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Eva-Lena Lang, Niklaus Forstbauer, Minister Lana Popham, Heather Stretch

On Oct. 25th, we were in Victoria for Ag Day 2022. Organized by the BC Agriculture Council (BCAC), this annual event is the sector’s key advocacy event, with a series of scheduled meetings between BC farmers and ranchers, Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, senior government officials, and other key stakeholders.

Heather Stretch (past Organic BC President), Niklaus Forstbauer (Organic BC President) and Eva-Lena Lang (Organic BC Executive Director) participated as Organic BC reps. Our first day in Victoria consisted of preparation and training for the following day, including a Q&A with Keith Baldrey and Vaughn Palmer. In the evening, we had an industry social with Ministers, MLAs, and executive ministry staff.

Our second day had a busier schedule–we met with groups of NDP and Liberal MLAs throughout the day, bringing forward BCAC’s key messages: rising input costs, farm classification, environment and climate change, and trespassing on farm land.

Our final meeting was with Minister Popham, the Organic BC team, and three commodity reps from grain and pork. Organic BC brought forward some of the outcomes of our structural review and next steps, including changes to our fee and membership structure, which are written into regulation. We also emphasized the need for organic to receive more recognition as a viable and valuable contributor to provincial food systems and the agriculture economy. The meeting was extremely positive and collaborative and we look forward to meeting with her again soon.

(A few days later we were delighted to see Minister Popham post the recent BC Organic Market report, funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and compiled by the Canada Organic Trade Association. You can read the report here.)

Until next year!

Pictured (L-R): BCAC President Stan Vander Waal, BCAC Vice-President/Organic BC President Niklaus Forstbauer, past Organic BC President Heather Stretch, Organic BC Executive Director Eva-Lena Lang, and BCAC Director Peter Simonsen