The Advance Payments Program (APP) of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provides producers with cash advances on eligible commodities. These advances provide producers with improved cash flow, therefore increasing the flexibility producers have in marketing their products. Producers can access up to $400,000 in advances, of which the first $100,000 is interest-free and the remaining $300,000 is interest-bearing. The amount of the advance reflects up to 50% of the expected market value of the agricultural product, and must be repaid upon sale of the commodity or at the end of the production period, whichever comes first.
While approximately 25,000 farmers across Canada participate in the Advance Payment Program, there are a significant number of farmers that have not participated in the program and have not obtained an interest-free loan. The Advance Payment Program is currently being evaluated by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and one evaluation goal is to find out why more Canadian farmers do not participate in the APP. Consequently, if you have not received an APP interest-free loan, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada would like to know why as well as what changes to APP would increase participation by producers. Your feedback is very important to ensure that the APP benefits as many producers as possible. To provide your feedback, you can either:
Some of BC's highest quality wines are now on sale next to BC-grown produce, meat, seafood and dairy products at the South Point Save-On-Foods store in Surrey.
The South Point grocery store has become the first one in BC to stock and sell BC VQA Wines under the Province of BC's new liquor regulations which took effect today, following the government's province-wide Liquor Policy Review.
Under the new legislation, grocery stores fitting criteria laid out by the new regulations may offer BC VQA Wine products for sale on designated shelves under a third party operator arrangement with the BC Wine Institute (BCWI), which holds longstanding licences to operate BC VQA-only stores. Starting today, those specialty store licences may now transfer their operation into grocery stores and offer 100 per cent BC Wine on grocery store shelves.
"What it means is that shopping for locally-made, high-quality BC agrifood products is even more convenient as of today," says Miles Prodan, President and CEO of the BC Wine Institute. "That convenience was something wine consumers consistently requested during the provincial public consultation process. We're pleased that the provincial government has listened and made it possible for BC producers to offer their premium-quality wines to pair with other great BC agrifoods that British Columbians know and love."
The wines offered at Wines of British Columbia Save-On-Foods South Point reflect a broad range of brands, varieties and price points from all regions of BC. Smaller wineries will be able to market themselves alongside some of BC's larger producers on a level playing field. As with any agrifood product, adjustments in the product mix for these shelves will be made by retailers based on customer feedback, market trends and seasonal availability of product.
The new policy gives BC's premium wine producers greater exposure to a broader consumer base, and effectively updates the BC VQA Wine Store licence structure, initially set up 25 years ago, to foster the thriving agricultural and winemaking industry we see in British Columbia today.
As for the rationale for choosing Save-On-Foods to be its first grocery store partner, Prodan says the company's longstanding "buy local" vision aligns with the BCWI's own values.
"Save-On-Foods, and its parent company, the Overwaitea Food Group, have a proud 100-year heritage in BC. The company has built a reputation as a tremendous partner in showcasing locally-produced foods, and providing a retail platform for all types of growers and manufacturers to access its high-quality, consumer-focused network. BC's wine producers count themselves among those local agrifood producers and appreciate the extra effort Save-On-Foods makes in promoting BC producers. It's a very natural fit for us to locate this store."
The wine on shelves launch comes as the BC Wine Institute celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Since 1992, annual BC VQA Wine sales have grown from $6.8 million, to $225 million. The number of grape wineries has grown from 17, to 240, in the past 25 years, and acreage planted has mushroomed from 1,500, to 10,260 acres.
BC VQA Decoded
BC VQA (British Columbia Vintners Quality Alliance) Put very simply, the BC VQA designation is a guarantee that you are purchasing 100 per cent BC Wine. BC VQA certified wines are also tasted by a qualified panel to ensure that they are fault free prior to being able to use BC VQA on their labels.
Wines made from 100 per cent BC grapes are submitted to the BC Wine Authority for an assessment to determine if the wine meets BC VQA requirements and technical specifications set out in the Regulation. Only BC Wine Authority approved BC Wines are permitted to utilize the BC VQA appellation on their labels. Most importantly, the BC Wine Authority performs audits on all participating wineries and their BC grape suppliers, as well as inspections of retail outlets, to ensure that the wine standards and other requirements of the Regulation are being complied with - and thereby guarantees to consumers that if BC VQA appears on a wine label, the wine is 100 per cent BC grapes.
Happy World Manure Day, a day to honour the stuff we call liquid gold.
No, it’s not World Manure Day, but here is a new Spreading Advisory for the BC South Coast. Expect it to last for most of the summer unless weather conditions change unexpectedly.
Find the Advisories and monthly Updates here: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=E69FB642584F4AD7A472D75B9FE8F3FE
ATTENTION NEW PRODUCERS
New Participant Deadline Notification
The deadline for new participants is April 30th,
As a producer, why should I participate in AgriStability?
It is important to participate in AgriStability as the program protects producers against declines in their net farming income due to:
- Market conditions
- Increased cost of production
- Production loss
AgriStability is a margin based program. It targets individual producers and corporations. It provides equitable, whole-farm support for most agriculture commodities.
How to Apply
- Producers who participated in the previous program year are automatically sent an enrolment notice for the new program year.
- Please notify us to enrol if you have never participated or previously opted out of the AgriStability program.
- Submit the online New Participant Package forms by April 30th, 2015 or request a New Participant Package by April 30th, 2015. Complete and return the forms within 30 days of receiving the package. The information provided will be used to produce an enrolment notice and calculate the enrolment fee.
If you need assistance please call toll free: 1-877-343-2767 or Email: Agristability@gov.bc.ca
Last week during the Canadian Horticultural Council’s annual general meeting Marcus Janzen was awarded the Doug Connery Award, celebrating leadership excellence. The award is presented to someone to honour their exemplary passion, commitment and dedication to advancing the interests of Canada’s Horticultural Industry. See photo.
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