The Small-Scale Meat Producers Association represents British Columbia farmers and ranchers who are raising meat outside of the conventional, industrial system. It is a registered non-profit society made up of primary-producers as well as supportive individuals and organizations. It was founded by a group of farmers and ranchers to build greater stability and growth opportunities for small-scale meat producers in British Columbia.
The group originated on Facebook with 75 farmers and ranchers from all across British Columbia. Through several months of discussions online, it became clear that there was a real need for small-scale meat producers to come together with a united voice in order to ensure a viable future for the industry. Of particular concern is the lack of capacity at local abattoirs and butcher shops. In March, 2018, the group began the process of registering as a non-profit society in British Columbia.
Also in March, the Ministry of Agriculture announced that it would be consulting with small abattoirs and other stakeholders for feedback and suggestions on how to improve rural abattoir licensing in B.C. The Small-Scale Meat Producers Association was successful in lobbying to have the consultation process expanded to include more individual farmers and ranchers who will be affected by any changes to the current licensing system. The Small-Scale Meat Producers Association will also be involved in the consultative process in addition to the BC Association of Abattoirs and the BC Cattlemen’s Association.
Throughout the month of April, the Association will be consulting with its members specifically in regards to the Ministry’s consultation in order to provide the Ministry with Industry feedback for consideration by their deadline of April 30th. Small-scale meat producers who would like to be involved and their supporters can join the Association here.