The Canadian Food Summit, From a Food Lawyer’s Perspective

Last week I attended the two-day Canadian Food Summit, put on by the Conference Board of Canada (CBOC). In 2010, the CBOC launched the Centre for Food in Canada, with a twofold mandate:  to increase public awareness of the food sector in Canada, and to work towards building a Canadian Food Strategy. The Summit was the first attempt to bring together people working in all corners of the food sector:  big food, small food, processors, producers, farmers, food safety folks, community initiatives, those working in supply chain management, non-profits, and even a few lawyers. It’s not often, at least in … Continue reading

Don Staniford on BC Salmon Farming: Defamer or Truth-Teller?

The Supreme Court of British Columbia is currently hearing a case that some have referred to as a classic David and Goliath battle: Mainstream Canada, BC’s second-largest salmon company, is suing Don Staniford, an environmental activist, for defamation. About a year ago, Staniford launched a provocative campaign entitled ‘Salmon Farming Kills’. The campaign’s imagery was fashioned after the warnings on cigarette packs, and included phrases like ‘Salmon Farms are Cancer’ and ‘Salmon Farming Causes Disease’. Court documents indicate that Mainstream is seeking $100,000 in general damages, $25,000 in punitive damages, and an injunction to permanently stop Staniford from defaming Mainstream, … Continue reading

Cottage Food Laws: Should Canada Give Them a Go?

Cottage food laws have been passed in 31 American states, including Texas, Florida, and New York. Nine states have pending cottage food laws, at various stages of debate and approval. The gist of these laws is the same (though the details of the legislation vary greatly):  they allow individuals to cook low-risk food items in their homes and sell and distribute them to the public. The impetus behind the law is a removal of the major stumbling block for start-up food entrepreneurs:  access to a commercial kitchen. A certified commercial kitchen in most major centres will run you at least … Continue reading