Starting a local food-selling business in Alberta

  From the September 4, 2018 issue of Agri-News
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 As the popularity of local food grows in Alberta, it is important for budding entrepreneurs – from retailers to restauranteurs – to know what rules and regulations apply to their venture. Jan Warren, new venture specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF), offers some food for thought when starting a local food-selling business.

“Successful farm direct marketing involves consistently supplying a safe, high quality product that meets all the established federal and provincial guidelines,” says Warren.

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

“Be ahead of the curve by having a plan to introduce your product locally, then on to the small scale scene,” adds Warren. “Grow slowly as you learn the requirements of different market channels.”

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, Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors, and Biz Info are just some of the useful resources found on the AF website.”

For more information or to talk to a new venture business development specialist, contact the Alberta Ag-Info Centre at 310-FARM (3276).

Alberta Ag-Info Centre
310-FARM (3276)

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Jan Warren.
This document is maintained by Christine Chomiak.
This information published to the web on August 28, 2018.