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Georgian College Food Entrepreneurs Community Seminar
More than 150 farmers, food artisans and other prospective entrepreneurs packed the Georgian College John Di Poce South Georgian Bay Campus in Collingwood February 2014 to learn more about how to start or expand their own food-based business.
Georgian courses and programs related to food entrepreneurship
Courses offered at Georgian College can help entrepreneurs gain the knowledge and skills to grow their businesses.
The Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre also offers training specifically for entrepreneurs.
Previous food entrepreneurship training
The Food Safety Regulatory Training course was first offered in 2014-2015 as a pilot project at Owen Sound, Barrie and South Georgian Bay campuses through a partnership with the counties of Grey, Simcoe and Bruce and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Plans are underway to offer the course content at other campuses in various formats.
Food Labelling Workshop
In this three-hour workshop, entrepreneurs learned how to use the Genesis software to run nutritional facts panels for their food products.
Take control of food safety regulations
If you operate or are planning to open a local food business, you know that food safety regulations can be confusing.
Food Safety Regulatory Training is a 12-hour weekend course offered by Georgian College. It has been created especially for small and growing local food businesses, including small farm food processors, producers selling at farmers’ markets, caterers and restaurant operators.
For information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 705.728.1968, ext. 1605.
Length: 12 hours
Delivery: Three modules plus practical component
Credential: Attestation of attendance
People around the world are embracing local food businesses and products. They know that local food supports small and medium-sized business, promotes healthy eating habits, creates community and results in fewer food miles. But starting or expanding a food business isn’t easy.
Local food businesses often start small, and the regulations the small business owner needs to understand can be overwhelming. The Food Safety Regulatory Training course prepares students to navigate the three levels of government regulatory agencies and their food related acts and regulations, guidelines and policy interpretations.
This course aims to strengthen relationships between food businesses and regulatory bodies. Through this course, students will:
- Be engaged in learning experiences that will allow them to take control of food safety within their businesses
- Learn to work collaboratively with regulatory agency inspectors to develop food safety plans and strategies
The result is stronger, more informed businesses and a safer food supply for all.
This course will be of interest to local food business owners and those employed in the local food industry. It will relate to careers in a variety of food settings including farmers’ markets, local food industries, catering, and restaurants.
Course learning outcomes
The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:
- Recognize and understand the roles of the various levels of government and regulatory agencies related to food production
- Stimulate creation and expansion of food-related businesses
- Utilize keen observation and good judgment to all aspects of food production to ensure a safe food supply
- Utilize and implement food safety plans and strategies
- Recognize and understand key regulations in food production
- Navigate a regulatory agency and its requirements in order to implement the regulations in a food business
- Strengthen relationships between food businesses and regulatory agencies
- Work collaboratively with regulatory agencies to develop food safety plans and strategies
One-on-one mentorship with area food experts
- Access to Genesis nutritional analysis and labelling software
- Access to web-based simulation that allows students to walk through potential food safety crisis as the producer or inspector (under development)
No formal requirements; however, students in food related industries are recommended for this course and will benefit from this training. Applicants require good communication skills and should have minimum of Grade 10 English.
To receive credit for successful completion of the course, the following criteria must be met:
- Attend the full 12 hours of class time
- Complete and submit all required exercises
Students will receive an attestation of attendance from Georgian College.
To earn an attestation a student must attain a letter grade of P (Pass) in each module.
Understanding the Nature of Food Safety Regulations (3 hours): This module introduces the student to the importance and role of food safety regulations. It reviews the common causes of food-borne illness and looks at Canadian research on the costs associated with food-borne illness.
The key regulatory agencies are described including what they do and their most common pieces of food related regulations. The roles of non-governmental players are examined. The module concludes with a review of safe food handling, good manufacturing plans, and hazard analysis and critical control points.
An Overview of Food Safety Regulations (6 hours): The student will understand the science and culture of key food safety regulations from various agencies. Through this module students will be able to determine which local, provincial, and federal food safety regulations are relevant to various foods and distribution. Other topics include special events, farmers’ market exemptions, and farm gate sales. Students will learn the basics of food labelling components according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Online Labelling Tool.
Understanding Food Safety Regulatory Roles and Responsibilities (3 hours): Students will learn how to create a food safety culture. The module will review the roles and responsibilities of the food handler and business owner regarding food safety legislation. It will provide students an understanding of the role of the regulatory inspector including discussions on how to develop working relationships with regulatory personnel.
Information contained in college documents respecting programs is correct at the time of publication. Academic content of programs and courses is revised on an ongoing basis to ensure relevance to changing educational adjectives and employment market needs. The college reserves the right to add or delete programs, options, courses, timetables or campus locations subject to sufficient enrolment, and the availability of courses.
What our students say about the Food Safety Regulatory Training course
“Highly recommended that anyone in food business attend this course. Very worthwhile!”
“What a perfect first step for incubating my food business in Ontario, Canada and the world.”
“Was pleasantly surprised how much practical information was given. Especially in regard to product development and label and nutritional information.”
“The information provided will serve as an excellent reference in the future, a wonderful resource to check oneself!”
(Source: Student Course Evaluation Survey)
Read these articles about the Food Safety Regulatory Training course:
This pilot project was made possible through funding provided by the Government of Ontario, the Counties of Grey, Bruce and Simcoe, and Georgian College. The views expressed in the testimonials and videos on this site are those of the participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Government of Ontario or the other project sponsors.
Presentations from Food Entrepreneurs: Growing Innovation in Headwaters Region
The go-to place for everything food entrepreneurship in Central Ontario
Local, sustainable food is a priority for consumers
Georgian College and the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre are working with local municipalities and economic development partners, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), and local leaders in the food sector to provide events and training for food and beverage entrepreneurs.
Value-added agriculture and agri-food products: A strategic imperative for economic growth
The food and beverage manufacturing sector in Ontario generated over $39 billion in revenues in 2011. Municipalities and economic development organizations have recognized the benefit of agriculture and agri-product development as a strategic imperative for economic growth. Food entrepreneurs will boost the agri-food sector by strengthening local food businesses and positively impacting economic development in our communities, and in our region.
Georgian has hosted community seminars for food entrepreneurs at three campuses since February 2014. Local planning committees are rolling out similar events at four more campuses. This will culminate in a province-wide conference co-hosted with the Agri-Food Management Institute (AMI) at the Barrie Campus in March 2016. These events bring together key members of the food value chain – growers/producers, manufacturers, retailers, tourism providers and support organizations.
Training needs identified
Surveys conducted at the seminars identified training and other supports needed by food entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs indicated an urgent need to gain a better understanding of food safety regulations. Georgian, along with Grey, Simcoe and Bruce counties and OMAFRA, was pleased to roll out the Food Safety Regulatory Training course as a pilot project in 2014-15. Other training is in development and social networking is in full swing.