The association was incorporated in July 1999 as the New Brunswick Food & Beverage Processors Association Inc by a group of food processors and government people who believed firmly that there would be a strong benefit to the industry by having an effective industry association in place for the industry.
It had start-up funding from the Province of New Brunswick and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, which was much appreciated and key to its success, and it began to play its role by hosting various networking and educational events in 2000.
The association has demonstrated that it can indeed play a key role on behalf of the industry and has grown the number of courses and events that it hosts from a few per year to fifteen in 2007. It has also expanded its communication lists and now sends e-mail and mail-out information to over 400 organizations. It is in regular communication with various agencies and receives many phone calls and e-mail messages from across the country. It is financially strong and intends to stay so.
A key development in 2005 was the production of a "sector strategy" for the association and many of the recommendations have now been implemented.
The association found that many of the people attending its events were from the other provinces in the region and hence the reference to New Brunswick in its name was no longer accurate. Also, in discussions with people in the industry, the concensus was that the food processing industry is in effect a regional industry and is far too important not to have effective private-sector industry association representation on a regional basis. In February 2007, a resolution was passed at the association's annual general meeting that it should change its name to the Atlantic Food & Beverage Processors Association and the change has now been implemented.
The association is very proud of its accomplishments, but it is well aware that it has a long way to go to represent effectively a very large and important industry. It will therefore welcome the participation and contribution from people that wish to support the development of the industry from the envelope provided by the association.
The association's mission quite simply as to do whatever it can to support the food processors in the region in their efforts to operate efficiently and profitably.
During the strategic planning process, Mr Dan Davies enunciated the pillars of the association to be:
1. Provide technical education and other services that may be needed
2. Provide a communications network
3. Marketing & promotion on behalf of the industry
These remain in effect and a fourth has been added which is
4. Operate with a strong administration
The focus to date has been on technical education, the network and the administration. Following a roundtable session held in November 2007, the association is examining its potential role in marketing, promotion and advocacy. It has, for example, developed a plan for possible implementation of an Atlantic Canada brand for the food industry and is doing its best to be represented at various planning events in the region.
The association is based in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. It has a volunteer board of directors that provides general direction and oversees the health of the organization. The board is chaired by the President. The association enjoys the active participation of many people from the industry, often on committees that are set up to develop the events that are hosted by the association. It has one full time staff member (the Executive Director) and will be adding two or three additional positions as soon as funds permit. It operates from a business centre and shares clerical support with other food companies at the location.
The association has the following membership categories and potential new members are encouraged to go to the "members" part of this site: