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Posts Tagged ‘processors’

Grocery retailers, chefs, and other food buyers are looking for local product and they want to buy local says Jessica Kelly, a direct farm marketing specialist at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).  “Yet, when it comes to buying from farmers and small food processors, they say there’s often a gap between what they need, when they need it, and how they do business” she adds.

OMAFRA & Town of Georgina has a one-day workshop February 2nd, bringing together farmers and small food processors to learn how to address those gaps.

OMAFRA is also partnering with the City of Quinte West to host a workshop March 1st.

Ministry specialists in business management, business development, food regulation and food safety can help business owners and managers learn more about different sales channels and how they work so participants can ultimately decide if there is an untapped sales channel that is right for their business. Each workshop is customized to local interests with subjects ranging from market channel opportunities, food regulations, food safety, pricing for profit, packaging and labelling. Participants will also learn where to get more information and support.

Your business might benefit from selling to a local grocery store or other retailer, a restaurant or public sector organization like a university or school nutrition program. The key is to invest a few hours to learn about different market opportunities and what customers expect.

The Selling Food to Ontario workshop in the Town of Georgina is available on February 2 from 8:30 am – 3:30 pm and is being held at The Link, 20849 Dalton Road, Sutton, Ontario L0E 1R0. Registration is now open.

The Selling Food to Ontario workshop in Quinte West is available on March 1 from 8:30am -3:30pm and is being held at the Trent Port Marina, 15 Creswell Drive, Quinte West, Ontario K8V 3S8. Registration is now open.

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Guelph, ON, June 24, 2013: At its recent annual general meeting, the Agricultural Management Institute (AMI) elected a new board executive and outlined next steps for growing opportunities for Ontario’s farmers.

Following a two-year term as Vice-Chair, Brenda Lammens has been elected to Chair of AMI.

Ms. Lammens is an active member of the farm community and, with her husband, Raymond, has grown asparagus at SpearIt Farms in Norfolk County for more than 30 years. She is also Chair of the Ontario Agricultural Commodity Council, and past Chair and current director of the Ontario Asparagus Growers Marketing Board.

“A great many opportunities exist for farmers. It’s time to recognize and take advantage of them,” says Ms. Lammens. “During my term as Chair I want to help farmers and farm organizations to grab those opportunities – whether it is processing, exporting, or on-farm marketing – so that they can be the very best. With the help of AMI, we can work co-operatively rather than in isolation, learning from one another to drive Ontario’s farm businesses forward.”

David Lee, a dairy farmer from the Otterville area was elected to the role of Vice-Chair. Gerald Renkema will remain on the AMI executive as Past Chair.

In addition to the election of new executive board members, attendees at the annual general meeting learned about AMI’s interim work plan in anticipation of Growing Forward 2 funding. The new work plan will see the inclusion of Ontario processors and farm business leadership to the AMI portfolio, as well as the development of new business tools.

“The leadership activities will start by defining what leadership means in farm operations and with on-farm teams,” said Ryan Koeslag, AMI’s Executive Director. “As a management institute, we want to help farmers to embrace leadership as a means to drive change on their farm and meet the goals of their business plan.”

The expansion of AMI’s mandate to include processors is significant. “Collaboration between farmers and processors is a relationship that has been overlooked in the past and one where AMI can contribute,” says Koeslag. “If we are able to assist processors with their management practices, it will ultimately help farmers to achieve their full potential.”

New business tools that are under development include an online business assessment tool, an e-Learning succession planning tool for processors, business leadership activities, and expansion of the business advisory groups for farmers in a range of commodities.

“These additions to AMI’s offerings are exciting steps forward for us and for the farm community, but we haven’t forgotten our roots. We will continue to offer business management events, speakers, and a host of online business management resources to farmers,” adds Koeslag. “Our upcoming conference in 2014 will bring together delegates from across the value chain to discuss the barriers, opportunities and collaborations that will redefine the marketplace.”

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About AMI

The Agricultural Management Institute (AMI) promotes new ways of thinking about farm business management and aims to increase awareness, understanding and adoption of beneficial business management practices by Ontario farmers. The AMI is funded by Growing Forward 2, a Federal-Provincial-Territorial initiative.

For more information contact Ryan Koeslag, Executive Director, AMI at 519-822-6618 or by email at ryan@takeanewapproach.ca  

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