BC Association of Farmers' markets
Supporting BC farmers and sustaining our local food supply means ensuring we have land to farm and fresh food to eat. It's a way to nurture the places we live and visit.

2018 Speakers and Bios

2018 Speakers and Bios

The list is subject to change. Please check back regularly for speaker additions and updates.

Ethan Adeland, Food Bloggers of Canada

Ethan is the co-founder and Managing Director of Partnerships for Food Bloggers of Canada. His mandate is to create mutually beneficial social campaigns for Canadian food bloggers with FBC's food and agricultural brand partners. Social media and social influencer marketing are at the heart of these blogger/brand partnerships. Ethan's background in marketing and merchandising has had him work with some of North America's most recognizable food, agriculture and sports brands. Ethan lives in Vancouver and makes the West End Farmers Market a regular stop in his Saturday morning routine. 
Session: Building Community Through Social Connection: Creating and Implementing a Cohesive Marketing Strategy for Your Market

Debra Cebula, Cowichan Green Community

Debra has a background in environmental technology and extensive experience in cooking and food preservation. She currently manages Cowichan Green Community’s (CGC) FruitSave program, the BCAFM Coupon Program, and is a key intern with the Incubator Seed Farm Project. Debra lead the Food Skills for Families cooking classes, the Family Food Preservation Workshops, and is a regular contributor to CGC’s Ceres Edible Landscaping company.
Session: Connecting the Dots - Cowichan's Food Hub

Certified Organic Associations of BC (COABC)

The Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia (COABC) is an umbrella association representing organic certifying agencies in the province. COABC is empowered by the British Columbia Organic Agricultural Products Regulation under the British Columbia Food Choice and Disclosure Act to implement an organic certification accreditation province-wide. 
The certification accreditation program is an industry and government partnership program which is industry - driven and industry - regulated, with government providing oversight authority. The main objectives of the program are to provide consumer confidence in the organic product certification, to assist producers to increase market share, and to support regional development of organic food production, processing and marketing.

Session: New Organic Standards

Vanessa Daether, Farm|Food|Drink Business Advisory Team

Vanessa is a researcher specializing in food security and agricultural market research. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University, a Masters of Arts in Human Security and Peacebuilding from Royal Roads (RRU), and is currently a doctoral candidate within RRU’s Doctor of Social Sciences program. She spent the early part of her career interning and working with agricultural, seed saving, and food security organizations across western Canada and abroad. 
In 2011, an opportunity to work with the Cowichan Green Community, a Food Hub in Duncan, brought her back to Vancouver Island. Today, Vanessa works as the Lead Researcher for Farm|Food|Drink Business Advisory Team, conducting research that supports the growth and viability of small to medium-sized farm and food enterprises, as well as local food markets.

Session: Market Research and Marketing Strategy

Melissa Hartfiel, Food Bloggers of Canada

Melissa is the co-founder and Managing Director of Content Creation for Food Bloggers of Canada. Her mandate is to promote and support Canadian food blogging talent throughout Canada with content creation and social media marketing. Social media is one of her most powerful tools for maintaining and growing a vibrant and engaged community of over 2000 food bloggers and tens of thousands of Canadian food lovers. She is a graphic designer and writer by trade and shops at her local North Delta Farmer's Market every Sunday during the summer. 
Session: Building Community Through Social Connection: Creating and Implementing a Cohesive Marketing Strategy for Your Market

Heather Kaye, www.cow-op.ca

The Cowichan Valley Co-operative Marketplace (CVCM) is a non-profit Community Services Co-operative formally incorporated in 2014, guided by a membership made up of local farmers, food processors, and community partners. This project is managed by the co-operative’s General Manager, Heather Kaye. Heather has been involved in the co-operative’s development since its inception and led the development and building of the online marketplace initiative. Heather currently manages all aspects of the online farmers’ market, the co-operative membership, as well as all of the co-operative’s other projects and events.
Heather has extensive experience managing a number of food security and agriculture-related programs with the Cowichan Green Community for over seven years including Wild Food Walks, Farm to School Lunch Program, the KinPark Youth Urban Farm, and the production of eight editions of the direct farm marketing guide, “Cowichan Grown Farm, Food and Drink Map.” She has a BA in English Literature from the University of Manitoba, and an agricultural diploma from the university's Faculty of Agriculture. She's worked in online resources marketing (Red River Press Inc.) and agricultural publishing (Issues Ink) for several years prior to moving to Vancouver Island in 2008. 

Connecting the Dots - Cowichan's Food Hub

Greg McLaren, Farm|Food|Drink Business Advisory Team

Greg is Managing Director of the Farm|Food|Drink Business Advisory Team Inc. and Left Field Marketing. He is a business management and marketing professional specializing in marketing, business development, and workshops for Farm|Food|Drink businesses and organizations. Greg has over 30 years of experience in marketing and sales operations and the teaching of these same processes. 
He and his team have developed and managed business planning projects, marketing programs, and advertising campaigns with large and small business enterprises and associations. However, his focus is on growing local and regional food producers and farm businesses throughout BC. 

Session: Market Research and Marketing Strategy


Christopher Napier, Napier West Enterprises

Having studied biochemistry, microbiology and food science at the University of Guelph, Christopher found his calling in the field of regulatory affairs in the food industry. After working in the bakery, dairy and import sectors, and carefully honing his knowledge under experienced regulatory affairs specialists, he joined forces with Marianna Suchy, B.Sc. Food Science, also from the University of Guelph, and Napier West Enterprises was born
With their combined knowledge and experience, Christopher and Marianna navigate the complex legal landscape set forth in acts and regulations for small food manufacturers and food importers to create compliant label copy for their unique products. Whether your company needs a sticker label for an import, or a complete consulting solution including nutrition facts and nutrition content claims, the team at Napier West can tailor a package for your products. 

Session: Traceability from Farm to Fork


Sion Shyng, BC Centre for Disease Control

Sion is a Food Safety Specialist at the BC Centre for Disease Control. He has worn many "hats and hairnets" in his 25 plus years in the BC food industry in both food processing and public health roles. Sion joined the Environmental Health Services team at the BCCDC in 2003, and splits his time between dairy inspections, food safety and processing consultations, and food safety education. He is a “Food Techie” at heart, and is an advocate for food safety training. In 2009, the BC Food Safety Initiative project won the BC Premier’s Award for collaboration. Sion was the project manager for that outreach program and led the development of the successful A BC HACCP Training Program. He has also collaborated on the MarketSafe and online MarketSafe courses, ones that the BCAFM has helped guide and bring to fruition. Sion is the Chair of the MarketSafe Steering Committee.
Session: Process Safe


Miche Warwick, Eat Grow Flourish

Miche is a passionate foodie and farmer who has been directly involved with local food systems for the past 10 years. From working on local farms and orchards, to small farmers' market management and food-focused communications and program coordination, to farming for small markets, Miche brings an extensive amount of experience to the table.
Located in Rossland, Miche managed the Rossland Mountain Market farmers' market for four years, and is the founder of the Rossland Mountain Market Society. With a strong desire to see small, localized food systems thrive, she devotes her time to helping small farmers and food producers get their food onto the plates of more local residents. Miche led the Rossland Mountain Market to win Small Farmers' Market of the Year in 2015, and she was also awarded the "Local Advocate of the Year" award by We Heart Local BC in 2015.

Session: Growing Your Small Farmers' Market