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sound bits

Internet Newsletter
Small Scale Food Processor Association (SSFPA)
1702 Ash Road, Victoria, BC V8N 2T6
(250) 370-5167
October 8, 2003

SSFPA Business Planning for Shared Services & Membership Benefits

Would you like to share services with other small processors and buy packaging and other source materials in bulk? Would you like to join with others to develop a flexible marketing and distribution network? SSFPA is conducting a business planning project with these goals in mind. Support for this initiative comes from CEDTAP (Canadian Economic Development Technical Assistance Program) and Van City Credit Union. A 17-member steering committee is providing both vision and practical advice as the project develops. Look for a progress report in next month's "sound bits."

The SSFPA staff is also exploring the feasibility of membership benefits: medical and dental insurance, liability insurance, and more effective mentoring services. When something definite is available, we'll let you know via "sound bits."

SSFPA Membership Extension

What a deal! The Board of Directors has decided not to invoice members for dues until early in 2004 and to extend current memberships. The SSFPA is working very hard with limited resources to prepare a package of member benefits (see above) that will meet the needs that small-scale food processors around Western Canada have identified as critical to their future success. Once a package is fully prepared that the Board feels it can be proud to offer - and that will be feasible for it to administer - members of the SSFPA will be contacted about renewals and 2004 dues.

Profile: SSFPA Board of Directors Member Philip Watney

SSFPA's 11-member Board of Directors represents decades of pooled experience in the small-scale food sector. We want our members to know who our board members are and what kind of expertise they can offer, both to our organization as a whole and to individual members as mentors. We're going to start with Director Philip Watney who lives in Prince George, BC.

Philip Watney, B. Sc., brings over a dozen years experience in food processing, food microbiology, quality control and certified organic manufacturing to the BC food industry. As a director of the SSFPA and as an independent consultant he provides practical technical assistance and helps clarify requirements for food safety and organic certification. He is an organic inspector and has a beekeeping operation in the BC interior. He also represents a leading supplier of low-cost temperature monitoring devices for companies with temperature sensitive products. For more information, visit him on the web at

"The Future of Food – Co-operation and the BC Food Economy," Annual Co-op Week Luncheon, Vancouver, October 16.

National Co-op Week (October 12-19) will be highlighted by this keynote presentation by Herb Barbolet, the founder of Farm Folk/City Folk. Herb is a well-known leader and pioneer of the movement to promote healthy food systems in BC. He will speak on the future of food and food security, and how the co-op model can assist consumers and small producers to create a food economy that responds to the real needs of BC consumers. He will also relate important lessons from a recent trip studying the co-operative food systems of Emilia Romagna in northern Italy. The luncheon takes place at the Teahouse Restaurant in Stanley Park from 11:30 - 1:30. To register, contact BC Cooperative Association at or (604) 879-4611. Deadline for registrations is October 10, so - if you're interested in attending the luncheon - contact them soon.

Food Safety: Two Items This Month

The critical issue of food safety is on a lot of minds these days. Processors MUST know about safe processing and packaging and ensure their employees understand this material, too. To assist our members, SSFPA is setting up a Food Safety Committee. If you wish to become involved, contact us at

"Motivating Your Employees for Food Safety" is a seminar being held by the BC Food Protection Association on October 16, 5-9 pm at BCIT in Burnaby, BC. For more information on this seminar, click here.

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.

Supply Chain Food Product Recall Workshops - Alberta & BC

Food recalls are sometimes necessary and always dreaded. Processors, large and small, should know how the procedure works. Alberta's Recall Workshop will be held at the Blackfoot Inn in Calgary on October 21. BC's event is at the Executive Airport Plaza in Richmond on October 23. For more information on the workshops and to register on line, visit Or contact Heather Montague, FCPMC, at (416) 510-8024, Ext. 2237. The BC event, in particular, is filling up - so register soon.

Bioterrorism/US Marketing Seminar, October 23, Burnaby, BC

Yes, bioterrorism may concern YOU. If you export, store, or transport any food or beverage product in or to the US, new regulations will affect you, beginning on December 12, 2003. This seminar, jointly sponsored by Agri-Food Canada, UPS, and the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association, will advise you of the changes. There will also be an
afternoon session, presented by three Canadian consuls, on "Marketing in the US." According to the information package, the morning session, "Overview of the New Regulations," is complimentary. To find out more, contact us at and we'll send you more information.

Celebration of Apples - Victoria, November 1

Lifecycles Victoria invites you to its 2nd Annual Celebration of Apples. In the 1800s, Victoria was the fruit growing centre of BC, but few residents now have time to cultivate and harvest the remaining apple trees. Meanwhile, Victorians bring home bags of apples grown elsewhere. What's wrong with this picture! The "Celebration of Apples" will evoke a simpler time when Canadians fed themselves from their own orchards and gardens, timed the passage of seasons by the ripening of fruit, and discussed pie recipes over the fence with their neighbours. Join the festivities at St. Ann's Academy, 835 Humboldt, 10 am to 4 pm. Contact for more information.

Meanwhile, if you live in Victoria and have fruit that needs to be picked (or know someone who does), contact the Victoria Fruit Tree Project at 385-PICK or e-mail the organization at the address above.

Victoria Area Working Group - Care to Join?

An active Working Group has been formed in the Victoria region with a mandate to strengthen the small scale food
sector and provide more marketing opportunities. Its next meeting date is October 15. If you want more details, please contact Mary Murphy at

Other Upcoming Events

The Ag Aware Calendar 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.

SSFPA Reports and Sound Bites Newsletters

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 processors.]

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) 370-5167 or (250) 380-1947
Web site:


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:

Agribusiness 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
this issue.

Centre 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.

International 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

Organic 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