Vernon MLA says meat licensing system will make it easier for B.C. families

New system has meat

A new meat licensing system will make it easier for B.C. families to buy, serve, and enjoy locally raised beef, pork, and poultry.

Vernon Monahsee MLA Harwinder Sandhu says farmers in rural parts of B.C. will benefit under the new meat licensing system, which increases opportunities for them to sell meat products in their home communities and in turn, supports local economies and regional food security.

“Farmers in the North Okanagan work hard to bring us nutritious, delicious local food,” said Sandhu. “I personally love shopping at the Vernon Farmers Market, and with these changes we will all be able to enjoy even more of what these farmers have to offer.”

The new licensing system reflects the diversity in size of B.C. meat processing and livestock businesses.

The three new licence categories include:

  • A farmgate licence that allows farmers to sell from their farmgate or at farmers markets within their regional district and at farmers markets within a 50-kilometre radius of their farm if they border a different regional district;
  • A farmgate plus licence that replaces current Class D and E licences. It is available provincewide and helps alleviate ranchers’ and producers’ concerns about accessing processing services, as well as provide new sales opportunities at farmers markets, retail shops and restaurants;
  • An abattoir licence that replaces current Class A and B licences. It is synchronized with existing business and license procedures and will continue to offer fully inspected meat production with no restriction on volume or sales within B.C.

The new licence framework follows in-depth consultation with ranchers, abattoir operators, local governments and meat producer organizations as well as conversations between MLA Sandhu and Premier John Horgan.

All licences will be valid for a five-year term and will be effective Oct. 1, 2021, with existing licensees transitioning automatically.

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