Local food enthusiasts looking to break into the food production business, or expand a current enterprise, are invited to a one-stop-shop training event next month. The City of Kingston, the Township of South Frontenac, and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) will offer the full-day training session, The A to Z of Getting Your Food Products to Market.
The training session, which will be held at the Kingston East Community Centre on Friday, Feb. 10, 2023, will feature representatives from Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and local businesses, who will all be on hand to provide all the tools and resources needed to get your food to market, according to a release from the City of Kingston.
“If you’ve ever dreamed of getting into the food production business, there are many resources available to make that dream come true,” said Tracey Snow, Manager of Rural Economic and Community Development for the City of Kingston. “By bringing everyone together in one place, we can share this wealth of knowledge, support local businesses, and encourage those who want to become local producers to do so.”
The City said that the training session is open to anyone, whether they are looking to sell that secret family recipe people always ask for, considering a side gig or full-time operation, or for farmers and artisans who are already producing food items. According to the release, the event will take participants through every step, from renting and using a commercial kitchen, to understanding regulations and food safety requirements, to getting products on the shelves.
Kingston has three commercial kitchens available for rent, the City stated, with another one located in South Frontenac. According to the release, these state-of-the-art facilities are accessible to anyone looking to produce and sell food products.
“There is a market for local food in our region and many of our local food producers and business owners have expressed their willingness to support these ventures,” Snow said. “We want this event to help establish these connections and serve as a stepping stone to get people started.”
Those interested in registering for The A to Z of Getting Your Food Products to Market can do so online. The City said that space is limited, lunch will be provided, and parking is free.