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Saskatchewan Lean Improvements in Manufacturing (SLIM)

The Saskatchewan Lean Improvements in Manufacturing (SLIM) program provides funding assistance to agri-businesses for the adoption of best practices, new state-of-the-art technologies and processes stimulating significant improvements in productivity efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reductions through:

  • Automation, efficient manufacturing processes and technologies;
  • Investments in sustainable manufacturing with greenhouse gas emissions-reducing equipment and infrastructure; and
  • Increased productive capacity by purchasing or upgrading equipment to expand processing to a new product complimentary to existing primary inputs.

1. Eligibility

Eligible applicants are agri-businesses, First Nations or Abattoirs involved in value-added processing of Canadian agricultural products that are considered:

  • A commercial enterprise located in Saskatchewan;
  • Incorporated federally or in Saskatchewan and have filed income tax in Saskatchewan within the past year;
  • An existing facility in operation undertaking value-added processing for a minimum of two years;
  • Demonstrating a minimum of $100,000 gross annual revenue relating to value-added processing;
    • A value-added product is defined as the upgrading of a raw primary agricultural product(s), or further upgrading of a processed product or derivative (includes co-product, by-product) into a new product; and
  • Using an identifiable portion of inputs originating from primary agricultural commodities grown or raised in Canada. 

The following facilities are not eligible for funding:

  • Facilities where the retail environment is larger than the processing area;
  • Publicly funded facilities;
  • Cannabis processing facilities that do not have a standard processing licence as issued by Health Canada; and
  • Processors of seafood or fish.

Persons related to an eligible applicant will be subject to the program’s maximum funding cap for that eligible applicant. Related applicants include:

  • The maximum amount that may be paid to an eligible applicant, including persons related to an eligible applicant, may not exceed the maximum funding cap of $750,000 per applicant/related entity over the life of the program.
  • “Related applicants” include but are not limited to spouses, business partners, relatives living in the same residence, individuals/entities which have controlling interests in more than one operation and operations that are not legally, financially or operationally sufficiently independent of other entities.
  • In determining whether a person/entity is a related applicant, the ministry may consider the following factors:
    • whether the person/entity is engaged in a common enterprise with the applicant as a corporate affiliate or subsidiary, partner, member of a joint venture, trustee of a trust or estate in which the eligible applicant has a substantial beneficial interest or any other relationship which evidences an intention to share the profits or risk of loss of the operation with the eligible applicant;
    • whether the person/entity makes operational decisions in respect of the operation or makes those decisions jointly or in common with the eligible applicant;
    • whether the person/entity is responsible to ensure that day-to-day operations are completed respecting the operation;
    • whether the person/entity and the applicant have access to common assets such as land, machinery, processing equipment, crop storage or animal handling facilities used in the operation;
    • whether the person/entity files separate income and expense statements for income tax purposes;
    • whether the person/entity maintains separate farm or business accounting records;
    • whether the person/entity maintains a separate bank, credit union or trust company account;
    • whether the person/entity has a separate Goods and Services Tax number;
    • whether the person/entity has any other financial interest in the operation; and
    • any other matter that the ministry believes is relevant to the legal, financial or operational independence of the operation.

For more information about related entities, please send an email to or contact the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377.

First Nation businesses may have distinct characteristics reflecting regulatory, operational, cultural and other factors. Our programs are designed to allow for flexibility to reduce barriers and ensure accessibility. If you are interested in applying for programs and have questions about the application process or eligibility criteria, please contact one of our Building and Strengthening Indigenous Supports (BASIS) specialists or contact the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377 and ask to be connected with one of our BASIS team members.


2. Eligible Expenses

Business Analysis:

  • A business analysis is a review of the facility's current production methods and identifies where efficiencies can be gained or new technologies adopted to increase productivity, expand production or reduce emissions.
  • Approval to proceed with a business analysis and all of the required components of the report will be provided to eligible applicants after submission and ministry review of the pre-approval application form to ensure your company is eligible under SLIM.
  • The business analysis can be completed internally if the capability exists. All requirements of the report remain the same. Business analysis internally prepared is not eligible for in-kind rebate under the program.
  • Business analysis undertaken by an independent third-party consultant with experience and knowledge of efficient manufacturing principles, productivity and systems efficiency is eligible for rebate, subject to any funding caps indicated. The ministry does not provide referrals or recommendations on consultants.
  • Third-party business analysis reports will be eligible for rebate even if the applicant does not proceed with the project application or if the project is not approved. However, applicants must receive approval before beginning the business analysis.
  • A business analysis completed by third-party contractor can receive 50 per cent of the eligible costs to a maximum of $20,000. Third-party business analysis includes costs incurred for the following, but not limited to:
    • Consultant fees;
    • Consultant site visits to conduct efficient manufacturing assessments;
    • Commercial assessments;
    • Engineering, electrical or emissions reduction specialists who provide expertise and analysis to the identified improvements;
    • Automation or manufacturing processes or technology improvements, engineering and technology design;
    • Greenhouse gas emissions-reduction assessments and process audits relevant to the SLIM project stream(s);
    • Third party costs directly related to developing the assessment of:
      • New technology, including design;
      • Equipment increasing labour productivity;
      • Equipment increasing manufacturing capacity and expansion capability of producing new products in the facility; and
      • Emission reduction equipment or infrastructure.

Business Analysis Details:

Instructions to complete the business analysis will be given to successful applicants after pre-approval application is processed. Examples of information collected in a business analysis include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The Canadian agricultural commodity currently being processed at the facility (including annual volume used as well as the value);
  • An overview of how processing is done at the facility, including any by-products or waste product generated as a result of the processing;
  • The production issues or opportunity identified at the facility and the proposed solution to the issues (equipment);
  • For each emissions improvement:
    • Current level of power or gas consumption;
    • The new level of consumption with the improvements;
    • Equipment being sourced and installed;
    • Number of lights moved to LED from regular bulbs; and
    • Other eligible equipment and GHG reductions as eligible.
  • Indicate for each equipment solution what expansion or efficiency gains will be achieved as a result of the proposed solution including:
    • The increase in Canadian agricultural commodity that can be processed as a result of the improvement;
    • The value of this increase (both by volume and dollars);
    • Increases in labour productivity including any labour saving and/or new positions created;
    • Operational savings; and
    • The amount of finished product produced as a result of these upgrades (by volume and value).
  • Any equipment to be acquired or replaced, along with a budget and estimated timeline for sourcing, receiving and becoming operational;
  • Any manufacturer training that will be required and undertaken; and
  • An efficiency analysis summary chart which summarizes the above.

Efficiency Stream—50 per cent rebate of the following eligible expenditures:

  • Projects that result in cost-savings for the business, including but not limited to, reducing food or water waste, improving water quality, or improving water use efficiency.
  • Purchase of new or refurbished equipment and machinery replacing existing equipment and achieves processing efficiencies.
    • Equipment must be new or refurbished. Refurbished equipment must be purchased from a reputable dealer or equipment manufacturer (arms-length transactions). In the event of any disagreement, final approval will be at the discretion of the ministry. It is recommended that applicants discuss refurbished equipment purchases with a program specialist before purchasing the equipment.
  • Nominal structural adjustments and renovations of buildings, including rental of equipment required to undertake the renovations.
  • Installation, delivery, shipping/handling fees and construction expenses provided by an independent third party.
  • Training costs directly related to the project (e.g., cost of independent third-party trainer, books, registration fees). Activities must have a significant impact on productivity and represent progressive development from equipment and processes currently used.
  • Consultation, design, engineering and related training provided by a third-party.
  • Software that is imbedded in eligible equipment and directly contributes to processing efficiency.

Emissions Reduction Stream—60 per cent rebate of the following eligible expenditures:

  • Anaerobic digestion of food waste, conversion of biogas into electricity, heat or renewable natural gas.
  • Upgrades to improve energy resource efficiency:
    • Energy efficiency improvements to the building envelope including but not limited to lighting, ventilation upgrades and efficiency improvements to heating, refrigeration, cooling and water heating.
    • The adoption of alternative energy sources such as solar, wind power or combined heat and power projects.

Expansion Stream—50 per cent rebate of the following eligible expenditures:

  • Water development projects including wells, connection to rural water utility, converting non-potable water to potable water and pipelines for commercial use.
  • The purchase of equipment, shipping and installation costs related to the addition of new product processing lines complimentary to processing already being undertaken. This would generally use the same Canadian agricultural commodities already sourced for processing but will result in the production of new products being developed.
    • Equipment must be new or refurbished. Refurbished equipment must be purchased from a reputable dealer or equipment manufacturer (arms-length transactions). In the event of any disagreement, final approval will be at the discretion of the ministry. It is recommended that applicants discuss refurbished equipment purchases with a program specialist before purchasing the equipment.

3. Ineligible Expenses

Ineligible expenses include but are not limited to:

  • Expenditures made prior to April 1, 2023, or prior to project approval;
  • New buildings, additions or major building modifications;
  • Labour, wages or travel costs of applicant or employees (non-third-party transactions);
  • Use of own equipment;
  • Leased, used or self-made equipment, including any equipment purchased at auction;
  • Taxes, brokerage, legal costs or interest/financing costs;
  • Business or marketing plan development;
  • Office equipment;
  • Computers and related hardware;
  • Software that is not imbedded in equipment and/or does not increase productivity;
  • Farm equipment (including grain bins), cars, trucks, tractors, trailers, forklifts or other mobile motorized equipment;
  • Purchase of capital items such as land or buildings;
  • Production disturbances;
  • Equipment and supplies requiring replacement on an ongoing basis;
  • Items considered being regular repair or maintenance;
  • Costs claimed for expenses/activities which may receive funding under other Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership programs, or any other government grant, rebate or assistance program.

4. Funding

The maximum amount that may be paid to an eligible applicant, including persons related to an eligible applicant, may not exceed the maximum funding cap of $750,000 per applicant/related entity over the life of the program. This includes any funding for a BA.


  • A business analysis completed by third-party contractor: 50 per cent of the eligible costs to a maximum of $20,000 per applicant/related entity over the lifetime of the Sustainable CAP SLIM program. A business analysis completed internally is not eligible for in-kind rebate.
  • Project Streams:
    • Efficiency Stream: 50 per cent of eligible expenditures.
    • Emissions Reduction Stream: 60 per cent of eligible expenditures.
    • Expansion Stream: 50 per cent of eligible expenditures.

Maximum funding:

  • An applicant’s maximum funding cap is determined by assessing the project size against the Tiered Funding Model.

Tiered Funding Model:

Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3
Project size of
$50,000 to $1,000,000
Project size greater than
$1,000,000 to $5,000,000
Project size greater than $5,000,000
Maximum funding up to $300,000* Maximum funding up to $500,000* Maximum funding up to $750,000*

Project Size:

  • Project size is calculated by the sum of the approved eligible expenses under the SLIM program and additional allowable expenses as indicated in the table below.
    • All project size costs must be attributable to the project, verifiable and incurred between April 1, 2023, to time of final claim submission.
  • Each completed project under the SLIM program cumulatively contributes to the project size over the Sustainable CAP SLIM Program.
  • Total eligible project expenditures must be a minimum of $50,000 per application to be eligible for rebate.
  • Before approval can be given for a project, all previous applications must be finished and paid out, or officially cancelled.

*Applicants will be given a predicted tier for their project after a business analysis is submitted based on estimated project size. The tier of each application/project is determined by the cumulative approved project size at time of final claim.

  • Project Size Allowable Expenses: Project size is calculated by the sum of the total approved and claimed eligible expenses and the allowable project size expenses as indicated below.
Project Size Allowable Expenses
Contributions toward Project Size include but are not limited to the following:
Allowable** Not allowable
  • Building infrastructure
  • Construction costs


  • Land purchase
  • Labour or wages
  • Shipping
  • Inventory
  • Software not directly attributable to improving automation or manufacturing processes
  • Trademark or patent purchases of other intellectual property
  • Utilities
  • Taxes, brokerage, legal costs or interest/financing costs
  • Office equipment
  • Startup operating costs
  • Ongoing business expenses

**These expenses contribute to the overall project size that determines the tier of the applicant and the maximum funding cap. They are not eligible for rebate under the SLIM program.

Interim Claim:

  • Interim claims are optional and can be submitted for consideration under the following conditions:
    • The SLIM project has received ministry approval.
    • The claimed items have been approved and are fully installed, paid in full, and operational prior to requesting an interim payment. Submission of proof of payment (cheque image, bank statement etc.) is required.
    • A 15 per cent holdback will be placed on all approved interim claims until the project has been completed and the final claim submitted. Holdback payment subject to maximum funding available.
    • At least $200,000 in approved eligible expenses must be incurred and submitted to be eligible for an interim payment.
    • The maximum of all interim payments cannot exceed $300,000 excluding the holdback.
    • The provided claim form is fully completed and accompanied by a copy of all invoices for the completed work.

Final Claim:

  • Applicants must submit claims to the Ministry of Agriculture’s Programs Branch.
  • Final claim can be submitted when equipment and materials are installed, fully paid for and operational. SLIM program requirements must be met prior to payment of any claim. An interim claim is not required to submit the final claim.
  • Applicants are responsible for obtaining and complying with any permits, licensing, or approvals required and for incorporating any relevant mitigation measures for your project.
  • Submission of a completed claim form, copies of all invoices and proof of payment (cheque image, bank statement etc.) is required to process the claim.

Agri-Environmental Risk Assessment

As a condition to access program funding, applicants are required to review the Agri-Environmental Risk Assessment before beginning their project.

5. Deadlines

The deadline to submit a pre-approval application is on or before October 31, 2027.

The deadline to submit a completed business analysis is on or before December 31, 2027. Pre-approval must be received before a business analysis can be undertaken.

All approved projects must be fully completed with equipment paid for, installed and operational, and final claim submitted by the earlier of the date in the approval package or on or before March 31, 2028.


6. Apply

For more information on the SLIM program or application process, please contact Programs Branch with the Ministry of Agriculture at or call the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377.

For technical support or other value-added inquiries, please contact the Ministry of Agriculture Value-Added Unit at

Download the SLIM Pre-Approval Application Form

Completed pre-approval applications can be submitted by email to or mail to:
Ministry of Agriculture, Programs Branch
Saskatchewan Lean Improvements in Manufacturing Program
329 – 3085 Albert Street
Regina SK  S4S 0B1

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