The federal government launched a $100-million Agriculture and Food Business Solutions Fund on Thursday. Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food made the announcement on behalf of Farm Credit Canada (FCC).

The fund is expected to support proven, viable companies through the unexpected business disruptions caused by COVID-19. Marie-Claude Bibeau said the fund is made possible by a partnership with Calgary-based Forage Capital Inc. but FCC will be the sole investor in the fund.

Bibeau said the fund aims to help companies involved in farming crops and animals, agri-tech, manufacturing, packaging and distribution. She said support will take the form of flexible financing solutions. Applications will be assessed individually on their merit and will be supported to a maximum of $10-million.

To qualify, Bibeau said companies need to demonstrate an impact from unexpected business disruption, such as the loss of a key supplier, temporary loss of a facility, or permanent loss of critical staff or leadership.

Funds cannot be used to repay shareholder loans or purchase shareholder equity positions.