New! Specialty Foods Magazine

It is our privilege to introduce the premier edition of the Specialty Foods Magazine, the official publication of the Small Scale Food Processor Association. This issue gives us the opportunity to showcase a strong, vibrant and growing local food processing industry as well as the Small Scale Food Processor Association (SSFPA). Please click here to download a pdf version (4 MB) of the magazine.

SSFPA-Associated Program (FSI) Awarded
2009 Premier’s Award for Innovation and Excellence

Vancouver, BC: The 5th Premier’s Innovation and Excellence Awards has announced the Food Safety Initiative (FSI) Program as the provincial winner of the 2008/09 Premier’s Innovation and Excellence Award – Partnership Category.

With the public’s rising concerns about food safety issues, FSI was able to shift attitudes and practices of food processing plants to recognize the value of adopting internationally recognized food safety systems and in turn help strengthen BC’s food safety system.

The caption of the photo indicates the type of partners and the level of co-operation attained by this program. SSFPA is proud to be associated with FSI – along with these partners – and to help facilitate its success.

Front Row L to R: Maureen Drew- Co-Chair SSFPA; Rosemary Pede – Food Safety and Plant Health Branch, BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands; Marg Bancroft – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Larry Copeland – Retired Director BC Centre for Disease Control; Back Row L to R: Phillip Watney – SSFPA Food Safety Program Manager; Navneet Gill – Food Safety and Plant Health Branch, BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands; Premiere Gordon Campbell; Marney James – Director Food Safety and Plant Health Branch, BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands; Sion Shyng – BC Centre for Disease Control.


Agriculture and Agri-Food Information Sessions

Innovation and Competitiveness Programming
for the BC Agriculture and Agri-Food Sector

Representatives from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, ARDCorp, the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, the Investment Agriculture Foundation and the Small Scale Food Processor Association recently gave a series of Power Point presentations about the latest programs and services for environmental farm planning, marketing, innovation, food safety and more. These presentations are available for viewing below:

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
The Agricultural Flexibility Fund

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Growing Forward: Science and Innovation Initiatives 2008-2013


Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada’s Export Programs: The Agri-Food Trade Service, Branding Canada, and Agri-Marketing Programs

BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands

Growing Forward: Agri-food Business Development Program Programs and Information for Producers

Investment Agriculture Foundation

Canadian Agriculture Adaptation Program (CAAP)

Small Scale Food Processor Association

Growing Forward: Food Safety Systems Implementation (Processor) Program

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Publication
Funding Opportunities for BC Producers, Processors, and Associations

Workplace Training for Innovation Pilot Program

The Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development has established a new program initiative, Workplace Training for Innovation Program, through the Strategic Training and Transition Fund. The program is designed to provide eligible employers with funding for employee training in order to:

  • Improve productivity
  • Support the introduction of new technology, machinery/equipment or work processes Enhance international competitiveness
  • Introduce innovative training and workplace strategies to increase the long term competiveness of the organization and its workforce.

Both businesses and not-for-profit employers may be eligible to receive funding. Eligible employers must be: Small organizations (less than 50 employees), in good standing with the BC Corporate Registry and in existence for one year or more. In addition, organizations must certify that they would not undertake the training without financial assistance from the Province. Complete eligibility criteria is contained in the application form and program guidelines.

For more information, visit

Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT)

The Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) is an intergovernmental trade agreement signed by Canadian First Ministers that came into force in 1995. Its purpose is to reduce and eliminate, to the extent possible, barriers to the free movement of persons, goods, services, and investment within Canada and to establish an open, efficient, and stable domestic market. For more information, visit:

SSFPA makes the Financial Post

The Small Scale Food Processor Association referenced in article on food safety regulations in the Financial Post: “One of the best ways for smaller companies to develop a clear understanding of what’s required is to tap into the expertise of consultants and industry associations. The Small Scale Food Processors [sic] Association in B.C. represents a wide range of farms, vineyards and other producers who ship products throughout Canada and the world. It offers assistance with food safety through education and funding initiatives, such as a joint program between the federal and provincial governments called the Food Safety Systems Implementation program. It also helps smaller producers connect with consultants — often at little or no expense — to ensure compliance.”

To read the complete article, click here.

Mountain Ash Farms transitions to successful school program

Powell River Peak – “A new course called management initiative 12 is teaching Brooks students how to produce and market preserves in a real-life business venture. Powell River Educational Services Society (PRESS), set up by School District 47 to administer educational programs outside of the traditional classroom environment, purchased a business formerly called Mountain Ash Farms, from Elaine Steiger. The new name of the business is Mountain Ash Preserves and many of the clients that Steiger supplied plan to continue to support this student-operated business.”

Click here to read article.

First Nations Agricultural Association

Find out what’s happening among producers in this important and growing segment of the BC food sector.

Click here

Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI)

A new report from the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI) has proposed an integrated system for food, health and agricultural policy, to tackle health problems from a food and nutrition perspective.

The CAPI report, entitled Building Convergence: Toward an Integrated Health & Agri-Food Strategy for Canada, said the starting point should be to drive consumer demand in the direction of more nutritious foods, thereby leading businesses to supply that demand. See report


New! BC FARM Knowledge Network discussion forum

The BC FARM Knowledge Network discussion forum is up and running. The pilot project is designed for the BC agriculture community as a way of networking, sharing ideas, offering services, marketing and trading, for example. The hope is that the forum will become a valuable and ongoing resource for all players in the BC agricultral community.


British Columbia Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative

The British Columbia Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative website. This site provides information for BC’s agricultural producers and food processors about how climate change is impacting the sector and the challenges and opportunities associated with taking action.

Don’t Miss Out on Your Olympic Dream!

Hundreds of opportunities exist for small businesses in Vancouver’s 2010 Olympics (especially for those in the food/beverage sector). If you already aren’t tuned into the offerings of the online 2010 Commerce Centre, check it out ASAP.

An Opportunity For Your Food-Based Business?

Making Healthy Choices More Accessible to the Public

The Healthy Food and Beverage Sales in Recreation Facilities and Local Government Buildings Initiative hosted an industry meeting in May, 2008. Its purpose was to engage the BC food industry and its support systems in making the sale of healthy food and beverages easier and more accessible. Input was provided by staff from the School Guidelines Support Initiative and Healthier Choices in Vending Machines in BC Public Buildings.

BC now has three healthy food and beverage sales (HFBS) initiatives. These are the result of a worldwide trend for healthy food and beverages prompted by disturbing chronic disease projections and associated spiraling health care costs. The new guidelines and programs create business opportunities for food producers, processors, and distributors in BC in meeting what will be growing demand in this province, and beyond our borders. Industry is a key strategic partner in the implementation of the HFBS initiatives – for example in providing healthy snack, food and beverage product options that meet the provincial guidelines.

A great deal of useful information about the HFBS process is available to the public:

Eat BC! Fresh, Local, and Tasty

Participating Eat BC! restaurants, farms, grocery stores, and more work to celebrate BC’s abundance and bounty and enhance the eating experience of BC residents. Visit its website to find local food suppliers, win prizes, and learn how you can make a difference just by choosing the great foods grown in BC.

“Growing Forward”

The Vision for Canada’s Agriculture Sector

For the latest information on research, technology, policies and programs for security of the food system, health of the environment and innovation for growth, click here.

SSFPA Activities Update

To update all members on the activities that have been going on behind the scenes and on the ground by the SSFPA:

  • SSFPA 2010 AGM and Joint Conference Planning Committee – Maureen Drew and Gerry Pattison
  • SSFPA – Food Safety Systems Implementation (Processors) Program – Project Advisory Committee – SSFPA Board of Directors
  • SSFPA Representatives – Industry Advisory Committee Members – Growing Forward Federal and Provincial Management Committee – National Agriculture Policy for 2008-2013 – Greg Reinhart and Candice Appleby     ( alternate – Mr. Nelson Barsi )
  • SSFPA Representative and Chair of the Canadian General. Standards Board (CGSB) Organic Committee – Mr. Dag Falck
  • SSFPA Representative – BC Food Processors Health and Safety Council – Safety Program Advisory Committee – Candice Appleby     see web-site for more info
  • SSFPA Representative – Climate Action Initiative Project Advisory Committee – Dave Connell. Click here to visit the project website.
  • SSFPA Representative – BC Agri-Food Technology & Commercialization Hub/Centre/Network – committee representatives – Mr. Nelson Barsi, Ms. Kalpna Solanki, Candice Appleby    
  • SSFPA Representative – Enhancing Capacity of Agriculture and Agri-Food Organizations in BC – Advisory Committee – Candice Appleby    
  • SSFPA Representatives: Victoria, BC – The Centre for Non-Timber Resources at Royal Roads University Mews Conference Centre, October 4 and 5, 2008. Shop the Wild – “goods from the woods”
  • SSFPA Representative – An Industry Led National Strategy for Food Safety for Canada Consultation held in Ottawa on February 7,2008 and December 9, 2008 – Canadian Supply Chain Food Safety Coalition – Candice Appleby    
  • SSFPA Representative – 2nd Annual Conference of Agricultural Co-Op Development Initiative held in Montreal November 27 & 28, 2009 – Candice Appleby    
  • SSFPA Member – Anita’s Organic Grain and Flour Mill Ltd. – Organized and Hosted Stone Milling Workshop
  • SSFPA Representative – Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiative Roundtable – Pat Reichert
  • SSFPA – Organized and Hosted two 2010 Opportunities Workshops specifically targeted at Food Processors – Vancouver and Duncan
  • SSFPA Representative and Panellist – Vancouver Island Economic Alliance Summit 2008 – Nanaimo BC – Maureen Drew
  • SSFPA Representatives – Investment Agriculture Foundation 2009 Strategic Planning Session – November 3 and 4, 2008 – Kim Stansfield and Candice Appleby    
  • Grocery Showcase West 2008 – The SSFPA Developed a 2010 Opportunities Package to reduce costs for processors displaying at the trade-show. The Province of British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture and Lands provided financial support for this initiative.