New regulations encourage farming on ALR

New regulations under the Agricultural Land Commission Act will encourage farming and help B.C.’s agricultural community fill the growing demand for B.C. food, locally and around the world, Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick announced today. The regulations will help farmers throughout B.C. take advantage of the demand for value-added B.C. goods by promoting the use of co-operatively owned processing facilities. The changes make it easier, for example, for berry growers to use co-operatively owned facilities to make value added products like jams or sauces, or flash freeze them for off-season sales. Similarly, the regulation creates opportunities for producers in the north and east to pool resources and establish value-added facilities for fruits, grains, honey and other crops. The opportunity for B.C. farmers to increase their income through value-added products also encourages farmers to expand their business models and consider growing additional crops in the ALR. The regulations also support the growing appreciation of B.C. wines, beers and spirits by locals, as well as those visiting B.C. Breweries, distilleries and meaderies will be permitted to operate on ALR land on terms similar to wineries, requiring at least 50% of the products used to make the beverage be grown on the farm. Another change, subject to the results of consultations being conducted by the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch, will permit alcohol producers in the ALR to offer alcohol from other producers to their lounge and restaurant guests, so winery guests who prefer a beer with their meal can have one.  Click here to read full story.

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