On August 28, small farm and business owners Clint and Pam Cavers of Harbourside Farm in Pilot Mound, Manitoba had nearly $8000 worth of meat product confiscated by MAFRI (Manitoba Food and Rural Initiatives) inspectors. The Cavers have been raising beef, pork, chicken, lamb, and duck for nearly 15 years and recently started producing cured and aged meats. In fact, they were doing so well with their Pastured Pork Prosciutto that they won the Great Manitoba Food Fight hosted by MAFRI and Assiniboine Community College earlier this year.
Customers and friends of the Cavers have gotten together to support them through this challenging time; and to address the many regulatory barriers that family farmers are facing when trying to sell good, clean, healthy food directly to eaters. The hope is that interested Manitobans can work together to start a dialogue and create a better set of regulations for local, artisanal producers in Manitoba and across Canada.
Visit www.realmanitobafoodfight.ca to find out more details and to stay informed. Feel free to share with your supporters and help build awareness and support for this important issue.
* Pause to give thanks for the hard working, creative folks (like the Cavers and others in your own area) who are passionate about providing their neighbours with the best food they and their farms can provide.
* If you know your MLA (if in Manitoba) or your MP, then write or call them to express your support for the Cavers and for local food farmers in general – requesting immediate action to resolve the situation.
* Sign up on The Real Manitoba Food Fight website or Facebook and they will send you a list of officials you can contact – along with examples of requests you can articulate.
* Email at least 3 of your friends to tell them about this story and point them to The Real Manitoba Food Fight website or Facebook page.
* Consider the two main immediate requests they are promoting:
A. That the food that was seized from the Cavers be returned immediately which represented ~$8,000 of product and over three years of research and development
B. That MAFRI immediately meet first with the Cavers and then with local food farmers to discuss how government programs and regulations can better support local food farmers and processors. If you have other suggestions for improving the relationship between smaller scale food innovators and regulators, please send them to email@example.com.
Good to see that CFIA is on the spot. Protecting us from possible food borne contaminants. Why can;’t people follow the regulations? Bad enough that they participate in the cruelty and horror of killing animals, but they can;t follow the rules.
The problem is that we live in an over regulated society and regulations are geared to the large produced.
We also live in a society that is influenced by the hysterical press. Headlines will scream about an “epidemic” of e.coli that has affected 5,10,20 people, millions of kilograms will be recalled. The product is distributed country wide in Canada (30 million people or more). This is not an epidemic!
If we had more food processed locally and not transported nation wide there would be a lot less wasted. It would also be a lot easier to recall and control a local epidemic in the event of contamination.
The other point to bear in mind is that MAFRI have not proven that the product is unsafe. It was just destroyed because of a technicality. The facility was inspected and approved by MAFRI, now it is unsafe? MAFRI did not do their job in the first place.
The government gave the okay to produce then they take it away. Why did they take it away. What kind of government do we have. Do they know what is going on.
Sorry for all the difficulties caused for the Cavers. This kind of beauacratic bungling kills credibility with regulators and authorities.