By Kevin J Sabo
For the Advance
In a joint venture between the Alberta Government, the Paintearth Economic Partnership Society, and the Rural Enterprise Assistance and Coaching Hostel (REACH) are bringing new workshops for entrepreneurs to Castor.
The first of these workshops was on Nov. 6 at the new REACH office located on main street in the old Paintearth Gas Co-Op building. The first workshop, entitled “Getting into Local Foods,” will teach producers about the regulations behind selling their foods at Farmer’s Markets or other direct to consumer methods.
“The 145 approved Alberta Farmers Markets exceeded $1 billion in revenue last year,” said REACH founder Rodger Cole. “One-eighth of producers are already reporting direct to consumer sales.”
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The full-day workshop featured presenters from Alberta Agriculture, Alberta Food Safety, and others, and will speak on the many regulations involved in food selling, including packaging, and labelling requirements.
This education is coming at a time when direct to consumer sales is picking up, something Cole attributes to food safety concerns. “Consumers want safer food,” said Cole.
Castor hosts one of the 145 approved Farmers Markets in the province on the first Thursday of the month between March and November. For more information about the Castor market, contact Kelsey Seth at 403-882-2755. For more information about the upcoming REACH workshop Rodger Cole at 403-446-0446.