The mandate of the BC Vegetable Marketing Commission now covers the entire province, making it a truly provincial body regulating the marketing of vegetables from Atlin to Yahk.
The change took effect January 1, and was highlighted in a bulletin released February 2. Prior to this year, the commission’s general orders limited its mandate to areas south of the 53rd parallel (Quesnel is the benchmark city, sitting astride the coordinates).
“On January 1, 2024, this restriction was removed from the General Orders and the regulated area was expanded to encompass the entire province,” the bulletin stated. “This decision was made in consideration of climate change and changes in agricultural practices that utilize controlled environment structures.”
The commission regulates the sale and distribution of 20 storage crops, greenhouse crops and processing crops. These include all varieties of potatoes; yellow onions; tops-off beets and carrots; and greenhouse tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers as well as selected lettuces.
The commission has yet to determine how many operations could now fall under its regulation, but it has been vocal in stepping up enforcement of its mandate in areas such as greenhouses, which include vertical farms and all manner of controlled environment agriculture.
Producers, processors and marketers of regulated crops must be licensed by BC Veg in the interests of ensuring an orderly market, one which delivers stable and sustainable conditions for all elements of the value chain from field to fork.
“Orderly marketing is achieved through the promotion, control, and regulation of production, transportation, packing, storage, and marketing of vegetables,” BC Veg explains.