Our services

Grant writing for farmers and food enterprises

Do you need help writing a grant application?

Grants can help unlock new growth or opportunities, but applying for them can feel like quite the opposite! If you’re facing a grant application but don’t know where to start, find writing too time-consuming, or just don’t think it makes good business sense for you to spend time on, we can help with your application.

We have worked with farmers, food hubs, food co-ops, community food buying groups and other food enterprises on grant applications. And we get results! 

We have two options for writing a grant application:

  • if you’re applying for a grant to use our services, we can help you write the application for free
  • if you have a different project in mind and you just need help writing the grant application, we can help you write the application for an hourly rate

Option 1: you’re applying for a grant to use our services

If you want to use the grant to get selling online, and to make all of your digital systems talk to each other (e.g. your accounting platform, email list, and online sales platform) then we can help! Some farmers have used grants to have us get them online and integrated, which saves them from backend admin, freeing up time to spend on farming and other parts of their business (and on getting some leisure time back!) If you’ve always wanted to get set up on the Open Food Network, or even have someone else run an online store on the platform for you, we can also help with that! Drop us a line if you’d like to chat more about any of these options

If you want to use a grant to create a better plan for new products, or to launch new products and evaluate them, we can help! Through a Lean Product consultancy package we can guide you through product development and evaluation. We’ll help you set metrics, run lean experiments to test your assumptions, and iterate so that your enterprise is thriving. We’ve helped enterprises from single farmers right up to food hubs (including CERES Fair Food) with these skills. With these new skills and guidance, anything you launch will be built on a solid foundation that will ensure you get the absolute most out of every bit of effort and money you put into your new product. If you’d like to chat to us about including a budget line for this sort of work, get in touch.

If you’re applying to spend the grant on our services, we’re happy to help write the application.

Option 2: you just need some help writing a grant application

If you have found a grant that you want to apply for, but you don’t quite know how to approach the grant application process, or you don’t have time to write the selection criteria, we can help. We charge an hourly fee to work with you on the grant application. We can write the tricky bits and help you gather the information needed.

How we work

Here’s an overview of how we will work with you on a grant. We:

  • start by having a quick look at the grant in question and raise any issues we can foresee, and create an agreement with you on which parts of the application you would like help with
  • interview you over the phone to get all of the information we need to write the grant application
  • set up a shared document so that you can see what we’re working on, and how long it is taking us so that you know we’re within the agreed budget
  • write the portions of the grant application that you need help with.

We can also help direct you to the right information for the work that you will need to do to submit the grant application. For example, if you’re applying to fit out a commercial kitchen we can provide you with examples from other farmers or food enterprises about the work that they needed to have done to meet food safety standards, some quotes that others have had so that you can confidently talk to trades.

We leave sourcing quotes to you, because you’re the one who will have relationships in your local area. 

Finally, we upload all of the information to the grant application portal, or drop it in the application form, and we give it to you for final checks before you hit the submit button.

“Working with Open Food Network made our grant application process so much simpler and less stressful! They helped us understand the food safety standards we needed to meet for our olive oil processing facility, and put us in touch with the right people at council to make sure our plans would be compliant.

As a busy parent and small business owner there’s no way I would have found the time to write the assessment criteria by the State Government deadline. Instead, I felt in very safe hands with Open Food Network writing the application. They asked the right questions, helped me articulate what we’re trying to achieve on our farm, and captured the essence of our vision – plus they were able to translate it into government-speak! Working on a shared document with close communication meant I had complete oversight of the process, and trusted the work was going to be done in time for our very quick turnaround time.

For us, it was a really worthwhile experience, and I came away with new information and steps forward no matter what the grant outcome.” 

Ruth Bruten

Olive oil farmer and processor, Trafalgar, Victoria

Can we help?

Have an idea, a project or a question? Want help using the Open Food Network software?  Get in touch and find out how we can help you with it.

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