February 6, 2019
by PETER MITHAM
A new program set to debut in the Okanagan will be a step towards fulfilling the Feed BC plank of the mandate Premier John Horgan gave BC agriculture minister Lana Popham in 2016.
Announcement of the initiative was set to occur at Penticton Regional Hospital this week, but was delayed by a landslide across Highway 97 between Peachland and Summerland.
While the details have yet to be revealed, the content is no secret.
Agriculture ministry staff have spent the past year developing a program that would allow health authorities to boost the procurement of local food, creating opportunities for both producers and processors to feed domestic markets.
“It’s not an easy one to do,” she told Country Life in BC in December. “It means working with another ministry, the Ministry of Health. It’s complicated because of procurement contracts that have been previously signed.”
In addition, procurement policies must respect regional and international trade agreements. These prevent health authorities from buying 100% locally, limiting them to something closer to 30%.
Using locally grown Okanagan fruit for apple sauce is one opportunity for feeding patients in Penticton. Popham says apple sauce is a product that’s never been produced in BC before, and doing so would create a value-added opportunity as well as jobs.
Feed BC complements Buy BC, which focuses on growing sales among consumers, and Grow BC, which aims to keep farmland in production.
Vol. 105 Issue 6
STORIES IN THIS EDITION
Hog farm won’t face charges
Okanagan drives land values
Where’s the beef?
Minister defends Bill 15 changes
Back Forty: Farmers, not just farmland, need revitalization
Editorial: No peace, no order
ALR restrictions make commuting a fact of life
Johnston’s Packers targeted by activists
Sidebar: When is a crime not a crime?
Berry growers get long-awaited funding boost
Proteobiotics reduce poultry, swine infections
Greenhouse growth stymied by gas prices
Increase farm productivity with cover crops
Ag Briefs: Water fees not evenly distributed among users
Ag Briefs: BC Tree Fruits prepares to relocate
Farmland trust explored for Island
New owner, same faces
Fruit growers cautiously optimistic on bloom set
Honeycrisp key to success for Golden Apple winners
Changes to slaughter rules taking too long
Going! Going! Gone
Local meat deamnd creating opportunities
Sidebar: Compost in 14 days
Ranch takes pasture to plate at face value
Market Musings: Technology has its challenges
Oliver veggie grower prefers wholesale
Grocer offers tips to get a foot in the door
Greenhouse veggie days a hit with school
Haskap research may help berry go mainstream
Research: Bee sensitivity linked to neonic pesticides
Fraser Valley orchardist calling it a day
Worming his way to the top of the heap
Mushrooms a viable crop for small growers
Island 4-H beef show celebrates 25 years
Woodshed: Deborah starts her vacation a golf widow
Brewery’s food program spawns farm project
Jude’s Kitchen: Celebrate dads!