to the above sponsors for their support of sound bits,
Local Flavours Products & Services Co-operative,
and the Recipe for Success Program.
from SSFPA Board of Directors and the Secretariat
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.
Time to Review
Highlights of the past year SSFPA include:
Incorporation of Local
Flavours Products and Services Co-operative (applications
- National recognition of the SSFPA by the
Canadian Co-operative Association
- 12 information workshops held throughout
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.
for more information or call us toll-free at 1-866-547-7372.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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."
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
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.
Learn about the recent World Trade
Organization sessions on agriculture and other global, environmental,
and food security issues from this organization and its website.
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
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.
sound bits News
SSFPA Reports, Publications,
Links to Related Sites
You can find all the past issues of sound
bits (along with other archived material) at the
Archives section of the web site. Some
documents referred to may no longer have active links. If there
is a document or other information that isn't available, please
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Web site: http://www.ssfpa.net