Kootenay Meadows Farm, local dairy looking for support! June 2020

Local Dairy Threatened!
You can Help!

If local milk and dairy are important to you please help support the future of True Local Kootenay Meadows Farm. We’re advocating to the B.C. Minister of Agriculture and B.C. Milk Marketing Board for a fair and sustainable price structure for small farms who process their own milk.

As part of the supply management system, all dairy farms in Canada sell their milk to provincial Milk Marketing Boards, and the Marketing Boards sell it to processors. Kootenay Meadows supports supply management but is concerned that the current pricing and licensing structures put unfair financial pressure on small on-farm processors.

Farms like Kootenay Meadows sell their milk to the Board as a producer, and then purchase it back to process it themselves on the farm, at their own facility. The cost differential between what Kootenay Meadows receives as a producer for their milk and what they must pay, as a processor when they buy it back is a whopping 35.6%! This is a mark-up for milk that never even leaves their farm.

This pricing structure is so unsustainable and the ongoing financial burden so large, family farms who locally process their own milk could be pushed out of the dairy business completely.

Kootenay Meadows has proposed the following policy changes to the Milk Marketing Board. These changes would create a more equitable and sustainable pricing structure for small dairies that process their own milk on-farm.

1: Create an On-Farm Processing Class: This means any milk that is produced on-farm would be priced to the on-farm processor at blend price. Any additional milk transferred in would be paid at standard Class pricing.

2: Adjustments to current D licensing (cottage industry): Allow larger volume of fluid milk to be processed, 3000 L daily, and still operate within a quota, but do not sell milk to board and purchase back.

Either of these suggestions would allow smaller on-farm processors to continue to provide their community with fresh bottled milk at affordable and realistic prices. It would also support local food systems and provide food security at a time when this is more important than ever! We need innovative solutions to ensure we have a resilient food system that provides access to products grown and processed in our region.

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