Meet Philip Watney
Member Philip Watney, B. Sc., brings over a dozen years experience
in food processing, microbiology, quality control and certified
organic manufacturing in the BC food and beverage industries.
As an independent consultant, he provides practical technical
assistance and helps clarify requirements for food safety and
organic certification. He also represents a leading supplier
of low-cost temperature monitoring devices for companies with
temperature sensitive products. For more information, visit
For the past three years, Philip has represented
the SSFPA in a technical capacity on several federal-provincial
food safety initiatives. On the advisory committee for the BC
Food Quality and Safety Initiative (an Investment Agriculture
AFFF fund), he helped disburse matching funds for BC food industry
food safety efforts. For information, go to http://www.iafbc.ca/fqs/index.htm.
Most recently he has brought a small-scale
perspective to the development of the Food Safety Initiative
(FSI), a food safety education and outreach program that will
be delivered this fall by the BCCDC and BC Ministry of Health
to every food processor in the province. For information, go
Currently Philip Watney is negotiating on
behalf of the SSFPA for an additional implementation element
to this FSI program that would reimburse individual processors
for their food safety expenses.
The End of Food?
The end of history was bad enough, but now
the end of food? A book,
written by Canadian author Thomas Pawlick, describes how and
why corporate-produced food becomes increasingly non nourishing
and even toxic. SSFPA member D'Arcy McCrea of Pepperheads
Canada recommends The End of Food and has found the
author's promotional interviews provocative as well, especially
his story about the Italian tomato that provided him with a
food epiphany. [We have another "End of ...." item
in this issue of sound bits. Check out the article
below on local foods and the (gasp!) End
on 200 Ml Bottles
Can the presentation of your
product be enhanced by a high-quality, long-necked bottle like
This 200 ml glass container
has a cork finish and is flint (clear) coloured. Robertson Estates
has a supply of 2,400 of these bottles in 12-pack cases.
The price is $0.56 each. To
order some bottles - or to get more information - email Pat
Robertson or call him at (250) 423-3441
Let's Get to Know You and
We at sound bits encourage
any and all SSFPA members to submit a brief biography and description
of your product or service. We will include an item, based on
your submission, in our "Members' Corner" section
and, if you have a website, we'll add a link to it.
BC's Investment Agriculture Foundation
has a new website,
a new executive board and, after a successful pilot year, an expanded
projects program. The program addresses the needs of smaller
industry organizations undertaking lower cost projects. Due to
reduced paperwork at both the application and report stages of
the project, it has been successful in offering efficient access
to funding. Twenty five small projects have been successfully
funded to date. Projects funded during the first year of the program
include demonstration projects, applied research, speaker costs,
marketing plans and educational projects.
InfoBasket: An Agri-Food Portal
portal is a free information service provided by the BC Ministry
Agriculture and Lands 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Producers,
processors, suppliers and agricultural students can find information
on anything from production to business, marketing, regulatory
and statistical information. It also has a section in each of
these "Communities" called "Directories and Contacts"
where links to other websites are included.
The people at InfoBasket encourage
other organizations and businesses to link to their website as
a means of providing easy and mutual access to agricultural business
information. For more information on linking to InfoBasket, visit
Food Secure Canada
Secure Canada (FSC) is a recently-formed Canadian organization
which unites people and organizations working for food security
nationally and globally. In conjunction with the Community
Food Security Coalition, the FSC will be hosting its Fourth
Annual Conference, "Bridging Borders Toward Food Security
in Vancouver, October 7-11, 2006 at the Sheraton Wall Centre (1088
Burrard Street). Conference themes include: Food Secure Communities,
Food and Institutions, Food and Cities, and Global Food Issues.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada:
A User-Friendly Approach
This federal government department
"provides information, research and technology, and policies
and programs to achieve security of the food system, health of
the environment and innovation for growth." It has re-designed
its website, making it more
accessible to busy food producers and processors. It also maintains
a toll-free number (1-866-452-5558) to answer questions about
its services. We dialed it recently and a person answered! Then
we were transferred quickly to a knowledgeable individual within
Personal service from real people...quite
Introducing Branding Canada
This initiative is designed to
help take Canadas positive international image and leverage
it to increase the profile and sales of Canadian food and agriculture
Branding Canada's new website
is filled with tips on building the Canada brand, consumer and
buyer market research in Canadas key export markets, suggestions
for co-branding, professional photographs, Canada brand graphics
in different file and colour formats, and much more. This initiative
is designed to help take Canadas positive international
image and leverage it to increase the profile and sales of Canadian
food and agriculture products abroad.
For further information, or to
gain access to all the tools on the Branding Canada Web Site,
email Renee Umezuki or
phone him at 604-666-3686.
A Guide to Selling to Food Service
The ActNow BC initiative funded
the development of the Guidelines
for BC Food Producers and Processors on Selling to Food Service
Distributors. The guide is a valuable resource to those mid-sized
companies who wish to expand their business into the commercial
Announcing Annual Feast of Fields
Events - Three Venues This Year
Farm Folk/City Folk's annual
fundraising events will have three venues this years: in Whistler,
the Lower Mainland, and Vancouver Island. Come and taste the best
of BC chefs, vintners, brewers, food artisans, and producers.
More details are available at Farm Folk/City Folks website.
Whistler Feast of Fields: North Arm Farm in Pemberton,
Saturday, August 19. Tickets went on sale on Wednesday, July 19
for this first annual Whistler-area feast. Make it a culinary
weekend with Slow Food's Cycle Sunday on August 20th!
Lower Mainland Feast of Fields: Vista D'oro Farms in Langley,
Sunday, September 10. Tickets went on sale starting Saturday,
Vancouver Island Feast of
Fields: Glendale Gardens & Woodland, Sunday, September
17. Tickets went on sale August 1.
Small-Scale Egg Producers: An Opportunity to Share Information
University of Victoria Graduate
student Jessica Duncan is working on an MA thesis that examines
the relationship between small-scale egg producers (unregistered,
with under 99 layers), inspections and marketing boards. Her research
question emerged from Saltspring Island's recent egg wars
and moves through an examination of egg production in BC, from
the standpoint of a small-scale producer. The goal is to highlight
current contradictions and problems with the system and to make
recommendations. Another goal is to produce a map of the egg production
system from the farmer up through the health authorities, the
province, the federal government and up to mediating international
economic agencies and agreements. She plans to distribute this
map to producers and others interested in how the system works.
Jessica would like to hear from
you if you have an anecdote or story that outlines your experience
with inspectors, the marketing boards - or any other egg story
you'd like to share. Email Jessica
or call her at (250) 380-1967 or (604) 880-8562 (her cell number).
US "Organic" Milk
Be careful if you purchase so-called
organic dairy products in the United States. While government
bureaucrats delay closing key loopholes in national organic standards,
retailers, wholesalers and major organic producers
are continuing to sell suspect brands of milk and dairy products
labeled as "USDA Organic." This milk comes from factory
farm feedlots where the animals have been brought in from conventional
farms and are kept in intensive confinement, with little or no
access to pasture. Imported soy milks, originating in places where
environmental standards and workers' rights are ignored, are also
coming under boycott pressure.
The original boycott, organized
by the Organic Consumers Association, focused on the Horizon and
Aurora brands. It is now being expanded
to include five national "private label" organic milk
brands supplied by Aurora, as well as two leading organic soy
products, Silk and White Wave, owned by Horizon's parent company,
Dean Foods. The campaign against the "Shameless Seven"
has been joined by thousands of organic consumers and a number
of natural food stores and co-operatives. However major national
grocery retailers in the US have largely ignored the boycott.
Local Food Goes Forth and Multiplies (The End of Wal-Mart?)
This article by Canadian food
analyst Wayne Roberts was adapted from NOW Magazine and
sent to us from the Toronto Food Policy Council:
If hometown business enthusiast
Michael Shuman has his crystal ball in working order, we now know
where global insecurities about pandemics, terrorism and scarcity
The affluence and apathy of the 1950s spawned prophecies about
the End of Ideology; the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1980s
led to predictions about the End of History; mass layoffs at giant
corporations during the 1990s forecast the End of Work. But global
insecurities about pandemics, terrorism and scarcity in the new
century, if hometown business enthusiast Michael Shuman gets his
15 minutes as a crystal ball reader, foretell the End of Wal-Mart.
End of the 100 Mile Diet? No
We've been following the "local eating
sojourn" of B. MacKinnon and Alisa Smith in Tyee Magazine
for the past year, as they stick to an evolving diet of food
produced within 100 miles of their Lower Mainland home. Read
about its lasting and rippling impacts in the final
installment and check out the entire series on the 100
Mile Diet website.
Meet the Editor
Murphy has been producing sound bits since 2003,
when she began her work for the Small Scale Food Processor Association.
"It was a good way to connect with our expanding membership
and to link the organization with other groups and individuals
working in the small scale food sector," explains Mary. "It
started as a simple emailed list of short news items and now is
a two-page 'website within a website.'"
The on-line newsletter goes out to several hundred subscribers
eight or more times per year.
Mary lives in Port
Alice in Northern Vancouver Island. Her small business specializes
in website design and training, internet marketing, and on-line