional amount
< $100,0001$100,000Agri-Québec (4.2%)$4,200$4,200$4,200$12,600--
< $100,0001$100,000Agri-Québec
Org. increase
> $100,000$200,000Agri-Québec
> $100,0001st $100,000Agri-Québec
Org. increase (7.2%)
> $100,0002nd $100,000Agri-Québec
Org. increase
  1. Since 2015, small operations (income < $100,000) also get an additional 1% increase in rate.

In summary:

  • The increase will apply starting in the 2017 participation year;
  • Operations eligible for the increase will be those that, starting in the 2015, have undertaken a pre-certification process for the first time;
  • The increase could be spread out over three years starting in the pre-certification year;
  • The increase nearly doubles the current government contribution.