Member Update - September 2014

Bringing Alberta Manufacturers To Ontario
Provision is pleased to be assisting Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) with the facilitation of their 2014 Best Practice Mission Tour to Ontario. On September 24th and 25th, thirty food and beverage manufacturers from Alberta will be in Ontario to tour the facilities of four world class leaders in lean manufacturing and sustainability.

The aim of the Best Practice Mission is to leverage lean and green thinking principles, and to share and learn about productivity improvement best practices that are demonstrated by the host facilities.

Facilities to be toured include Toyota Motor Company in Cambridge, McNeil Healthcare in Guelph, Velcro Canada Inc., Coca-Cola Refreshments and Steam Whistle Brewery—all located in Toronto.

The event will culminate with our special Where East Meets West Networking Dinner on the evening of September 25th, (see below) bringing together the participating companies from Alberta and invited Ontario companies to leverage lean and green thinking and share productivity improvement practices for application in their own facilities.

Where East Meets West Networking Dinner - September 25, 2014
Ontario food and beverage manufacturers will have an opportunity to network with industry experts and their Alberta counterparts visiting Ontario to tour world class lean and sustainable facilities. Hosted at The Real Sports Bar & Grill and Steam Whistle Brewing in Toronto, it promises to be a one-of-kind industry event.

Business speaker and author, Jim Harris, will keynote our Where East Meets West Networking Dinner, sharing insights on how leadership in sustainability can improve the bottom line. Provision will provide an exclusive live demo of its Online Sustainability Portal and the evening wraps with a tour of Steam Whistle, Canada’s greenest brewery, complete with a free beer tasting.

For full details, visit this link
Space is very limited. This is an invitation only event for Ontario Food & Beverage manufacturers. If your member companies are interested in attending, please contact Daniel Beltrame at

Portal Showtime
Stemmlers Meat & Cheese, Brittles ’n More, Monforte Cheese, Niagara Natural Fruit Snack Company, Cave Springs Winery and Mondelez Canada are just a few of the recent food and beverage manufacturers to take advantage of a Provision’s house call, looking to learn more about the valuable tools and resources in our Online Sustainability Portal. The response continues to be enthusiastic.

“I’m ready to get into the portal and start using it today!” said Brittles ’n More’s President and Sales Manager, Mike McEachern. “There is so much potential to learn and apply the tools.”

Says Kevin Stemmler of Stemmlers Meat & Cheese, “The Funding and Consultant/Vendor databases in the portal will be helpful. We’re always looking at how we can improve operations and finance our initiatives and having those resources easily available to us is invaluable.”

Know of a manufacturer ready to begin or expand on their sustainability journey? Put them in touch with the Provision team to request an on-site visit and/or portal demonstration.

Food Waste Report Spurs Formation Of Industry Working Group
Released in July, Provision’s commissioned report, Developing an Industry Led Approach to Addressing Food Waste in Canada, recommends the formation of a collaborative industry working group to develop strategies for reducing the 30-40 percent of food lost along the Canadian food value chain. That equates to $27 billion in food wasted annually in Canada.

The study, managed by the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS) and led by researchers at the Ivey Business School and Value Chain Management Centre (a division of Value Chain Management International) was picked up by a number of media outlets, sparking debate and calls to action that were shared in supporting articles and radio interviews. It also attracted a number of people interested in joining the proposed industry food waste working group.

The food waste report aimed to map the food waste challenge in the context of Ontario’s and Canada’s agri-food industry and develop a coordinated strategy for tackling food waste in Canada. The research revealed there are significant opportunities for businesses along food value chains to streamline their operations, reduce food waste, and increase profit, while making better use of scarce resources and reducing their environmental footprint.

The report’s key findings showed there is no clear commonly agreed upon definition of food waste in Canada and no common measures of food waste and its impact on businesses, society and the environment. The establishment of a Food Waste working group will help with the development of a clear definition of food waste and an effective means for measuring it.

Provision is currently cataloguing Canadian and International food waste activities to determine their scope and outcomes and intends to conduct pilot studies with willing businesses to test strategies developed by the working group. If you or a member company is interested in being a part of the working group, please contact us.

Taking The Pulse – State of Sustainability Industry Survey Coming Soon!
Our 2014 State of the Industry Sustainability Survey will be launching in early October and manufacturer participation will be critical as we aim to provide companies with the knowledge and tools to increase their business and sustainability performance. We need your help. We are asking all members to forward the survey to your member companies and rally them to take part.

Why Participate?
Our member associations will benefit by having current data and a better understanding of how the food and beverage industry is performing in 2014 with respect to the sustainability continuum. This will allow you to plan strategically and better meet your members’ needs.

Participating manufacturers will receive a complementary ticket to Provision’s Sustainability Industry Event on June 9, 2015 (valued at $125) and be entered into a draw to win an iPad Mini among other great prizes.

The State of the Industry Sustainability Survey will also help Provision to:
  • Determine the current status of food and beverage companies in terms of sustainability performance and implementation of sustainability practices
  • Identify the strategies and practices than can improve sustainability performance and create business value; and
  • Determine the tools and support services that small and medium-sized food and beverage processing companies need to integrate sustainability into their business operations. 

Provision has commissioned MNP to conduct this important web-based industry survey. Watch for the invite and survey link coming soon and encourage your member companies to participate.

The Portal Grows On
Numerous enhancements to our Online Sustainability Portal are about to go live, and although there are many new features and updates to tout, we’d like to highlight two we feel our users will enjoy — a new Events Calendar and a more robust My Profile page.

Our new Events Manager with Calendaring features allows portal users to track both Provision and industry events. It’s the perfect one-stop resource to find out about conferences, networking opportunities, learning sessions and upcoming Provision dates. Be sure to let us know about your upcoming events so we can help promote them.

Enhancements to the My Profile page have created a “dashboard experience,” giving portal users an enriched overview of their account and registered facilities. It also includes Most Recent Activity links and Quick Links for tools/resources, making it easier to navigate back to your favourite pages or the tools /resources you were last working in.

All of our enhancements are expected to go live by the end of September. Haven’t registered in the portal? As an association member, you are eligible for a complementary account to check out these new features and more. Contact us today to get your voucher code and we’ll get you started.

Daniel Joins The Team
We’re pleased to welcome Daniel Beltrame to Provision, taking on the role of Project Coordinator. Daniel is excited to be contributing to Provision’s heritage of sustainability-focused advocacy in the food and beverage manufacturing industry.

Daniel previously served as the Sustainability Project Coordinator at rethink Green, an environmental not-for-profit group located in Sudbury, Ontario. Passionate about community-level sustainability, he co-led the creation of one of Sudbury’s first incubators for social enterprise and has delivered workshops on environmental solutions for emerging entrepreneurs.

Free Advertising In Provision Portal
Have an event to promote or looking to increase your membership? Until November, we are offering our members complimentary advertising in our Online Sustainability Portal. Contact Keir at Provision to find out more about this great opportunity.

Save the date for Provision’s 2015 AGM and Industry Event on June 9, 2015.
It promises a keynote speaker not to be missed!

We'll be at Grocery Innovations on September 29th and 30th.
Stop by our booth and see firsthand how our Online Sustainability Portal can add value to your member companies.

Catch up on our blog series, Filling The Gap
You’ll find great information and perspectives on sustainability issues that affect your food and beverage member companies.