Transition Smart: Producer to Processor Workshop (Feb 24 & 25)

Bruce Mines Community Hall, Bruce Mines, ON

Friday Feb 24 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. / Saturday Feb 25 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

February 24th and 25th in partnership with the Agri-food Management Institute, the Rural Agri-Innovation Network/SSM Innovation Centre will host the Transition Smart: Producer to Processor workshop as part of the Next Generation North Program.

An introduction to transitioning into processing on-farm, the aim of this workshop is to improve farmers’ understanding of market positioning, best practices in food processing, regulations and risks in processing start-ups, and ongoing labour and operational considerations.

Two weeks prior to the workshop start date, students will be electronically sent, a self-assessment package with pre-course work. One week prior to the workshop start date students will have the option to participate in a conference call to review the self-assessment process and ask questions about the workshop.

Workshop Topics

Choosing and assessing your idea
Risk mitigation/risk tolerance
Target consumer
Marketing plan elements part 1: produce development, distribution and sales
Marketing plan elements part 2: promotion planning, pricing, packaging elements
Production planning: labour topics, quality assurance, production inspection protocol
Financial planning: sources of funding, budgeting and P&Ls
Municipal requirements and business registration

By the end of the two days you will be equipped with the tools to become processors. The workshop will focus on practical preparation tools that can be immediately implemented for identifying feasible value-added opportunities for your farming business.

Register now as space is limited!

The workshop is regularly offered at $299 plus HST, however thanks to support from Growing Forward 2 (GF2) and Ontario Trillium Foundation, the workshop is offered this year for $125 plus HST.

Contact David Thompson to process your registration. To register by sending in a cheque, download/fill out a registration form: PDF Version .docx version and mail to David Thompson 705-942-7927 x3027

Attn: David Thompson
Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre
1520 Queen St. E. Suite CC 200
Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A2G4

The deadline for registration is Friday February 10, 2017. Space is limited so register today!

Amy Bracco has spent her entire 25-year career in food business development, first in brand management positions at Kellogg’s and Uncle Ben’s, then as Director of New Products for Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream in the U.S. Then, after attending the Culinary Management program at George Brown College, she shifted emphasis to hands-on development and commercialization of products and recipes for the frozen entree manufacturing as Development Chef for Marsan Foods Ltd. From there, she went to Loblaw Brands Ltd as a product developer for Meat, Seafood, Pies and Hors d’oeuvres categories.

Since then, she has started her own company, Toast Consulting, where she provides product development and business planning services for both the Canadian and the U.S. food industries. She has also developed curriculum materials and taught at George Brown and Georgian Colleges and acted as Business Advisor and Strategist for the Toronto Food Business Incubator.

Steacy den Haan and her partner own and operate Primeridge Holsteins, a small dairy farm in Grey County. With a need to diversify on farm, they constructed an on-farm cheese plant and began processing their own fluid milk into farm fresh cheeses. Through many ups and downs, they gained knowledge and experience in on-farm diversification, small scale processing, food regulations, sales, marketing and much more.


Next Generation North

This workshop is part of the Next Generation North training program to start-ups and expanding farm businesses. This program aims to increase the financial and planning abilities of successors and start-ups to gain skills needed to run more profitable farm and food businesses.

This project was funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario.


This workshop was also funded in part through Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF).

Comments 3

  1. I am interested in this workshop, but the timing is terrible. It is the same as the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Niagara Falls.

    1. Post

      Hi Ross, Please stay in touch. If we get a good response at this workshop, we are considering having another one in the Fall of 2017.

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