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Step It Up! In Alberta

January 6, 2009  By Alberta Farmers’ Market Association and Alberta Fresh Producers Association


Step It Up! In Alberta
On February 18 and 19, 2009 two of
Alberta’s farm direct marketing industry associations are joining
forces to bring producer’s an industry conference, Step It Up … today
for tomorrow.

January 6, 2009, Red Deer, Alb. – On February 18 and 19, 2009 two of Alberta’s farm direct marketing industry associations are joining forces to bring producer’s an industry conference, Step It Up … today for tomorrow.


The Alberta Farmers’ Market Association (AFMA) and the Alberta Fresh Producers Association (AFFPA) are once again collaborating to present their second annual conference, being held at The Black Knight Inn in Red Deer.

Conference highlights include two keynote addresses, four educational sessions, a round table discussion, local foods banquet, exhibits, networking opportunities for participants and industry awards presentations. It will also feature the annual meetings for both associations. Growers are guaranteed to leave the conference inspired, wired and fired up with new ideas to increase their business profits.

The Alberta Farmers’ Market Association has planned two educational sessions that are pertinent to their membership. Brent Warner, interim executive director of Farmers’ Markets Canada, will be fresh from the first annual general meeting of this newly formed organization, representing farmers’ markets across Canada at the federal level. Warner will talk about Farmers’ Markets Canada, why it was formed and what they hope to accomplish. Warner will share the results of ground-breaking, cross-Canada research conducted on farmers’ markets and their customers in the summer of 2008. During a recent CFBMC webinar, Warner shared that the industry is seeing sales of over $1 billion across Canada – a significant contributor to rural incomes. He will also explore current trends that present opportunities for farmers’ markets and their vendors.

The second educational session is entitled Farmers’ Markets: Issues and Briefs. During this 90-minute session, three different presenters will share on a variety of topics. Food safety is always a hot topic for farmers’ markets. Everyone wants to know the regulations when it comes to food preparation and sale at Alberta Approved Farmers’ Markets. AFMA has brought together two experts in the field. Marie Beliveau, an environmental health consultant with Alberta Health and Wellness, will share what is and isn’t allowed for sale at farmers’ markets according to the Alberta Public Health Act, which foods are considered low risk, the role of the health inspector and more. Bill Zurawell with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will talk about labelling legislation – what must be included on labels for food products sold at farmers’ markets, the importance of allergen labelling and nutrition labelling. Finally, Brent Andressen with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development will talk about the Seed to Salad Program. Started as a pilot project during the 2007 school year, this program gives school children the opportunity to plant gardens and watch as their seeds become salads. Andressen has some amazing insights into what school children do and don’t know about where their food comes from. 

Session seating for Step It Up…today for tomorrow is limited. View the conference brochure online at or and click on News and Information. For information, call toll free (800) 661–2642, email or The early bird registration deadline is January 28, 2009.

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