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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Small Scale Food Processor Association (SSFPA)
Site 43, C-53, Fanny Bay, BC V0R 1W0
(250) 335-3001
July-August 2004


Membership Drive and Membership Benefits. Over the next few weeks a representative from SSFPA will be contacting members to present the members benefit package and the process for paying annual membership fees. The membership fee this year is $12.50 per member organization plus $2.50 per Full Tiime Equivalent (FTE) employee. Attractive benefits come with membership and more are planned as part of the Shared Services Co-operative Project currently in the initial, pilot stage (see the item below).
Read more ....

Shared Services Co-operative Pilot Project on the Vancouver Islands: Report from Frank Moreland.
The project has begun, and the SSFPA Board of Directors is working hard to have the official media release sometime in September regarding the incorporation of a for-profit shared services co-operative. Many of the details of the project are in negotiation during the summer, but I can describe the four general fee-for-service packages that are under development.

  1. Business-To-Business data synchronization.
  2. Buying club including everything from jars to merchandising to marketing to retail.
  3. Food Broker Service in four market streams, to provide high quality regional branded foods and beverages to the high volume disposable income consumers.
  4. As profit allows, non-market services to be delivered by the SSFPA, peer-to-peer mentoring etc.

What I can tell you now, is that we have a great partner to get the data synchronization plan in motion. I spoke to Paul Osland, Vice President, Business Development for the Electronic Commerce Council of Canada (ECCC.) He said they are willing to support our efforts to establish a co-operative that has the goal of reducing the costs associated with bar coding and data synchronization. The ECCC has agreed to mail out communications to the community; work on committees to define requirements and solutions; provide specific presentations to the vendor community; assist in the pilot project; communicate a post pilot status update to the community; and will ensure the SSFPA has an equitable solution for managing Global Trade Identification Numbers and Global Location Number identifications.

Many other partners are coming forward. Read more about them in the next sound bits.

Western Grocer Magazine promotion. Our deadline to provide Western Grocer with our members’ and product information is fast approaching. It is now confirmed that the Small Scale Food Processor Association will be featured in the December 2005 issue of the magazine. All current paid members of the SSFPA are eligible to be listed in a special “pullout” SSFPA directory in this issue. The value of this advertising is approximately $545.00.
Read more ....

An Introduction. Hello from Vancouver. My name is Holly Korstad and I am a practicum student with the University of Victoria. During the next few months, I will be contacting and meeting with small-scale agricultural processors in the Lower Mainland to learn about their experiences, strengths and concerns. Following this, I will be writing a report featuring stories of some of the people that I meet. If anyone would like more information, or would like to be featured within the report, please contact me.
Read more ....

Planning and Assessment for Value-Added Enterprises (PAVE) Program: Cheers to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada!

Cheers for providing a program that can benefit the producer members of SSFPA and help them to grow. Cheryl Lockhart with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada called on Friday, July 16, 2004 to say that this program, designed specifically for farmers and producers, is up and running, waiting for applicants. She was very excited that SSFPA will be promoting the program to its members.

Planning and Assessment for Value-Added Enterprises (PAVE) will provide farmers and producers with financial assistance to retain the services of business planning professionals and develop plans for value-added projects. Farmer/producers will receive assistance to hire the appropriate expertise to prepare feasibility assessments and develop comprehensive business plans. These plans will improve the chances for a successful launch or expansion of value-added enterprises. As part of the service to the clients, the consultants will provide counseling that will improve farmer/producers' ability to present their plans to capital providers and to use their plans as a management tool for the launch or expansion of their enterprise. In some cases, these opportunities may be pursued by individuals or by farmer/producers acting collectively.
Read more ...

Urban Farming in Cuba: A Model for Increasing Food Security in BC

People in Cuba have now developed a culture of eating fresh, organic food that has been grown and purchased close to home. During the 1990's, global changes led to a severe reduction in Cuba's imports of food, fertilizers, pesticides and gas. In response to food shortages, the Cuban government encouraged people to turn abandoned city lots into farmland. Today the people of Havana are producing over 50% of their food supply within the city, and many Cuban farmers are now thinking of adding value to their products. Urban farm surpluses are given to local schools or sold at the local farmers' markets. Many organizations around the world, such as the ACTAF partner LifeCycles in Victoria, are modeling their strategies around the successes of farmers in Cuba. For more information, please contact LifeCycles at 383-5800 and ask for Jacinda.
Read more .....

News From Health Canada

  • As of June 1, 2004, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) became responsible for answering all questions about the new nutrition labelling regulations, including those related to interpretation, application, enforcement and compliance. Health Canada is no longer replying to these questions. A centralized toll-free telephone line (1-800-273-3213) and e-mail account have been set up for industry to contact the CFIA.

  • Both agencies encourage you to become familiar with the internet-based resources located on the CFIA web site. This page includes links to the 2003 Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising which has been updated to reflect the amendments for nutrition labelling, the Nutrition Labelling Compliance Test, Questions and Answers on enforcement and compliance, as well as links to Health Canada's nutritional labelling resources.

  • Any other labelling related questions, other than those to do with the new nutrition labelling regulations, should continue to be directed to the same contact points as before. A list of CFIA offices that provide Food Labelling Information Services can be found in Chapter 1 of the 2003 Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising.

  • Warning about "Star Anise": As a precautionary measure, Health Canada is advising Canadian consumers not to ingest herbal teas or health products containing the herb “star anise” unless they are confident that it is Chinese star anise (Illicium verum Hook. f). Consumers should verify that their product contains Chinese star anise.
    Read more ....

Report on the 2004 National CED Conference, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec

In May, the 2004 National CED (Community Economic Development) Conference ”Communities Creating the World We Want” brought together 570 participants from every corner of the country for dozens of workshops, plenary sessions, keynote addresses, site visits and fabulous social evenings. SSFPA's Frank Moreland and Sandra Mark gave a presentation on small-scale food systems (see Part 1 and Part 2 of their session). You can read a commentary on Frank and Sandra's views on page 3 of the Conference's Perspective newsletter; a Quebec case study by Agronomist Frederic Pare is also worth a look.

Quick Bits ... Quick Clicks

Abbotsford's new Farm and Country Market is running on Saturday mornings from now until October 9. With delicious products and great entertainment, it sounds like a wonderful way to end a week or begin a weekend!

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. Also, July's ATS Service Bulletin is now available.

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.

Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating is undergoing a review. The targeted date for completion of the update is March 2006. Visit the link to find out what changes are proposed so far.

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.

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.

Small Farm Canada. The editors of this magazine point out that "More than 1/2 of Canada's 246,000 agricultural operations are small farms. Yet you wouldn't know it by reading the mainstream farm press. All they talk about are tariffs, subsidies and the latest performance statistics of big tractors." Explore Canada's "other farms" in this new national publication.

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.

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 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) 335-3001 or (250) 973-6952
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 his issue.

Alberta 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 newsletter here.

BC Co-operative Association: Co-ops have been vital to Canada's food sector for at least a hundred years. One of six autonomous regions affiliated with the Canadian Co-operative Association, the BCCA focuses on the promotion of co-operative enterprise and the provision of support services to members and the broader co-op sector in BC.

Community Economic Development Technical Assistance Program. CEDTAP is one of the most innovative and helpful economic development programs in Canada. The "Resources and Links" section of its web site is, in itself, a prime source of information for anyone involved in grassroots programs.

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.

Farm Folk/City 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.

Growing Green. A two-year, collaborative project of West Coast Environmental Law, Farm Folk/City Folk, and the Liu Institute for Global Issues, Growing Green has recently wrapped up its operations. Its web site has reports of interest to small-scale agri-entrepreneurs.

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.

The International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC). A non-profit organization concerned with the protection of both biological and cultural diversity, ISEC's emphasis is "on education for action: moving beyond single issues to look at the more fundamental influences that shape our lives." Students and researchers should check out its fact sheet at:

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

Rangeland: An awesome collection of information on agriculture and food-sector business in Australia - with plenty of international information and links as well.

Toronto Food Policy Council: This organization operates as a sub-committee of the Toronto Board of Health and focuses on "a food system that fosters equitable food access, nutrition, community development, and environmental health." Regular updates are available by e-mailing




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