Small Scale Food Processor Association (SSFPA)
Site 43, C-53, Fanny Bay, BC V0R 1W0
frost is on the fields - and maybe on your windows, too. We at the Small
Scale Food Processor Association wish you and yours a very happy and
peaceful holiday season!
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.
Important Food Safety News for Small
SSFPA board member Philip Watney provides us with
two important items on food safety gathered from his attendance at last
month's "Farm Gate to Dinner Plate" conference.
- Food safety (HACCP) plans for small-scale
processors: Small operators have significantly more challenges
in implementing food safety procedures than large companies. The conference
identified three major obstacles for small operators in establishing
and maintaining food safety or HACCP programs: skeptical attitudes,
complexity of the procedures involved, and lack of resources. Are
there solutions? Good models, such as Ontario's "HACCP Advantage"
program (scheduled to be available in 2004) are being developed specifically
for small companies. Not only do these straightforward, lower-cost
models make food safety plans less cumbersome, but they also help
create more "buy in" from both management and employees.
- 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
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.
For more information on both these items, click
Last month we mistakenly stated that SSFPA's Coordinator,
Frank Moreland, had been named co-chair of the Food Processos 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)
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
If you are a SSFPA member, 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. You can even join online at https://www.ssfpa.net/Regis.
...And Another Opportunity
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 MANAGE RISK
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.
[Note: this web site is not scheduled to be available until Dec. 19,
News for Exporters
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.
News for exporters to Asia can be found here.
Thanks to Lance Hill of Health Canada for providing us with this information.
Great Turnout for Health Canada's
"Product Recall Workshop," Richmond, BC
Last October, SSFPA Coordinator
Frank Moreland worked with Health Canada in hosting this seminar, which
dealt with the crucial and complex process of food product recalls.
The BC seminar had by far the largest turnout of small and medium food
processors in the country (50 in Richmond, compared to 23 in Halifax
and Mississauga, 18 in Calgary, and 11 in Winnipeg). This no doubt reflects
the small-scale focus of so much food production in BC, along with a
growing interest in both quality control and food safety. If there is
interest, the SSFPA will prepare a one-day educational recall workshop
in Spring 2004. Members will qualify for a discount in the registration
Strength in Numbers ... the
Possibilities of the Co-op Model
Did you know that:
Agricultural co-operatives have a history of
success and currently generate $15 billion in sales across Canada?
Co-ops are a market force with real bargaining
power for their members?
The agricultural sector has much to gain financially
from a strength-in-numbers approach?
The focus of October's joint session of the BC Cooperative
Association and the Canadian Adaptation and Rural Development Fund was
on the cooperative model, highlighting its advantages in the context
of agri-business ventures. SSFPA's coodinator, Frank Moreland, gave
a presentation in which he, too, stressed the co-op theme, while informing
his audience on the membership, activities, and vision of the Small
Scale Food Processor Association. Check out Frank's power point summary
SSFPA Membership Extension & Board
of Directors Contact List
SSFPA's 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. To read the memo announcing this policy - and for a contact
list of our Board of Directors - go to this page
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
on "Seeds for Survival Rural Seminar": SSFPA Co-ordinator
Frank Moreland and his partner Sandra Mark coordinated this event in
Valement, BC on October 3-5 for the BC Women's Farm Network. Saving
the family farm and the agricultural lifestyle of Western Canada was
Raw Meat Labelling: 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 at
the link above.
Meat Inspection Regulations are Coming: Read the draft regs sent
out by the BC government by clicking the link. You'll find the supporting
manual and guidelines here.
Natural Health Products Regulations. ... yes, the "R"
word again. 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.
Christmas Craft Fair, Victoria, BC:
The season for giving is here. If you live in Victoria, you can show
your support for local craftspeople and small food processors by attending
December's Saturday indoor craft fair at the Second Story Book Store
on Johnson Street, 11 am - 9 pm. There is live festive music in the
evenings and you are encouraged to linger and enjoy hot cider or tea.
Plus you may find a unique gift for that special person in your life.
To find out more (we hear there still might be space for a vendor or
two), call Jana at (250) 250-884-5459.
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.