Massachusetts Co-Packing Startup Grant

Grant Overview

This funding opportunity is closed.

The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC) announces the availability of funds through the Massachusetts Co-Packing Start-Up Grant program.

This 6-month grant program will provide funds for either (1) dairy farmers located in Massachusetts forming a new partnership with a processor co-packer or (2) for a licensed dairy processor forming a new partnership with at least one Massachusetts dairy farmer to launch a farm-branded value-added product line.  Projects funded through this program will support dairy farmers or dairy processors who have sought assistance from a Technical Service Provider to develop a co-packing business plan. Having this plan in place is essential for securing funding to kickstart co-packing opportunities. It should be ready for immediate implementation and outline the vision, goals, and strategies for value-added production, along with details of the farmer-processor relationship. As this grant program is focused on the development of value-added dairy products via co-packing, the applicant will be required to demonstrate a partnership with a farmer (for processor applicants) or with a processor (for farmer applicants). 

Funded projects will be centered on continued technical assistance for value-added processing and production, professional marketing and branding services for the co-packed products, and/or equipment specific to value-added processing. All projects must include a viable plan that shows value-added production vision, goals, and include a description of any work that has taken place to implement processor start-up including formalizing the farmer-processor relationship. 

Dairy farmers in Massachusetts and licensed dairy processors are invited to apply. 

A total of $130,000 in grant funds is available. Awards will range from $15,000 to $35,000 with a 25% match commitment. 

Informational Webinar

View a recording of our webinar with MDAR to learn more about this grant program:

Eligibility 

Applicants eligible for these funds must fall into at least one of the following categories:  

  1. Dairy farmers located in Massachusetts that currently produce milk and have:
    • sought technical assistance for a co-packing business plan. 
  1. Dairy processors in the Northeast region that currently transform raw milk sourced from Massachusetts or are implementing a plan to process raw milk from Massachusetts into an edible product and: 
    • are licensed dairy processor in compliance with all required state and/or federal standards, as required for the sales outlets reached during the timeframe of this project;
    • able to commit to processing Massachusetts produced milk and; 
    • have sought technical assistance for a co-packing business plan. 

Applicants are expected to present projects that have progressed beyond the ideation stage, reaching at least the mature seed stage. Funded projects will be dedicated to launching value-added products resulting from co-packing collaborations into the market. Grant funds may be used to seek additional technical support, access professional marketing and branding services, or purchase specialized equipment for value-added production. 

How To Apply

  1. Review the full REVISED 2023 Massachusetts Co-Packing Startup Grant RFA (request for applications) for the complete details on eligible project/applicants and the full application process. 
  1. Register in WebGrants (may take up to two business days). 
  1. Complete your application in WebGrants using our Application Guide. This grant is currently closed.
  1. Applicants who do not already have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) through SAM.gov are strongly encouraged to start this process during the application period to ensure a timely start to their grant, if awarded. There are currently significant delays. 

Have a Question about this Grant?  

Have a question? Contact ali.boochever@vermont.gov 

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