VICTORIA, B.C. – B.C. has created a new meat licencing system that will support food security, agriculture, and the economy.

This new system will now make it easier for families to buy, serve, and enjoy beef, pork and poultry raised in B.C. communities.

“We’ve worked with ranchers, abattoir operators, health authorities and local governments to increase the amount of locally raised meat in rural communities,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.

“The new meat licencing system will increase food production, support regional food security, stimulate local economies and prioritize food safety.”

The system will use three licence categories that will recognize and support the different sizes of meat processing and livestock businesses across the province.

A farmgate licence has been created to help new and small-scale producers sell products locally and help fill the demand in rural communities. With this licence, producers are able to sell from their farmgate or at farmer’s markets within their district or a 50-kilometre radius of their farm should they border a different regional district.

The second category, farmgate plus, will replace the current Class D and E licences. This will be available provincewide and help alleviate ranchers’ and producers’ concerns about accessing services. It will also provide new sales opportunities at farmer’s markets, retail shops, and restaurants.

A new abattoir (slaughterhouse) licence will replace the current Class A and B licences. It will be synchronized with existing business and licence procedures, and will still continue to offer the full inspection of meat production with no restrictions on the volume or sales in the province.

These new licences will be valid for a five-year term and come into effect on October 1st, 2021. Existing licences will transition automatically.

More information can be found on the Province’s website.