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 2
STORIES IN THIS EDITION
ALR committee files report
Cannabis drives drop in Delta farm assessments
Editorial: Party and province
Back Forty: You can’t get apps on that
Viewpoint: Annual assessments a chance to take stock
Preliminary hearing in high-profile poultry abuse
Survey keeps national park reserve in spotlight
Political engagement headlines dairy meeting
World milk prices take blame for shifting returns
Patience is a virtue
Ag Briefs: Sasaki appointed new head of chicken board
Ag Briefs: Ottawa invests in dairy sector
AB: Piece rates, taxes increase
AB: AITC focuses on growth
Letters: Protect farmland from cannabis production
Letters: Dog owners need to accept responsibility
Letters: The beef about climate change
Cadillac’ of aviaries will reduce labour costs
Berry growers face new import requirements
Open house reveals secrets of diagnostics lab
Cannabis propagation industry sprouting in BC
Sidebar: Deep roots
FCC targets women with new business program
Agreement sets stage for fish farm phase-out
Grazing, forage and water top list at town hall
Ranchers reassured regarding bovine TB cases
Digging into soil nutrition at education day
Science of cannabis takes centre stage
Blueberry growers hone use of box liners
Ostrich industry takes flight with big plans
Tunnels boost fruit quality, add to berry season
Big bucks being spent to protect bee health
Sidebar: Province boosts funding
Mystery bee disease studied
Direct-marketing opportunities have potential
Research: Preventing soft scald in apples
Regional food system is the new focus of group’s efforts
Wannabe: Growers deserve our love
Woodshed: A performance Kenneth can’t afford to miss
Jude’s Kitchen: Happy new year, my sweet Valentine