Three years after its formation, the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association has hired an executive director to coordinate advocacy on behalf of members.
Ava Reeve, a veteran of small-scale agricultural organizations, has been hired for the role with the assistance of funding from the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC.
Reeve also serves as executive director with BC Young Farmers and was instrumental in relaunching the Langley Farmers Institute. She also has personal experience producing lamb, pork and eggs on a small scale.
“Ava has been custom-tailored for this role,” says Tristan Banwell of Spray Creek Ranch, who chaired the association’s hiring committee. “SSMPA is very fortunate to hire an executive director with such a personal passion for our sector with the knowledge, skills, and experience to move things forward.”
Reeve’s first task will be overseeing a survey of small and medium-scale meat producers in BC, a project also funded by IAFBC.
“SSMPA has done a fantastic job of gathering information about the sector through informal channels,” says Reeve. “The survey will help us identify areas where we can provide support and better represent small-scale meat producers.”
The survey will gather information on producers across the province and gather concerns with a view to improving advocacy. The association formed in 2017 to address the lack of slaughter capacity, an issue remains unresolved and ever more dire. The survey will guide Reeve’s efforts to help small producers become better-connected and speak as one.
Reeve originally planned to meet with producers at up to nine regional town hall events but restrictions related to the pandemic changed that. She’s now considering alternative approaches to gathering local insights from producers around the province.
A final report documenting both regional and industry-wide trends and needs will be published at the conclusion of the process. SSMPA also plans to develop a map to help consumers contact producers directly.