sound bits

Internet Newsletter
Small Scale Food Processor Association (SSFPA)
1-866-54-SSFPA or 1-866-547-7372
March 2006



[Note: links in this archived newsletter may no longer be active. If there is a document you are unable to gain access to, please contact us.]

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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.

Welcoming Spring

As this sound bits is being prepared, much of BC (even the coast!) lies under a blanket of snow... but already crocuses like this have appeared and a new season offers promise.



BC Specialty Foods Directory: Get listed!

This new, web-based specialty foods directory, organized by SSFPA, will soon be on-line. The goal is to provide small scale producers and processors with greater access to alternative sales channels and a simpler, faster and more convenient way for the food service industry to source local foods.

As this issue of sound bits is being edited, SSFPA's data entry team is busy inputting and editing the numerous applications that have been submitted for the initial launch of the Directory. If you would like to be included in this initial launch of the BC Specialty Foods Directory, act fast and complete the on-line application (mailed applications, at this point, will arrive too late).

There are no costs associated for being listed in the Directory. However eligibility criteria do exist, as listed in the application form.

If you have questions regarding this initiative, please email or call SSFPA at our toll-free number, 1-866-54-SSFPA (1-866-547-7372)

Members Corner:

SSFPA Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Small Scale Food Processor Association takes place by teleconference on Sunday, March 26, 2006, 4 pm - 4:45 pm Pacific Time. For more information, contact


A Bargain on Boxes 

Do you need plastic storage boxes? Urban Peasant has 200 of these boxes for sale. Dimensions are 9 inches (depth), by 21 inches (length), by 15 inches (width). The price is $3.50 per box for quantities over 10 and $4 per box for quantities of less than 10. Market price for these boxes is at least $7 apiece!

To take advantage of this bargain, contact Nelson Rodriguez at (250) 598-6223.

Other News and Views

EAT! Vancouver: A Consumer Show that Delivers

Organizers for EAT! Vancouver note that it is the only "consumer food and cooking festival where exhibitors can interact directly with their target audience; sample, taste-test and discuss their products and services; and receive instant feedback from potential customers." Statistics for 2003-2005 show significant attendance increases for the event each year. If you have a food product to feature, consider participating in EAT! Vancouver, May 26-28 at BC Place.

Consultation Meeting on Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating

Canada's Food Guide, put out by Health Canada, is undergoing revision. A half-day regional consultation meeting will take place in Vancouver, providing an opportunity for stakeholders to ask questions and provide feedback on proposed changes. The focus will be on two specific content issues, food intake patterns and energy balance. Registration is limited. If you wish to participate, complete the attached form and return it to Health Canada by April 3.

The meeting takes place on April 10, 2006, 9 am, at the Segal Center at Simon Fraser University's Harbour Center in Vancouver.

Agri-preneurs' Fact Sheet

Developed by the Canadian Farm Business Management Council (CFBMC), the Fact Sheet is a tool designed to help beginning and future farmers to familiarize themselves with farm management principles and map out their business plan. It features five profiles of farm producers who have successfully learned the management aspects of agri-business and a list of resources readers can turn to.

Getting Food on the Table: An Action Guide to Local Food Policy

Put out by the Community Food Security Coalition and California Sustainable Working Group, this guide includes a department- by-department inventory of local programs, policies and functions that support community food security. The guide, which can be downloaded from the Community Food Security website, includes case studies, advice from experienced food policy advocates, a resource guide and more. The website itself includes a wealth of other information and publications, all related to local food security issues.

Resources for Small Businesses

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has a great manual/guide for small scale food processors. It's both comprehensive and free.

Nutrient Value of Some Common Foods

This detailed guide belongs on your shelf or in your hard drive.

Whether you are a producer, processor, or consumer, you will find this Health Canada report chock-full of valuable information on nutrients; energy values; vitamin, mineral, and fat content; and a wealth of other information about everyday foods. It even includes a list common abbreviations and a metric conversion chart for typical measurements.

Canadian Who's Who in Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs)

The Centre for Non-Timber Forest Products at Royal Roads University is pleased to announce that an on-line compendium, the Canadian Who's Who in Non-Timber Forest Products, is nearing completion. Its purpose is to provide information about individuals and organizations working with NTFPs across the country. Registration in the compendium allows you to share information about your NTFP expertise, services, products or projects. This will help to create new opportunities for partnerships, collaboration and business development in the NTFP sector. An added feature is that you will be able to update your own information once "Who's Who Online" goes live.

Contact Evelyn Goedhart at Royal Roads for more information.

Canadian Cooperative Movement: Group Affairs and Policy Update

Canadian Cooperative Association and Credit Union Central of Canada have published this policy update focusing on the new Conservative minority government and its likely effect on the cooperative sector. This is a "must read" for anyone involved in this historic and dynamic movement, which unites producers and consumers in various enterprises across Canada.

FDA Guidance on Food Safety for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

This draft report has been recently submitted by the US Food and Drug Administration for comment purposes. Canadian producers, processors, importers, and exporters may also find it illuminating.

Technical Reports from BC Research Fisheries Technology Division

After BC Research's Fisheries Technology Division closed down some years ago, the Technical Reports and Industry Information Reports (for the years 1979-1989) were entrusted to Denise DeLeebeeck, Instructor/Coordinator at BCIT's Fish Harvesting & Processing Technology/ Food Technology Program. They can be distributed to anyone interested at no cost for single copy requests within North America. Batch requests and requests from outside North America will incur shipping charges. Email Denise if you are interested. Please provide your name and full mailing address with your request.

Give a Listen to "Deconstructing Dinner": How Does a Small Operation Survive in This World of Giants?

In our last issue we noted a new radio series, Deconstructing Dinner, put on by Kootenay Co-op Radio and hosted by Jon Steinman. The program broadcast on February 16, now archived on the station's website, focuses on this question, discussed by Brent Warner of BC's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and members of the Kootenay Organic Growers Society.

MORE sound bits NEWS

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

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