MANITOBA GOVERNMENT MOVING QUICKLY TO IMPLEMENT SMALL SCALE FOOD TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS

June 19, 2015

June 17, 2015

MANITOBA GOVERNMENT MOVING QUICKLY TO IMPLEMENT SMALL SCALE FOOD TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS

The Manitoba government continues to implement the recommendations of the Small Scale Food Manitoba working group to support the growth and sustainability of Manitoba's small-scale food sector, Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced today.

"The working group identified a number of opportunities for the province to demonstrate leadership and commitment to the small-scale food sector," said Minister Kostyshyn. "There is still more work to do, which we will pursue with farmers, processors and commodity organizations. We will capitalize on our strengths and Manitoba's agricultural advantages to build a food-processing industry worth $5.5 billion by 2022."

In January 2015, the working group submitted its final report with 21 recommendations to the minister. Earlier this month, the minister met with members of the working group to update them on the progress made to date including:
two staff assigned to focus on the business development and extension needs of small-scale farms and processing businesses;

  • work underway on an online food-processing portal that will provide a focused site for business development, food safety and other resources regarding starting or expanding a food-processing business;
  • a request for the Manitoba Farm Products Marketing Council to work with supply-managed sectors, to develop options for small farms to effectively operate within the supply management system and present them to the minister by next spring;
  • an online list of permitted community kitchens and other resources available to food entrepreneurs; and
  • the creation of a new manual for food-processing entrepreneurs on the steps to start and grow their business, expected to be released this fall.

"Farmers' Markets Association of Manitoba Co-op Inc. (FMAM) is encouraged to see support for small producers," said Phil Veldhuis, chair, FMAM. "We believe small producers support the economy and healthy living."

The minister noted work is also underway on a study to identify and evaluate business models to help small-scale food processors get their products into retail settings and food service establishments. This is expected to be completed in the fall.

For more information about the Small Scale Food Manitoba report, visit www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture.

For more information on Manitoba's agricultural programs and services, follow the Twitter account at www.twitter.com/MBGovAg.

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We will capitalize on our strengths and Manitoba's agricultural advantages to build a food-processing industry worth $5.5 billion by 2022. - Minister Ron Kostyschyn