Media Contacts

Dave Townsend

Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries
250 356-7098
250 889-5945 (mobile)


What people are saying about the new meat licensing system

Aimee Watson, chair, Regional District of Central Kootenay –

“Food security, within the lens of regional food systems, is more and more integral to a sustainable future. As an elected official with farming and food security as my background, I am very excited to see changes that will reinvigorate a primary component for many farmers. Advocating for licensing and regulations that are supportive of rural, remote and small scale farming is essential in today’s changing climate and global economy. We are ecstatic to see regulations amended that allow for our farmers to once again make a living growing and processing healthy, sustainable and delicious nutrients.”

Rick Smith, Area J director, Regional District of Central Kootenay –

“As a small farmer and an elected official, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Ministry of Agriculture and the Province of B.C. for this extremely welcome announcement. This decision will influence many to carry on their small-scale meat production operations in a profitable manner and encourage others to start production. From my own experience, I can honestly say there was only marginal profit from our rural property as the regulations stood. This decision will have a positive effect on the environmental footprint in all of B.C.”

Danny Soles, regional councillor, Northern Rockies Regional Municipality –

“I believe that the steps that the B.C. government are taking in modernizing the meat slaughter licensing requirements will play an important part in expanding the opportunities for producers in rural regions in B.C. to take a more active roll in local food production, and provide a broader market for the rural producers of specialty meat products.”

Ian Tostenson, president and CEO, BC Restaurant and Food Services Association –

“B.C. restaurateurs and chefs are always looking for the opportunity to put more local meat options on their menus. These new regulations will provide new opportunities for local restaurants and small businesses and help grow local economies in B.C. communities.”

Raquel Kolof, president, Sunshine Coast Farmers’ Institute, and owner, Hough Heritage Farm –

“I applaud the ministry’s new entry-level meat licence category, allowing new farmers the ability to process up to 5,000 pounds of meat annually for sale in their regional district. This new category will go a long way in bringing new livestock farmers into safe and ethical meat production and greatly increase local food security. As a business owner, opening up opportunities for our small-scale meat producers’ high-quality products is an immense improvement that allows small family farms the ability to increase profitability and grow successful businesses.”

Julia Smith, president, Small-Scale Meat Producers Association –

“The Small-Scale Meat Producers Association strives to realize greater stability and growth opportunities for small-scale meat producers in British Columbia. These new regulations will help to alleviate some of the bottlenecks and lost revenue opportunities producers are currently experiencing. The changes will help pave the way to a thriving small-scale meat industry that supports farmers and contributes in a significant way to regional food security by increasing access to well-raised, high-quality meat for B.C. consumers.”

B.C. meat licensing system

The three meat licence categories are:

Farmgate licence: For entry-level and small-scale producers to process up to 5,000 pounds (2,268 kilograms) of meat per year, with sales permitted at the farmgate and farmers markets within their regional district and within 50 kilometres of the farm location.

Farmgate plus licence: Current Class D and E licence holders will transition to this licence. Going forward, these licences will be available in all areas of the province. Licensees will be able to process 25,000 pounds (11,340 kilograms) of meat per year that can be sold at farmgate, as well as farmers markets, retail outlets and restaurants throughout B.C.

Abattoir licence: Current Class A and B licence holders provincewide will transition to this licence. Going forward, these licences for fully inspected slaughter will be available in all areas of the province.

More details about the new licences are at: