Apply for Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures
Do you have an innovative project that could make a measurable, sustainable impact on New Zealand's food and fibre sectors or the country as a whole? Find out how to apply for funding through Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures (SFF Futures).
About SFF Futures
SFF Futures funds innovative projects that will create more value from the food and fibre industries. Projects can be small, one-off initiatives through to large, long-term partnerships.
How to apply
Before we'll consider your project, you need to make sure that it meets the 5 eligibility criteria.
1. Relates to an eligible sector or industry
Projects related to agriculture, fisheries, forestry, and associated industries may be eligible for funding.
These may include:
- pastoral and arable farming
- wild fisheries
- wood products
- food and beverages
- dietary supplements and nutraceuticals
- knowledge extension to farmers, growers and fishers.
2. Aims to create measurable, sustainable change
The purpose of your project must be to make a real, ongoing difference for the environment, economy, or New Zealanders. This could mean:
- new products or technologies
- new farming practices or production processes
- improvements to farming supply chains.
3. Is sustainable
Your proposal must explain how the project is environmentally, socially, culturally, and economically sustainable. Examples for each are below.
- Environmental sustainability – increasing biodiversity, or techniques to minimise fertiliser use.
- Social sustainability – involving local communities, or training employers to improve health and safety practices.
- Cultural sustainability – restoring access to taonga, or capturing and sharing traditional knowledge.
- Economic sustainability – changing farming practices to reduce costs, or generating enough income to cover ongoing costs.
4. Will benefit New Zealand
Your project must deliver long-term benefits to New Zealand and New Zealanders. These 'public good' benefits could include:
- more jobs – particularly in rural areas and areas with high unemployment
- skill development and capability building
- lowering greenhouse gas emissions
- increasing biodiversity
- improving water quality
- improving opportunities for marginalised groups.
5. Goes beyond ‘business as usual’
SFF Futures is designed to fund innovative, future-focused projects. So if you or someone else is already doing what you propose, it won’t be eligible for funding. However, if your proposal significantly expands on or extends an existing product or practice, it may be eligible.
Your proposal is not eligible if it:
- is solely export-focused
- would breach New Zealand’s international obligations
- involves business-as-usual activities and costs
- would primarily benefit non-New Zealanders
- duplicates other work without significantly extending benefits
- is work that could be done with private funding, such as bank loans.
Check you meet the applicant criteria
Before we can approve any funding, SFF Futures will examine you or your business to make sure you meet our legal requirements. This may include checking key project members for:
- their identity
- relevant legal proceedings
If your project is eligible
Go to step 2 and check your proposal against our assessment criteria.
If your project isn’t eligible
There are options available from other Crown funding agencies.
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) – provides services and support to businesses looking to go global. They help build capability, boost global reach, connect to other businesses, and invest in growth. They also connect investors with opportunities in New Zealand through a network of investment advisors.
Callaghan Innovation – partners with businesses of all sizes. It delivers a range of innovation and research and development (R&D) services to suit each stage of their growth, including R&D co-funding.
We’ll assess your proposal against the following criteria to decide whether you qualify for funding, and if you do, how much you will receive.
For a better chance of success, consider each criterion carefully.
We will look at the scale of the project:
- How significant is the problem being solved?
- Is it linked to policy objectives or issues in the industry?
Your proposal needs to make costs and expected impacts clear and measurable.
Sustainability is one of the primary purposes of SFF Futures, so your proposal must show how your project will contribute to economic, environmental, social and cultural sustainability. Although your project may focus on one of these areas, the other elements should be included.
Capacity, planning, and delivery
As with most projects, funding depends on your ability to deliver. You need to show that you have the skills, resources, and permits in place to complete the project.
You should include:
- a step-by-step plan
- market insights and validation – evidence that a market exists, is accessible and is likely to be profitable
- risk assessment – identify and quantify any risks of the project, and show how they’ll be reduced.
The public good
Projects must have an ongoing benefit to New Zealand. We'll assess your proposal on the overall economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits for the country and its people. We'll decide on your level of funding based on how much public good your project can deliver.
How you'll impact on and benefit industry members should be clear. You’ll also need to show that you will collaborate and share information with others – involving a wider range of relevant parties is a plus.
Your project should focus on developing new skills, products, technologies, practices, and knowledge, or significantly extending existing products or practices.
Make sure your proposal shows the potential of the project, for your business, the wider industry, and the general community.
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