Julia Smith, a member of the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce and with the Small Scale Meat Producers Association, is joined by chamber chairperson Andrew Laird in pitching a policy calling for effective meat inspection systems for all British Columbia’s community scale livestock producers and abattoirs at the BC Chamber annual general meeting in Kamloops. (Photo submitted)

Julia Smith, a member of the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce and with the Small Scale Meat Producers Association, is joined by chamber chairperson Andrew Laird in pitching a policy calling for effective meat inspection systems for all British Columbia’s community scale livestock producers and abattoirs at the BC Chamber annual general meeting in Kamloops. (Photo submitted)

Policy victory for North Okanagan chamber

Policy for effective meat inspection systems for community-scale livestock producers is renewed

A policy calling for effective meat inspection systems for all British Columbia’s community scale livestock producers and abattoirs has been renewed at the BC Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting and conference in Kamloops.

“We recognize the significant role that agriculture plays not just in our region, but across BC,” said Andrew Laird, chairperson of the Armstrong-Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce. “But what’s at issue as much as creating a better livelihood for B.C.’s independent farm producers is that slowly, B.C. is losing its great knowledge resource of production and livestock husbandry.

“We believe it’s critical to preserve and perpetuate this knowledge to regrow diversity amongst B.C.’s small-scale farm producers.”

The returning resolution received two-thirds of votes to pass and is now official B.C. Chamber policy and will be advocated by the BC Chamber to appropriate levels of government over 2018-19.

“We brought this policy resolution back to the B.C. membership for renewal because the issue is now front and centre as the Ministry of Agriculture renews its interest in conducting a long-needed review of nearly 15 years of the current legislation and its punitive effects,” said Laird.

“Small farm producers are passionate and dedicated, it’s only fitting that BC brings back sustainable practices for administering food security while creating an environment where small-scale farming again becomes a way to make a reliable income. We applaud the efforts of the BC Small Scale Meat Producers Association and look forward to working together in an effort to bring positive change with Ministry initiatives.”

The BC Chamber AGM and Conference is held in a different BC community each year. The event is the largest annual business policy forum in the province. Every year, member chambers of the B.C. Chamber develop and submit policies for the consideration of their peers. This year, 52 policies were up for debate in Kamloops.