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Internet Newsletter
Small Scale Food Processor Association (SSFPA)
1-866-54-SSFPA or 1-866-547-7372
info@ssfpa.net
December 2005


 

 

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Thanks to the above sponsors for their support of sound bits, Local Flavours Products & Services Co-operative, and the Recipe for Success Program.


Happy Holidays!

Message from SSFPA Board of Directors and the Secretariat

This past year has been one full of surprises, challenges, solutions and, best of all, good news. Currently the Small Scale Food Processor Association is implementing two projects and negotiating a number of others to ensure the ongoing success of this very valuable industry. However, the strength of the SSFPA is its members and their willingness to assist each other when encountering challenges. The Board of Directors and Secretariat have had the good fortune of speaking with a majority of the membership base as well as numerous industry stakeholders, and we are constantly aware of the diverse and innovative approaches utilized by entrepreneurial thinkers.

The best to you all this Holiday Season and a prosperous 2006.

 


SSFPA News:

Time to Review

Highlights of the past year SSFPA include:

  • Incorporation of Local Flavours Products and Services Co-operative (applications now available)
  • National recognition of the SSFPA by the Canadian Co-operative Association
  • 12 information workshops held throughout BC
  • Recipe for Success program (call 1-866-547-7372 for details)
  • Developing the BC Specialty Foods Directory (see the item below)
  • Achieving an industry identity

Read the latest issue of our publication Sound Bites for more details.

Market Channel Opportunity: BC Specialty Foods Directory

Get ready and get listed! BC's Ministry of Agriculture and Lands has asked SSFPA to prepare a digital Specialty Foods Directory, focusing on specialty and niche market foods that are BC-grown and processed. There is no charge for you to participate in this exciting marketing opportunity, and application forms are available here on the SSFPA website, in both printable and on-line versions.

E-mail us for more information or call us toll-free at 1-866-547-7372.


Members Corner:

Natural Pastures Wins at 2005 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair...

SSFPA Member Natural Pastures (from Vancouver Island's Comox Valley) has won ten more prestigious awards at Toronto's Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Canada's largest and best known agricultural fair. Its Cracked Pepper Verdelait paced first in its open category and also was the Reserve Champion of the entire variety cheese competition. Comox Camembert, Comox Brie, Cumin Verdelait, Pacific Pepper, and La Scala were also big winners. Congratulations! Natural Pastures' high standards of land and animal stewardship have certainly paid off in terms of product quality and recognition.

... and Kootenay Kitchen Takes a Prize

The Certified Organic Associations of BC (COABC) hosted it's Organic Harvest 2005 Awards in November to honour BC producers of Organic Foods. Kootenay Kitchen won Best Processed Product (Vegetarian) for its line of Végé Pâtés. In operation for 15 years, Kootenay Kitchen is a certified organic food processor located in Fife, BC. Its foods are proudced in accordance with certified organic principles and products like the Végé Pâté are also certified vegan (as well as being free of soy, wheat, gluten, preservatives, and colourings.

Sharing a Commercial Kitchen?

If any SSFPA member has a commercial kitchen to share or rent, you might want to contact Alex Beurts who is putting together a business plan for a new food service company. He is looking for a kitchen to produce small batches of product for market testing.

Do You Have Questions About Thermal Processing?

E-Fish-Ent Fish Company Ltd. is a family run business established in 1990, set up to produce premium quality, ready-to-eat seafood products. What is more, proprietors (and SSFPA members) Bryan and Linda Mooney will be happy to answer your questions on thermal processing, one of the most important - and complex - methods of preserving food. Contact them via their website.


Other News and Views

The Inventor of Uniform Product Codes: A Great Source of Information

The SSFPA has received numerous inquiries about Uniform Product Codes (UPC's). These ubiquitous bar codes appear on virtually everything sold in the modern marketplace. On December 12, 2005, Candice Appleby, of the SSFPA secretariat, called up the codes' inventor, George J. Laurer. A man of many accomplishments, Mr. Laurer is a generous font of valid and timely information and graciously agreed to our linking to his website.

Along with an informative "Frequently Asked Questions" section, the site provides an opportunity for business owners to direct individual bar code inquiries to him via e-mail (don't forget to put "UPC Question" in the subject line). As Mr. Laurer explains: "I truly enjoy helping people." He also directs people to the GS1 website, where all the information needed to apply for bar codes in Canada is available.

Participate in a Food Skills Research Project

Is your business involved in or based on food production? That is, are you a chef, restaurant owner, food store manager, or agricultural producer? If so, then Michelle Kinney wants to talk to you. Kinney is a Victoria-based research assistant of Adrian Blunt of the University of Saskatchewan. Kinney and Blunt are working on a research project called "Thought for Food" and hope that some SSFPA members will participate. Participation involves completing one or two short (approximately 15 minutes to 45 minutes) questionnaires, either administered by e-mail, phone or in person.

The questions mainly focus on the skills you think are necessary for individuals to produce, understand, and provide food or food services to ensure health. Some questions will garner your thoughts on food security and the skills necessary to ensure provide it.

The project is funded by the federal government with the goal of assisting it in critically analyzing "Essential Skills," a new employment skills program. To participate or for more information, e-mail Michelle Kinney or call her at 250-384-2578.

Vancouver Food System Assessment

SSFPA co-founders Sandra Mark and Frank Moreland were among the several gifted analysts and researchers who worked on this assessment, which can be found on the City of Vancouver website. This document explores "how the [food] system might be transformed to enhance food security for all residents through community-led economic development and promotion of policies that build food system sustainability." Among its several recommendations are to "market Chinatown food resources to surrounding neighbourhoods," "promote sustainable food procurement for the 2010 Olympics," and "expand the role of urban agriculture in City-led developments such as Southeast False Creek and the Woodward's building."

Hundred Mile Meals: The Challenge of Local Grains

The "hundred mile" diet, the food adventures of J. B. MacKinnon and Alisa Smith, continues to be chronicled in the on-line publication Tyee and has gotten national attention from the Globe and Mail as well. The guidelines of the diet are simple - eat only what can be produced within a hundred miles of your home. MacKinnon and Smith's current challenge is finding a source of local grains on the West Coast. Learn about their quest to obtain "100 mile" bread, along with an interesting history of grain farming, both nationally and on Vancouver Island.

The whole series can be found at the bottom of the Tyee page - and there's book deal in the works as well.

Food Information Service (FIS)

With input from both University of British Columbia and BC Institute of Technology, FIS is a provincially-funded venture aimed at providing two services: public inquiries and industrial inquiries. Its mandate it to "provide factual unbiased information about food, its production, preservation, wholesomeness and safety to the public and the food industry."

Berry Good For You

We hear more and more about the beneficial effects of berries on human health. DeBoer Consulting (located on Vancouver Island) has compiled a 100-page report compiling data on the properties of berries and their chemical compounds, including summaries of clinical trials sponsored by the National Institute of Health. If you are a berry producer or processor, you may find this resource of particular value.

Environmental Working Group

Learn about the recent World Trade Organization sessions on agriculture and other global, environmental, and food security issues from this organization and its website.

Women Enterprise Society of BC: A Great Resource for Business Planning

If you are a woman starting or growing a business in BC, begin here. Resources and services provided by WESBC include: essential skills development to help you succeed; empowerment lending to start or grow your business; and personal access to business expertise, peer connections, resources, events and more. Whether you are male or female, the on-line business planning guides (accessible from the Tools and Resources section) are invaluable in themselves.

COABC Organic Harvest Awards

On November 11, Certified Organic Associations of BC recognized and honoured the "best of the best" (including some SSFPA members) through its Organic Harvest Awards. The event was organized as " a celebration of great organic food, fine wine and good company that will be marked on calendars as the province's leading industry event. And there is much to celebrate, for example, the National Post Business Magazine recently reported that sales of organic food in Canada 'are climbing at 20% a year.' The time has come to recognize those members of BC's organics industry who have ... steadfastly built a burgeoning and profitable industry from a small niche market." Winners are listed on the COABC website.

More sound bits News

  • Quick Bits ... Quick Clicks: Short items from and about the small-scale food sector
  • SSFPA Reports, Publications, and Documents
  • Links to Related Sites

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    Small Scale Food Processor Association
    "We're Big on Small"
    E-mail: info@ssfpa.net
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    Small Scale Food Processor Association
    info@ssfpa.net