Starting a local food-selling business in Alberta

Some food for though for producers who want to enter the selling business

“The popularity of local food in Alberta is growing, and new business models are developing in many communities,” says Jan Warren, new venture development specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF). “AF provides information and support for your new developing agriculture related business.”

“All the different market channels in the food continuum must know the legalities of business set up – such as regulations and insurance – and have a complete understanding of the food safety issues in the farm to fork continuum,” she says. “Food safety is a shared responsibility all down the food chain, including producers, operators of food premises, food handlers, regulatory agencies, educators and consumers. It is different for every type of business, from foodbank to mini-mart.”

She adds that Health Canada has developed standards for safety, quality and nutrition for all food sold in Canada and has given authority to provincial governments to manage food produced and sold within provincial borders.

Selling into one market channel – such as a farmers’ market – has completely different permits and packaging requirements than a restaurant, different expectations than a storefront, or shipping out of province.

“You will need to ask what different acts and regulations there are and how they need to be applied to your food business idea,” she says.

Usually, it falls on the food retail and food service industries to have the primary responsibility for ensuring the safety of their foods and they are expected to provide a reasonable level of descriptive product information so that consumers can make informed decisions.

Warren offers a list of resources. “The most important is the Alberta Public Health Act, and under that, Food Regulation. These regulations govern food manufacturers, distributors, restaurants, caterers, and farmers markets. Municipal and local regulations need to be looked at as well. Farm direct marketing: know the regulations – general legislation; also Business basics for Alberta food processors: a planning guide, are just some of the useful resources found on Alberta.ca.”

Not for profit organizations wishing to develop local food accessibility for their community or an at-risk population, can receive support from the federal Local Food Infrastructure Fund.

-Alberta Agri-news

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE Human remains found in Manny’s Motel ruins

UPDATE RCMP Major Crimes Unit Investigate Fatal Fire in Wetaskiwin

Wetaskiwin Legion ‘Branch Briefings’

Branch #86 is planning its 90th anniversary

Feed replacement cost, precipitation threshold and more tweaked by AFSC

AFSC announces enhancements to perennial crop insurance programs

Road allowance closure goes to prov govt

Encroaching house situation could set ‘precedent’

County of Wetaskiwin council approves water rate hike of 3 per cent

Councilors balk at proposed rate increase of 4 per cent

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

Alberta Urban Municipalities Association wants province to make tax changes

The Alberta Court of Appeal ruled last year that municipalities are unsecured creditors

Most Read