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 4
STORIES IN THIS EDITION
One province, one panel
Groundwater deadline extended
Happy as a pig!
Sidebar: Still waiting
Feds pour millions into tree fruit research
Sidebar: Will local procurement help?>
Editorial: Confined spaces
Back Forty: BC farmers need more than a land bank
Island Good campaign drives local sales
Poultry industry seeks to stop infighting
Egg farmers to receive biggest quota boost ever
New entrant focus
Decision day looms for chicken pricing appeal
Producers look to CanadaGAP for certification
Organic sector undertakes core review
Hopping to it!
Island couple named Outstanding Young Farmers
Turkey consumption continues to decline
BC potato growers enjoy a strong footing
Sudden tree fruit dieback a growing concern
Late season BC cherries in global demand
Farmers’ markets aim to be local food hubs
Field trial hopes to reduce phosphorus levels
Future looking bright for BC dairy producers
BC could benefit from US trade battles
Saputo puts its Courtenay plant out to pasture
The land of milk and salmon
Sidebar: Farming for the future
Out of the hands of BC farmers
Codes of practice need producer input
Preparation essential for wildfire response
Sidebar: Relief announced for drought, fire
Sidebar: Be FireSmart with these tips
New traceability regs to track movement
Agriculture a notable threat to species at risk
Improper pesticide use threatens access
Threat to neonics spurs scare in spud growers
Orchard presses forward with diversification
Staying on top of soil health is key to sound farming
No small potatoes
Farm families need to have affairs in order
Rotary parlours go upscale at two FV dairies
Study compares organic, conventional diets
Advisory service foresees growing demand
Sidebar: Tree fruit cutbacks a concern
Island dairy producers hone first aid skills
Woodshed: And that’s how rumours get their teeth
Research farm showcases small projects
Jude’s Kitchen: Shooting stars of spring