Caterers and Food Trucks
While usage in the shared kitchen processing areas may not be distinct from other processors, there may requirements from local health authorities to identify sources of potable water and handling of waste water. Special requirements can be handled through an appendix to the primary contract. Menus for food services may change more than processors (see Appendix A Sample Product Lists on the Shared Kitchen Agreements page).
These programs are generally managed through a post-secondary institution which generates an agreement between the institution and the HUB. If you have an interest in using co-op students, then contact a relevant institution that meets your needs.
Whether you are looking for a co-packer or want to establish your hub as a co-packer, you should carefully research and review the benefits and challenges of co-packing:
“At the heart of this guide are two key takeaways: (1) the co-packing relationship should be simple, but it is not and (2) you don’t know what you don’t know. For these reasons, it is of paramount importance to assemble a constellation of trusted professionals whose expertise can complement—and even augment—your own.” Resource Guide for Co-packing (Western Economic Diversification Canada, 2020)
There is an abundance of information available on the internet that you can access with a Google search. Finding an appropriate local co-packer can be facilitated using the BC Food Connect on-line tool.
On the other hand, finding information online about how to set up as a co-packer is more of a challenge. There are important questions to consider before embarking down this path, including:
• Why do you want to be a co-packer? What is your intent? Who are your intended co-packing clients?
• Do you understand the requirements of being a co-packer – having a licence, for example.
• Does your hub have the resources and capacity to be a co-packer?
You may want to enlist the assistance of a knowledgeable food processing consultant and other professionals to guide you through the process:
“Building a network of professionals and experts, who understand the co-packing business, can help co-packers and brand owners tackle these overwhelming issues effectively, while also helping them to strengthen their relationship and evaluate new opportunities. With the help of accountants, bookkeepers, lawyers, or external consultants, parties can focus their attention on the things that they do best and leave the technical issues to the experts. Importantly, professionals can provide a business with confidence to evaluate its existing relationships, to grow, or to rethink entirely how it does its business.” Resource Guide for Co-packing (Western Economic Diversification Canada, 2020)
Here are some excellent resources to review as a first step: