The province is bringing in a new meat licensing system.

According to the province, it’s designed to help rural farmers by increasing opportunities for them to sell their meat products in their home communities.

Courtenay-Comox MLA, Ronna Rae Leonard, says it will make it easier for families to buy, serve, and enjoy locally raised beef, pork, and poultry. 

“For community members and tourists alike, eating local food is one of the great things about the Comox Valley,” said MLA Leonard. 

“With these changes, we’re making locally raised meats more accessible, giving people the opportunity to support local, small-scale farmers in our communities while enjoying what they have to offer.”

The three new license categories include:

  • A farmgate license 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 license that replaces current Class D and E licenses. It’s available provincewide and, the province says, “helps alleviate ranchers’ and producers’ concerns about accessing processing services, as well as provide new sales opportunities at farmers markets, retail shops and restaurants”; and
  • An abattoir license that replaces current Class A and B licenses. 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 province says the new licence framework “follows in-depth consultation with ranchers, abattoir operators, local governments and meat producer organizations.”

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