Small Scale Food Processor Association (SSFPA)
Site 43, C-53, Fanny Bay, BC V0R 1W0
SSFPA'S "Electronic AGM"
Coming in February
Reflecting our far flung membership - along
with our commitment to innovation - SSFPA will be holding an "electronic
general meeting" for the period of February 7 to February 14,
2004. The agenda, reports, list of motions, and other pertinent
documents will be posted to our web site on January 24, 2004. If
you are a member, you are urged to check the site and read the information
- along with the instructions on how to vote - during the voting
period of February 7-14.
To vote, you will need to know your Living Inventory
login name and password. If you don't know this information, e-mail
either Mary or Frank.
You can also call (250) 335-3001 (for Frank) or (250) 973-6952 (for
Mary). You will also need your Living Inventory password for the
following unique opportunity provided through SSFPA.
Don't Pass up This Marketing Opportunity!
Do you want your name and products
in a directory delivered to every grocery store in Western Canada?
The SSFPA has the opportunity, starting
February 2004, to include a profile of the SSFPA in the Western
Grocer magazine, AND TO ALSO include all processor members contact
and product information.
If you are a SSFPA member in March
2004, you can take advantage of this opportunity by first reviewing
and correcting your information on the Living Inventory. You gain
access to the Living Inventory on our web site at https://www.ssfpa.net.
Remember, you control the information there; so make sure addresses,
contact names and numbers, and product information are all accurate
by January 31 to take advantage of this new marketing tool.
If you forget your password, the
Living Inventory will e-mail it to you at the e-mail address you had
when you first activated your account. To do this, go to https://www.ssfpa.net/InfoRetrieval/InfoRetrieval1.php.
If you are not a member of SSFPA,
you still have time to join at the processor organizational development
rate of just $10 in the inaugural year, which will be ending on February
7. You can even join online at https://www.ssfpa.net/Registration/Registration1.php.
The Alberta Food Processors Association informs
us of some important gatherings for our Alberta members. A "HACCP
Management Summary" course will be held on January 21 in Calgary
and on January 28 in Edmonton. And a "HACCP 111: Train the Trainer"
course is scheduled for February 17-18 in Calgary and February 24-25
in Edmonton. There is no prior course requirement for the Management
Summary event. Participants in the "Train the Trainer" course
should be familiar with both HACCP and GMP's. For further information
on both courses, click here.
[Note: information on the January offering begins on Page 3 of this
brochure.] You can also contact Spring
Savage at (403) 201-3657, ext. 25 or Ken Fahner at (780) 444-2272
ext. 233. These are the only times these HACCP courses will be offered
in Alberta in 2004.
Also coming up in Edmonton, Alberta, at the Greenwood
Inn, is the following event on February 4: "Concept to Commerce:
Finding Help in the Path to Profit: A Workshop for Growing Agri-Food
Businesses." We are told that: "Speakers for this workshop
are experts from the food industry, federal and provincial governments,
financial service providers, and from centres for industrial innovation,
research and development." Registration begins at 8 am, with the
workshop running from 8:30 to 4:30. Registration fee is $50, which includes
GST and the cost of lunch. Call 1-800-387-6030 or e-mail email@example.com
for more information.
The Farmers Diner: Let's Try This
Even if you're pressed for time, make sure you check
out this link
for the complete story on the Farmers Diner, a restaurant in Barre,
Vermont. According to its founder's business plan, the Diner is the
first of many to come. Tod Murphy plans a national network of Farmers
Diner outlets, serving food sourced from local producers and processors.
Murphy states: "We expect to become a leader in family/casual dining
because local fresh food tastes superior, customers prefer to support
their neighbors and communities and The Farmers Diner provides great
service and reasonable prices." Murphy describes the social returns
generated by this concept: "Every $1,000,000 in sales at a diner
translates into 350 acres of farmland in production, 13 new on-farm
jobs, and $1,200,000 in land conservation costs saved. Because of local
production ... each million in sales saves at least 10 tons of carbon
dioxide emissions annually." Now why didn't someone think of this
Read about the investment opportunities, the structure,
and the philosophy of this great "big on small" business at
the link above; and please someone start something like
this in Western Canada!
Summary of Products & Services
Requested by Small-Scale Food Processors
Since 2001 various studies have been undertaken
to discover the needs of small food processors to assist them in meeting
their business goals. Read this summary
of their needs; it has become the basis for further planning by the
Getting to the Meat of the Matter
Meat production is an area of both concern and opportunity
as new challenges and possibilities present themselves, particularly
in the last several months. If you are in the meat industry, it's vital
that you know about new and existing laws. Read the background on BC's
proposed new meat inspection regulations by visiting the Ministry
of Health Planning web site. Read the draft regs here
and the Food Safety Act (Bill 37) here.
And while we are on the subject of meat, the federal
government (under Health Canada) has proposed a new set of raw meat
labelling regulations. In an effort to improve the safety of meat and
poultry, Health Canada has been conducting consultations with stakeholders,
including mandatory safe handling labels for any products containing
more than 2% raw meat or poultry. A summary of the proposed labelling
regs is available here.
New Rules for Exporting Food Products
to the US
The US's new Bioterrorism Act came into effect on
December 12. Read about the new rules affecting virtually everyone
who imports food to our neighbour to the south by clicking here.
The BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries is helping to organize
an information session in conjunction with the Pacific Agriculture Show
on Friday, Feb. 20 from 1 - 4 pm. Eric Coutour, Assistant Customs Attache
from the US Embassy in Ottawa, is the speaker and the title of his talk
is "Borders: What's New!". We are told he is "dynamic
and entertaining and uses humour to get his point across." His
expertise in international trade "will make this a not-to-be missed
presentation." Find out more details here.
Another item on the Bioterrorism Act has come to
our attention. The US Food and Drug Administration notes: "We understand
that the new rule may be particularly onerous for small businesses,
gift basket companies and those that accept mail-in orders [ouch! sounds
like many of our members!]. It also puts significant pressure on administrative
personnel. If your enterprise is experiencing difficulties and frustrations
with the new rule, you may wish to comment on the regulations directly
to the FDA." Written comments can be sent to: Dockets Management
Branch (HFA-305); Food and Drug Administration; 5630 Fishers Lane, Room
1061; Rockville, MD USA 20852. To make an e-mail comment, click here.
You must include the docket number: 2002N-0278.
Our Office Has Moved
SSFPA's membership, board members, and staff are
an eclectic mix of rural and urban dwellers. Our co-ordinator, Frank
Moreland, and his partner, Sandra Mark (who works for SSFPA in various
technical assistance capacities), have moved from BC's capital in Victoria
to a rural haven up-Island in Fanny Bay, BC. This means our office has
also moved. Our snail mail address is RR #1, Site 43, Comp 53, Fanny
Bay, BC V0R 1W0. Phone is (250) 335-3001; cell phone is (250) 361-6639.
Our e-mail addresses remain the same: firstname.lastname@example.org
for Frank Moreland; email@example.com
for our membership development coordinator - and "sound bits"
editor - Mary Murphy.
BC Food Quality and Safety Initiative
The BC Food Quality and Safety Initiative is
a joint federal-provincial, $1.7 million dollar AgriFood Futures Fund,
established to assist small-scale producers and processors with their
food safety programs over the next five years. These funds will be used
to match industry contributions dollar for dollar. The good news for
small scalers is that genuine "in-kind" contributions of time,
labour and materials may be considered to be the same as a cash contribution.
Applications should be available by next summer, along with more financial
details. To view the initial work of the FS&Q steering committee
and the strategic plan for the delivery of this funding, please visit
the BC Agriculture Council's website at http://www.bcac.bc.ca/Announcements.asp.
To be put on a mailing list for an e-mail update and application when
the program is formally in place, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org,
with the subject line: FS&Q mailing list.
In November's sound bits we mistakenly stated
that SSFPA's Coordinator, Frank Moreland, had been named co-chair of the
Food Processors Alliance of Canada (FPAC). In fact, Frank chaired FPAC's
annual meeting in November. The organization has a single chair, Ted Johnston.
FPAC fosters industry-wide communication leading
to more effective action on behalf of food and beverage processing companies.
It emphasizes that food processing contributes $64 billion worth of goods
to the Canadian economy and 249,000 jobs to the Canadian economy (2001
figures) and must be given more recognition by government policy makers.
Read Frank's report of the issues affecting both small and large food
processors by clicking here.
FPAC Chair Ted Johnston's recommendations for policy guidelines to Agriculture
and Agri-Food Canada can be found here.
Correction on Information re: Chairmanship
of Food Processors Alliance of Canada (FPAC)
If you would like to collaborate with someone already
producing high quality, in-demand, all-natural foods, contact SSFPA
member Marsha Andrews of Marsha's Culinary Delights. Marsha's unique
products, prized by health-conscious gourmets, contain organic ingredients
(condiments) and have no refined sweeteners; instead Marsha uses maple
syrup and honey. There are no preservatives or additives in these products,
and they are also GMO-free. If you want to
find out more about Marsha's Culinary Delights, click here
to see the text of its brochure.
At this point in her company's development, Marsha
wants to focus on product development and re-configure her business.
She would like to consider a number of options including (1) taking
on a partner who would focus on marketing, web site development and
perhaps e-commerce; or (2) negotiate a labelling arrangement with another
business. If you are interested in exploring these or other possibilities,
give Marsha a call at (604) 271-7139 or e-mail her at email@example.com.
It could be a great opportunity for the right person or the right enterprise.
15 Million Initiative Will Help Farmers
The federal government's Ministry of Agriculture
and Agri-Food Canada has announced that producer organizations will
have access to a $15 million fund to build custom-made business risk
solutions for their members.
Known as Private Sector Risk Management Partnerships,
the initiative will help producer organizations connect with the private
sector financial community to build customized risk management tools.
Producer groups can apply under the initiative for funding to help them
develop solid business proposals to take to private sector providers
of risk management tools and services.
For further information on the initiative and the
application process, interested producer organizations should contact
the Private Sector Risk Management Partnership's office at 1-866-299-9599
or visit the website at www.agr.gc.ca/psrmp.
SSFPA Membership Extension & Board
of Directors Contact List
SSFPA's Board of Directors has decided not to invoice
members for dues until February 2004. To read the memo announcing this
policy - and for a contact list of our Board of Directors - go to this
of our web site.
Do You Have a Question about Nutritional
Labelling? We Probably Have the Answer!
Must all pre-packaged foods carry a Nutrition Facts
label? What laboratories should be used for product analysis? Can food
manufacturers use databases to generate their Nutrition Facts information?
Lance Hill, our contact at Health Canada, has provided
SSFPA with a document containing answers to these and many more questions
on the new Nutritional Labelling regulations. There is far too much
information to include it in "sound bits," but we've placed
the document here
and strongly encourage you to read the material and bookmark the page.
Quick Bits ... Quick Clicks
What's on the Menu for Food Manufacturing in
Canada? A webcast (electronic live meeting) scheduled for the morning
of January 22 will explore current and expected trends. For information
on how you can be involved, contact Meenu Bakshi at (604) 640-3090 or
get audio information at 1-866-862-7608; conference ID 5942643#.
Ingredients Technical Support Program (MITSP): Offered by the Canadian
Dairy Commission, this program provides financial support and assistance
to Canadian processors who lack the facilities, technical expertise
and/or resources to conduct controlled product trials and analysis for
products containing dairy ingredients. The funding may cover up to 75%
of eligible costs to a limit of $20,000. E-mail
or call Shana Bailey (613-792-2035) for more information.
Natural Health Products Regulations. Information sessions have been
held cross-country and, due to the interest, more are planned for 2004.
Dates and places aren't available yet but pre-registrations are being
accepted. And while we're on the subject of health ....
November 2003 issue of the Health Policy Research Bulletin features
"Complementary and Alternative Health Care: The Other Mainstream?"
Other Upcoming Events
The Ag Aware Calendar http://www.agaware.bc.ca/Events/list_events.asp:
No reason for us to re-invent the wheel, when AgAware produces such
a good calendar. Here you'll find an excellent listing of upcoming activities.
Join Our Newsletter Network
If you'd like a monthly e-mail update of sound
bits, contact us and we'll
put your name on our list serve. It's a quick and easy way to find out
what's happening in the "small scale" food world.
SSFPA Reports, Sound Bites
Newsletters, and the Living Inventory
SSFPA has carefully presented and archived all its
reports and its "Sound Bites" newsletters. These documents
cover pretty much everything that has been discovered, discussed, and
accomplished in the last two years of organizing and establishing this
organization. Explore our goals, our past, and our present by going
to our Documents
page. [Note: directing others to this web site is a good way to familiarize
them with the general issues facing small scale agriculture and food
SSFPA members can also gain access to the Living
Inventory via our web site. The Living Inventory is an interactive data
base which serves as an electronic marketplace, enabling small processors
and producers to buy and sell products, inputs, and services from one
another. To learn more about SSFPA, contact Mary or Frank as noted below:
Small Scale Food Processor Association
"We're Big on Small"
(250) 335-3001 or (250) 973-6952
Web site: http://www.ssfpa.net/DocsForms/DocsForms.htm
Related Links and List Serves
For information on sustainable food economies, community
economic development, and other issues of concern to the small-scale
food sector, we recommend these:
Accountability Initiative: This organization promotes collaborative
responses to corporate power in the global food system. Its website
offers a comprehensive overview of problems and solutions related to
Food Processors Association: AFPA and SSFPA have exchanged supporter
memberships to be able to work with transparency to eventually help
large and small processors in both provinces. AFPA has a great web site
with both industry and consumer information galore. Check out its monthly
for Alternative Technology: The Centre is the UK's leading provider
of environmental, sustainability and alternative technology and lifestyle
publications. You can learn about ecological sewage treatment, building,
architecture, alternative energy, organic gardening, composting, biofuels,
green education, sustainable careers and energy conservation.
Folk: FarmFolk/CityFolk is a non-profit society, based in British
Columbia, that wants one simple thing: for people to eat local, fresh,
seasonal foods, grown using farming practices that contribute to the
health of the planet.
Association for Food Protection: Founded in 1911, this is a non-profit
association of food safety professionals. Comprised of a diverse membership
of over 3,000 Members from 50 nations, the IAFP is dedicated to the
education and service of its members as well as industry personnel
An awesome collection of information on agriculture and food-sector
business in Australia - with plenty of international information and
links as well.
Consumers Association: Look for articles on genetically modified
food and fair trade issues along with general information about organic
food production. If you'd like regular updates from OCA through its
"Biodemocracy News," contact firstname.lastname@example.org.