Small Scale Food Processor Association

RR #1, Site 43, C-53
Fanny Bay, BC V0R 1W0
(250) 335-3001

"We're Big on Small"

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of the SSFPA sound bits Newsletter

January 2005

News From Health Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency

  • Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating is being revised with the idea of ensuring that it reflects evolving scientific knowledge on diet, health, and nutrition-related chronic diseases. Targeted date for completion of the revision is Spring 2006. For more details about the revision process, refer to:

  • Revised recommendations related to the duration of exclusive breastfeeding and vitamin D supplementation for breastfed infants have been formulated. They will be widely promoted to health professionals (dietitians, lactation consultants, nurses, midwives, physicians, and public health professionals) and other interested groups.

  • Does your product line require you to be up-to-date on a wide range of adverse reactions? If so, you will probably be interested in the Canadian Adverse Reaction Newsletter published by Health Canada.

  • Health Canada's "warnings and advisories" are available on a variety of items, not only food or nutritional products.

  • The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issues recalls that could be of concern to some food processors as well as consumers.


  • Nutritional Labelling

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    Organic Production Works - A Report on the Transition Process (continued)

    Productivity was found to decrease initially when fertilizer and pesticide applications are withheld. But productivity generally improved in successive years under organic management to equal that in conventional farms. The study found that organic grain crops can be successfully produced in the third year of transition and that additional economic benefits can be derived from expanded crop rotation. This study is ongoing, and will continue to examine the effect of crop sequence and length of rotation on long-term pest disruption and attraction of beneficial insects into the organic systems. Potential food quality changes will also be monitored over time.

    The report on this study concludes: "As organic farmers produce high quality food without conventional inputs from agribusiness, agribusiness has a vested interest in denigrating organic systems on any account. This research is essential in countering the corporate disinformation campaign."

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    News from the Co-operative Sector: Co-ops Work!

    Top 50 Non-Financial Co-operatives in Canada (Continued)

    Continued Secretary Easter: "With combined revenues of $18 billion and total assets of $6.5 billion, there's no doubt of the economic impact of the top 50 co-ops. Equally important, co-operatives are a part of our social fabric, providing a model for community development that embodies the values of inclusiveness and social cohesion." Heading the list is Federated Co-operatives Limited, ranked number one for the third straight year with revenues of $3.6 billion and over 3,000 employees. In second place was Coopérative Fédérée de Québec with revenues of nearly $2.8 billion. They were also the number one employer on the list with nearly 10,000 employees. BC-based Mountain Equipment Co-operative has the largest member base of all co-ops, with nearly 2 million memberships.

    Study on Small Business Tax Measures: Canada's Agricultural Co-operatives (Continued)

    The resulting report summarizes the main points made during presentations to the Standing Committee and contains the following recommendations on tax policies, including:

    • Allowing an income tax deferment for patronage dividends that producers wish to maintain in their agricultural cooperatives;
    • Creating a Cooperative Investment Plan that would encourage agricultural cooperative members and employees to invest in their agricultural cooperatives through allowing them to deduct their investment up to a fixed percentage of their gross income; and
    • Undertaking a review of tax and non-tax measures that would enable the agricultural cooperative sector to meet its capitalization needs.

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    Quick Bits ... Quick Clicks


    Agri-Food Trade Service (ATS) web site is Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's electronic service providing international trade and market information for Canadian agri-food exporters. Check it out for market information, export news and analysis, and much more. Latest ATS headlines are also available.

    AquaNet has issued a directed call for proposals in the area of standards for organic aquaculture. This call responds to the need to assess the extent to which the Canadian aquaculture sector meets or can develop and adopt emerging international standards, production methods, and processes for organic aquaculture. The deadline for application is February 14.

    au courant, the newsletter of the Food and Consumer Product Manufacturers of Canada, provides information of interest to those who produce and package consumer goods - including food - in Canada.

    BC Food Protection Association's web site is worth a visit. The BCFPA's most recent newsletter, The Grapevine, is also available.

    British Columbia Institute of Technology offers many courses of interest to small scale food processors.

    CEDTAP (Community Economic Development Technical Assistance Program). These are the great people who helped SSFPA get started and are still investing in our cause. Windmills on the Toronto waterfront, fish processing in Saskatchewan, immigrant women sewing conference bags in Edmonton - learn more about the innovative projects CEDTAP supports all across Canada.

    Eat Wild. A clearing house for information on pasture-based farming, this sites provides up-to-date, information about the benefits of choosing meat and and dairy products from pastured animals.

    Local Food System Masters Project - University of Michigan. In the US, food travels an estimated 1500 miles before it reaches the dinner table. Read some interesting research on local food economies and farming systems.

    Report on the World Forum on Agrarian Reform. More than 500 delegates from 68 countries met in Madrid in December 2004. The delegates were virtually unanimous in their belief that the magnitude of the global problem of landlessness and exclusion from access to natural resources is so great that massive social mobiliation is needed.

    Smart Growth BC launches the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) Watch Listserve. Agriculture and food processing support the livelihood of over 200,000 British Columbians and contribute over $2.2 billion to the economy. All this occurs with less than 5% of the province's land base. Smart Growth BC has established a new ALR Watch listserve to inform people who are passionate about its protection. To join, send a blank e-mail to:

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    Coming Events

    BC Association of Farmers' Markets Conference. Fraser Valley. February 19-20, 2005. Best Western
    Rainbow Country Inn Chilliwack and Tradex in Abbotsford (partnering with the Pacific Agriculture Show). Saturday morning workshops will feature Prepared Foods. In this session, Frank Moreland and Sandra Mark of Edible Strategies Ent Ltd will talk about programs the SSFPA has developed to support the growth of small-scale food and beverage processors. The recent launch of Local Flavours co-op, an exciting cooperative broker developed by the SSFPA, will be discussed.

    Certified Organic Associations of BC: Annual Conference and Trade Show, "Seeds for the Future." Sidney, BC. February 25-27. Adding value: the next horizon for Canadian farmers? A presentation exploring value-added production will be one of the workshops on February 27. This workshop is sponsored by the Small Scale Food Processors Association and presented by Frank Moreland and Sandra Mark of Edible Strategies. For more information on the conference, contact Lee Fuge.

    Economics and Management of Co-operative Enterprises: University of Bologna and Vancouver. A study of the Emilia Romagna model, sponsored by the BC Co-operative Association. June and July, 2005.

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    Small Scale Food Processor Association
    RR #1, Site 43, C-53
    Fanny Bay, BC V0R 1W0
    (250) 335-3001