Agriculture

The Cariboo-Chilcotin Coast in south central British Columbia has a unique agriculture industry. Cattle grazes the northern part of the region, and fruits and vegetables are abound in the south, including industrial crops of berries, grain, hops and hemp. The region also is home to many award-winning wineries.
Farmers are the heart of BC food production, and nine out of every ten BC farms are family owned and operated.The province’s agriculture sector generates $10.5 billion in revenue and it is expected to be a $14 billion industry within five years. Currently farms in the province support 61,000 jobs and produce nearly fifty percent of the food consumed in British Columbia.


Ministry of Agriculture

The Ministry of Agriculture helps the agriculture, fisheries, food and bioproduct sectors to grow and achieve economic, social and environmental sustainability, supporting the delivery of safe, healthy and high quality food and bioproducts. From the traditional family farm to vineyards, fisheries, cattle ranches, high-tech greenhouses and state-of-the-art processing facilities, British Columbia’s agrifoods sector will play its part in generating new jobs, stimulating investment and inciting growth across the province. The sector currently provides more than 61,000 jobs and generates close to $10.5 billion a year in provincial revenues.
British Columbia has the most diverse agrifoods industry in Canada, producing more than 200 agriculture commodities and 100 seafood species. With its diverse and growing array of agrifoods products; international reputation for high food safety standards; favourable location, lower shipping costs and well-established ties to Asia-Pacific markets, British Columbia’s agrifoods sector is well positioned for growth and investment, taking into account trends, opportunities and challenges.
The Ministry of Agriculture serves a variety of functions:

  • delivers programs to stabilize farm incomes against circumstances beyond farmers’ control;
  • works to balance urban / agriculture interests; 
  • supports a regulatory system and practices that promote environmentally sustainable systems, food safety and socially responsible production practices; 
  • monitors and manages, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Federal government, the risk of diseases that threaten B.C.’s plant and animal production systems;
  • provides guidance and funding to the sector to increase innovation, competitiveness and profitability to meet consumer demands; 
  • supports the agriculture industry to contribute to the green economy
  • works with other ministries, federal partners and other governments, stakeholders and industry to ensure sustainable marine fisheries; and 
  • supports the growth and development of the seafood sector. 

The Ministry relies on inter-agency partnerships such as those with the Agricultural Land Commission and the B.C. Farm Industry Review Board.
The Ministry of Agriculture website provides a wide range of industry related government websites as well as information on Ministry activities, programs and services.

www.gov.bc.ca/agri/


Agricultural Land Commission

The Agricultural Land Commission is an administrative tribunal that oversees the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), a provincial land use zone that recognizes agriculture as a priority use. The Commission operates independently but is funded through the Ministry of Agriculture. The purpose of the commission is to preserve agricultural land, encourage farming in collaboration with other communities of interest, and encourage local governments, First Nations, the government and its agents to enable and accommodate farm use of agricultural land and uses compatible with agriculture in their plans, bylaws and policies.
The ALR is a provincial zone in which agriculture is recognized as the priority use. Farming is encouraged and non-agricultural uses are controlled. The ALR covers approximately 4.7 million hectares. It includes private and public lands that may be farmed, forested or vacant land. Some ALR blocks cover thousands of hectares while others are small pockets of only a few hectares. In total, the ALR comprises those lands within British Columbia that have the potential for agricultural production.
The Agricultural Land Commission website provides information on the Agricultural Land Commission Act, activities of the Commission, and access to application forms.

http://www.alc.gov.bc.ca


British Columbia Farm Industry Review Board

The BC Farm Industry Review Board is a statutory appeal body with additional responsibilities for the general supervision of commodity boards and commissions in addition to administering the Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act. The British Columbia Farm Industry Review Board is accountable to government for its administrative operations, but is independent of government in its decision-making. As an independent tribunal, The British Columbia Farm Industry Review Board ensures that the public interest is served and protected.
The British Columbia Farm Industry Review Board website provides additional information on their role in regulating farming in British Columbia.

www.firb.gov.bc.ca


British Columbia Grapegrowers Association

The British Columbia Grapegrowers' Association is a non-profit organization that represents all commercial grape producers in British Columbia on agricultural issues and concerns. They work with other industry organizations, with provincial and federal agricultural organizations and all levels of government to represent, promote and advance the interests of all grape growers in British Columbia.
The British Columbia Grapegrowers’ Association’s website features a wide range of information for members and non-members including sources for new vines, information regarding table grapes and wine grapes, and a message board featuring a buy and sell, general discussion, and employment opportunities.

http://www.grapegrowers.bc.ca/


BC Association of Farmers’ Markets

The BC Association of Farmers’ Markets is a provincially registered, non-profit association, run by a volunteer Board of Directors. Their membership includes farmers’ markets, vendors and other interested groups and individuals.
Founded in 2000, the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets has emerged as the leading organization and main voice for farmers’ markets in the province. By the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets calculation there were 125 farmers’ markets operating in British Columbia in 2010, up from 100 in 2005/2006. The BC Association of Farmers’ Markets is committed to the developing and strengthening the capacity of farmers’ markets in all regions of British Columbia.
The purpose of the society is:

  • to support British Columbia producers of agricultural products, food products, and crafts;
  • to promote, educate, encourage, develop and support farmers' markets in the communities of BC;
  • to educate the public to choose healthy British Columbia grown agricultural products to ensure a secure food system, to reduce the carbon footprint and to ensure the viability of farming into the future;
  • to represent the farmers' markets of BC in all matters in which they are generally interested; and
  • to advocate to industry, government, agencies, commissions and boards on matters which impact and interest the members.

The BC Association of Farmers’ Markets website provides information on training opportunities, a market directory, and membership access.

www.bcfarmersmarket.org


BC Young Farmer’s Association

The BC Young Farmers Association is newly formed, four year old organization that is energized and excited about moving into the future. They have a membership of over 250 young farmers from commodity categories including beef cattle, berries, dairy, field vegetables, flowers, fox, grain, greenhouse, hay, mink, nursery, pork, poultry, pigeon, eggs, duck, geese, sheep, lamb, goats, horse, vineyard, tree fruits, bee's, and organic & specialty producers. There is a diverse range in size and location of farms with members. Members are located on Vancouver Island, in the Lower Mainland, the Okanagan, and the Cariboo.
The BC Young Farmers Association website provides resources, event listings, and a network for young farmers.

www.bcyf.ca


British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association

The British Columbia Cattlemen's Association has been the official voice of cattle ranchers throughout British Columbia since 1929. For more than 80 years, the Association - whose membership is close to 1,200 ranchers - has represented the interests of beef cattle producers in the province of British Columbia. The British Columbia Cattlemen's Association is proud to work on behalf of approximately 72% of the provincial cattle herd.
Their mission is to maintain a healthy cattle industry that provides quality beef products to consumers and is guided by strong volunteer membership, environmental stewardship, respect for stakeholders and excellent business practices. They work with Federal and Provincial governments to ensure the enactment of necessary legislation; the enforcement thereof and the improvement of transportation and market conditions in connection with the industry. 
The British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association website provides access to membership, information about their programs and information for consumers.

www.cattlemen.bc.ca


BC Food Processors Association

The vision of the BC Food Processor Association is to be the lead representative for the BC food and natural health product processing industry, and to achieve economic prosperity and sustainable safe production. They provide their members with support, training, fellowship, and a strong voice. For the public they provide good food, innovative nutrition solutions, public policy advice, sustainable economic benefits for communities, and public education. The BC Food Processor Association offers a myriad of information for food and natural health product manufacturers, start-up businesses, government organizations and the public.
The BC Food Processor Association website provides information on member services, resources, programs and events.

www.bcfpa.ca


Small Scale Food Processor Association

The Small Scale Food Processor Association supports local business people to expand local economies and ensure the safety and supply of food products. Their mission is to be Canada’s leading support organization for small enterprises in the food processing industry by providing leadership, education, marketing, networking and advocacy to foster success in a competitive global market.
They deliver education and offer funding to food processors to implement food safety systems at regulated standards. Their members are well educated and informed, focused on infrastructure and resource development that will support small scale agri-food processing. A commitment to supporting local businesses, local jobs, local infrastructure, and local taxes is strong.
The Small Scale Food Processor Association website provides information on membership, food safety planning and workshops.

www.ssfpa.net


Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia

The Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia was established in 1996 as an industry-led, not-for-profit organization. They represent a significant component of the agriculture and agri-food community, from farm supply to primary production to post-farm gate and food processing. Their focus is to work with clients, industry and funding partners and invest in projects that have the potential to transform ideas into solutions.The Investment Agriculture Foundation strategically invests federal and provincial funds in support of innovative projects to benefit the agri-food industry in British Columbia. Funding is available to help the industry seize new opportunities and deal with emerging issues.

A wide range of funding programs is offered to assist the agriculture and food processing industries in British Columbia. There are programs such as the Livestock Waste Tissue Initiative, Poultry Programs, and the Agri-Food Futures Fund. All funding initiatives have the mission of investing in projects that enable the British Columbia agri-food industry to innovate, proactively seize new opportunities and deal with emerging issues.

The Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia website provides information on their funding programs and application processes.

www.iafbc.ca


BC Greenhouse Growers’ Association

The BC Greenhouse Growers’ Association represents greenhouse vegetable farmers in British Columbia. Their growers produce 96% of all of British Columbia’s greenhouse vegetable production. The BC Greenhouse Growers’ Association is committed to delivering services and research programs to our members to help keep them globally competitive and to keep a vibrant and sustainable greenhouse vegetable sector in British Columbia, while providing high-quality and safe greenhouse vegetables to consumers.
Some of their activities include:

  • Developing new, and improving existing, methods of biological controls against pests.
  • Promoting environmental sustainability through the Environmental Farm Plan Program.
  • Ensuring the production of healthy and safe vegetables for consumers.
  • Evaluating new technologies and production systems to enhance crop yields.
  • Providing information on the latest greenhouse production practices through grower seminars.

The BC Greenhouse Growers’ Association website provides access to publications, membership access and other resources.

www.bcgreenhouse.ca


Cariboo Central Interior Poultry Producers Association

The Cariboo Central Interior Poultry Producers Association endeavors to create economic diversification in communities of the Cariboo-Central Interior, British Columbia through agriculture initiatives.  Through these initiatives the association will foster the development of the poultry and rabbit sectors by supporting, mentoring and administrating the needs of producers.  With the healthy growth of these industries CCIPPA will contribute to vibrant, local sustainable food systems that all communities are entitled to in British Columbia. 
The CCIPA runs a Mobile Docking Station. The Mobile Docking Station is a mobile processing plant for poultry and rabbits. Poultry and rabbit farmers bring their animals to the unity for processing in an efficient and safe environment that meets regulatory standards. There is a docking station located in Prince George.
The Cariboo Central Interior Poultry Producers Association website provides information about membership and access to the mobile poultry processing unit.

http://ccippa.weebly.com


North Cariboo Agricultural Marketing Association

The North Cariboo Agricultural Marketing Association is focused on increasing awareness of the region’s agriculture industry. Currently the association is implementing an awareness and marketing project designed to drive traffic to local suppliers. This project includes brand development, farm fresh product mapping, high sign development and installation, an information kiosk, and website enhancements. The purpose of the project is to promote and market the agricultural products available in the region, as well as to bring farmers together in order to have the best information on production, marketing, transportation, distribution, and tracking of modern trends.

http://www.farmed.ca/