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News

Monday, 30 March 2015 14:33

Homegrown Foods Grand Re-Opening

From the Stony Plain Reporter/Grove Examiner, March 6, 2015

For over 15 years Homegrown Foods has been serving the local community with healthy food and living choices and now they are excited to boast a larger store and an on-line and home delivery service!

Jim Schoepp, proud owner and himself an organic farmer says "We are proud to provide the Parkland area with organic food and other healthy options for the body and home. These latest developments are a testimony to our customer's loyalty and our desire to expand our service to the community."

In 1996 Jim, and a few other local farmers, started a home based service for locals who were seeking farmer direct products. This small venture formulated a business plan and in 1997 Homegrown Foods opened its doors to the public. Now they are celebrating with a grand re-opening for the newly expanded store.

The result is an impressive open space with regular cash registers you would find at most grocery stores. Store manager, Kathy Bain, says "The comments we get from customers who enter the new entrance is always 'wow'. They are so impressed with the new look of the store". The first bay, which was the original home to the store, has now largely become a shipping and warehouse area for the new on-line and home delivery service. On-line shopping continues to be a rapidly growing market and Homegrown wants to meet this customer trends. "Alongside accepting orders on-line we provide a home delivery service in Stony Plain and Spruce Grove, with hopes to expand our delivery areas in the future" says Tim Wilson, manager of on-line sales and marketing.

After starting web sales in September the store is about to expand its service to include customisable produce boxes, dairy products, local meat and more. Soon you will be able to make a one stop shop, right from your home! With these new features customers can sign up on-line for a box that will allow them to customise what organic produce they would like each week, based off product availability and the box theme they have chosen. In addition they can add dairy, meat and other products to their weekly order and buy supplements, cleaning products and more whenever needed.  These customisable produce boxes launched at Homegrown's Grand Re-Opening on March 14th.

 

Friday, 27 March 2015 08:20

Seeking Organic Food Demonstrator

JoinTeamOA

Organic Food Demonstrator

We are looking for an outgoing, personable, and passionate person to join our team as a food demonstrator. The Organic Food Demonstrator will conduct food sampling at retail locations and events to promote products from Alberta Organic producers and processors. The Organic Food Demonstrator will work closely with Organic Alberta’s Marketing Program Coordinator and with business representatives in the organic community.

Projects include: The Alberta Organic Food marketing campaign.

 

Key responsibilities:

  • Setting up and dismantling food sampling and display
  • Preparing food products for sampling
  • Encouraging shoppers to taste and purchase products
  • Recording information for market research
  • Promoting Alberta Organic Foods and sales of organic products

Qualifications:

  • Passion for local and organic food
  • Food preparation skills
  • Experience in marketing and sales
  • Dependable, self-starter who is comfortable working independently

Position details: Casual position including some weekdays, evenings and weekends. $15-18/hour depending on experience.

Application Deadline: 5:00 PM Friday April 17, 2015. To apply please email your resume and cover letter to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Only candidates short-listed for an interview will be contacted.

Friday, 27 March 2015 08:15

Seeking Organic Food Demonstrator

JoinTeamOA

Organic Food Demonstrator

We are looking for an outgoing, personable, and passionate person to join our team as a food demonstrator. The Organic Food Demonstrator will conduct food sampling at retail locations and events to promote products from Alberta Organic producers and processors. The Organic Food Demonstrator will work closely with Organic Alberta’s Marketing Program Coordinator and with business representatives in the organic community.

Projects include: The Alberta Organic Food marketing campaign.

 

Key responsibilities:

  • Setting up and dismantling food sampling and display
  • Preparing food products for sampling
  • Encouraging shoppers to taste and purchase products
  • Recording information for market research
  • Promoting Alberta Organic Foods and sales of organic products

Qualifications:

  • Passion for local and organic food
  • Food preparation skills
  • Experience in marketing and sales
  • Dependable, self-starter who is comfortable working independently

Position details: Casual position including some weekdays, evenings and weekends. $15-18/hour depending on experience.

Application Deadline: 5:00 PM Friday April 17, 2015. To apply please email your resume and cover letter to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Only candidates short-listed for an interview will be contacted.

Thursday, 26 March 2015 13:31

Efficiency Key In Organic Beef Production

A recent Western Producer article focused on the presentation by Tim Hoven to the 2015 Organic Alberta conference in Beaumont.

There is good margin in the organic beef industry for some people but not for everyone, says organic beef producer Tim Hoven. He said the organic beef industry must become more efficient feeding, finishing, slaughtering and distributing its product if it is to survive and thrive. “There is not enough money in the whole system to keep the whole system going,” Hoven told the Organic Alberta conference.  He believes the organic industry will continue to grow, but producers must work together to cut costs and make the final product affordable to consumers. “There must be some way the industry can work together and move forward,” he said. “Define your niche and somehow work together so we can all have a better living.”
 
Hoven was one of the few people selling meat directly to consumers before BSE, but he said almost 14 years of driving across central Alberta delivering meat to customers and stores took its toll. He has stopped his direct sales business to concentrate on raising livestock. “There is not enough time in the day to be a producer and marketer. You need to specialize,” said Hoven of Eckville, Alta. The commercial cattle industry is broken into cow-calf producer, backgrounder, finisher and distributor, and the organic beef industry needs to do the same to become more efficient. “There needs to be a place where cow-calf producers can send their animals to be finished as efficiently as possible.” He said consumers will become frustrated and abandon organic meet if the industry doesn’t work together.  “In the future, we need to have organic processors, distributors to make it easier for consumers.”
 
Mike Beretta, chief executive officer of One Earth Farms, said it cannot keep up with the demand for its organic and natural beef. Sales of organic beef could double over night if more was produced.  The biggest barrier to producing more beef is finding more organic feed, he added.  “We’d like to increase sales but can’t find feed,” Beretta told the conference.
 
One Earth Farms slaughters 400 head of its “natural” brand beef, which is raised without additional hormones or antibiotics, and 80 head of organic beef at its Canadian Premium Meats plant in Lacombe, Alta. Buying the federally inspected slaughter plant has allowed the company to have regularly scheduled slaughter days to ensure a steady quantity of meat for customers. Beretta took over as head of the company shortly after One Earth Farms bought his Beretta Farms brand. The company has since acquired a series of beef brands, including Heritage Angus. Beretta said it hopes to scale up its organic line of beef products by focusing on grass-finished beef as a way to eliminate expensive grain in the feed.
 
One Earth Farms’ cattle are scattered across the Prairies and raised by farmers as a way of sharing costs and risks. Beretta said consumers who want organically raised beef are willing to pay higher costs.
Thursday, 26 March 2015 13:07

Health Canada Approves GMO Apple

Following in the footsteps of USDA, Health Canada last week announced approval of Okanagan Specialty Fruits’ GMO “Arctic Apple,” which could reach markets as early as next year. The apples have been modified to inhibit the natural browning of the flesh after being cut, but will not be required to label as genetically engineered. If it gets onto the market, it would be only the second GM fruit sold anywhere in the world, after a Hawaiian-grown papaya, and it would be the first GM fruit to be grown in Canada. 

A 2012 survey commissioned by the BC Fruit Growers' Association and the Federation of Quebec Apple Growers showed that 69% of Canadians didn’t want it approved. Growers are concerned that the GM apple will negatively affect the entire market for apples. “Growers are right to worry that without clear labelling many consumers will buy fewer apples just to avoid this GM apple,” said Thibault Rehn of the Quebec Network Vigilance OGM, a CBAN member group. “We need our grocery stores to step in to protect the consumer interest and the apple industry by keeping their doors closed to this GM apple.”   Grocery chain stores are listening to customers. CBAN is encouraging consumers to write to the head office of your grocery store this week. Contacts are posted at http://cban.ca/content/view/full/1903 or you can visit the company website to find a phone number. Your letter is very influential. Please send the responses you get to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Information and other actions, including a "No GM Apple” pledge form for your small independent store, are posted at www.cban.ca/apple.
 
 
Thursday, 26 March 2015 13:04

Ontario To Limit Neonics

On March 23 the provincial government of Ontario announced draft amendments to the Pesticides Act to reduce the use of neonicotinoid insecticides. Ontario is home to over 40 percent of Canada’s beekeepers, who have experienced winter losses as high as 50 percent. If approved, the amendments will reduce the number of acres planted with neonicotinoid insecticide-treated corn and soybean seeds by 80 percent by 2017, and will make Ontario the first North American jurisdiction to regulate the pesticides. COTA, which provided written support for the bill, urges members to engage in the public comment period now open to ensure the amendments move forward.

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