Ministry 2002/03 Annual Service Plan Report -- Government of British Columbia.
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2002/03 Annual Service Plan Report
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries

Performance Reporting

Ministry Goals, Objectives, Key Strategies, Core Business Areas and Results 2002/03

Core Business area 1 — Food safety and quality

Goal: Food safety and quality levels that meet public health objectives and standards and thereby secure access to national and international markets.

Outcome: Enhanced economic growth and consumer confidence through reliable food safety/quality programs.

Objective 1:

BC food, agriculture and seafood products which are safe for consumers.

Key Strategies:

• Shift government role to oversight, monitoring and risk assessment.

• Shift regulations to be results/outcome-based.

Measure Baseline 2002/03 Target 2002/03 Actual
Selected outcome-based regulations in place (ministry). 95/5% mix of prescriptive and outcome-based regulations. Aquaculture regulations outcome- based. On target

• New performance-based regulations implemented escape regulations (introduced April 19, 2002); waste control regulations (introduced September 12, 2002) by Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection — WLAP.

• Conducted policy development and consultations on new outcome based regulations with industry regarding the de-regulation and re-regulation of the former Milk Industry Act, Bee Act, Artificial Insemination Regulations, Veterinary Drug and Medicated Feed Regulations, Veterinary Lab Act.

Objective 2:

Help the seafood and agri-food industry meet national and international standards, access existing markets and target new specialty markets.

Key Strategies:

• Support industry-led programs for quality control, standardized on-farm food safety assurance (e.g., "Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point" — HACCP) systems, product identification and tracking programs.

Measures Baseline 2002/03 Target 2002/03 Actual
% of industry production under voluntary quality certification programs. 6% of B.C. production under recognized quality control programs — e.g., Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) and organic.1 Increase to 15% over 3 years.

Under development.1

In progress

• VQA and organic continues under recognized quality control program.

• The top five B.C. agri-food commodities (dairy, cattle, chickens, eggs and tomatoes i.e., approx. 51% of industry) all have quality assurance programs or written best management practices available. Combined, this represents about 57% of industry production.1

Adoption of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)2 principles by:

• agriculture operations

• the shellfish industry at the farm level

• seafood harvesting sector

• food sector (HACCP already in place)

• Agriculture — 0%

• Shellfish — 0%

• Seafood harvesting <5%.

Increase to 30% over 3 years. In progress

• Agriculture — 0% — Strategic plans for HACCP programs in the agriculture sector are under development as part of the national Agricultural Policy Framework.

• Shellfish — 0% — The B.C. Shellfish Growers Association initiated internal discussions and has made the adoption of HACCP principles a priority this year.

• Seafood harvesting sector — about 14% adopted HACCP principles.

1 Quality assurance measure — About 6% of B.C. production is certified under recognized quality control programs. An additional 51% of B.C. production (dairy, cattle, hens and chickens, eggs and tomatoes) have available, but have not fully implemented, quality assurance (QA) programs or written best management practices (BMPs). That is to say, their QA programs or BMPs are not implemented on all farms. The ministry and industry are working on methods of determining the extent of implementation. The first step toward having them implemented is seen as having the programs available.
2 HACCP — Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point is a systematic approach to identify, evaluate and control food safety hazards. HACCP involves hazard analysis, critical control point identification, establishing critical limits, monitoring procedures, corrective actions, verification procedures, record-keeping and documentation. If a deviation occurs indicating that control has been lost, the deviation is detected and appropriate steps are taken to re-establish control in a timely way to assure that potentially hazardous products do not reach the consumer.
The intent is to use HACCP-based systems on farms to identify, evaluate and control hazards that are significant for food safety. HACCP works by identifying, monitoring, and controlling the specific factors (e.g., time, temperature, pH, water activity) that are known to contribute to food borne disease outbreaks, and verifying the actions taken.

Related activities

Food safety and quality — within national program

• Food safety and quality is a major "chapter" within the Agricultural Policy Framework (APF) agreement, a federal/provincial cost sharing program. APF also includes other chapters on risk management, environmental sustainability, renewal, innovation and international trade. The new five-year APF agreement takes effect April 2003, after individual agreements are signed with participating provinces. APF will enable more concentrated work on risk identification/assessment and traceback/tracking systems in B.C.

On-farm food safety (OFFS)

• The ministry is contributing to the OFFS recognition process and implementation on B.C. farms. The national recognition protocol, product identification and tracking programs are under development.

• Farm commodity groups have recognized the importance of improving food safety practices to meet market expectations and to prepare growers for future on-farm food safety programs. Ministry staff conducted on-farm food safety sessions and individual farm consultations to encourage adoption of good agricultural practices. As an example, over 500 berry growers participated in the on-farm food safety training, resulting in them being better prepared to address food safety concerns and the coming national on-farm food safety program.

Objective 3:

Maintain the health of animal, plant and fish production systems.

Key Strategies:

• Rapid diagnosis and detection of diseases and immediate dissemination of control information.

• Enable development and dissemination of advanced and innovative control options for diseases, invasive pests and noxious weeds.

Measure Baseline 2002/03
2002/03 Actual
Control options including Integrated Pest Management (IPM)1 and other techniques available for diseases, pests and noxious weeds. e.g.: Sterile Insect Release program. Measures of adoption of advanced control techniques under development. Measurable increase.

*amended to: establish baseline for future measurement.

In progress — baseline established to measure progress in future.

• An analysis was conducted on latest available information (1998); shows that 77% of berry, 95% of grains/oilseeds, 85% of tree fruit and 85% of field vegetable acreage in B.C. are produced using IPM practices.

• Surveys will be conducted over the next 2 years to determine progress.


IPM — integrated pest management (IPM) is a process that promotes non-chemical pest control practices, identifies and monitors pest populations, and applies treatment thresholds for using chemical or biological controls when required. A properly designed program aims to create conditions that are optimal for the crop and less favourable for pest development.

Related activities

Fish Health

• Fish health guidelines entitled Required Elements of a Fish Health Management Plan for Public and Commercial Fish Culture Facilities are now available on the ministry's web site.

• The new fish health database is being created to provide a current picture of fish health on a quarterly basis for the whole industry.

• A ministry fish health audit and surveillance program is underway with approximately 25% of all active finfish farms surveyed on a quarterly basis.

Disease management

• Ministry provided information to B.C. Centre for Disease Control (CDC), animal owners, and submitters regarding diseases transmissible to humans. As an example, information allowed for the investigation of both human and animal cases of Cryptococcus sp. infection on eastern Vancouver Island.

• Ministry contributed to a West Nile Virus strategy for B.C. The ministry is working with the CDC and regional health authorities and others to actively monitor for the presence of the virus in birds and horses.

• Ministry's Animal Health Centre analyzed over 5,000 material submissions to fulfill the ministry's mission of surveillance of diseases of economic significance and/or foreign animal diseases. This enabled specific diagnoses and recommendations for biosecurity, control, and treatment.

Weed management

• Harmful weeds double their populations every five years and continue to reduce agricultural capacity. Crop losses due to weeds in B.C. are estimated to exceed $50 million and weeds reduce availability of forage to grazing animals (domestic and wildlife) by roughly 50%.

• The ministry works in partnership with local governments to establish and maintain community-based weed control programs.

• Biological weed control programs and awareness programs were conducted to reduce the impacts of established weeds and prevent large scale invasion of new ones. Nine bioagents targeted nine invasive noxious weed species, of which three are effectively controlled and six showing population reductions in localized areas resulting in the application of less herbicides and cost savings.

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Core Business area 2 — Environmental sustainability and resource development

Goal: Economic development in the agri-food and seafood sectors that maintains high environmental standards and respects the environmental concerns of all British Columbians.

Outcome: Job creation, higher productivity, fewer restrictions on development, fewer regulatory conflicts and good environmental stewardship.

Objective 1:

Develop improved technology and management to increase environmental sustainability and profitability.

  Key Strategies:

• Implement and enhance farm environmental plans (including standards, operating procedures and audit processes), in conjunction with producers, regions and agencies.

• Continue implementation of salmon aquaculture programs to address key issues related to environmental performance.

• Streamline and update regulations for aquaculture by 2002/03.

Measures Baseline 2002/03 Target 2002/03 Actual
Measure of impact of agriculture on the environment.

Degree to which agriculture farms use best management practices to protect water and soil quality and prevent damage by wildlife.

(includes service plan measure on "high quality environmental farm planning systems in place")

<10% of B.C. farms with environmental farm plans in place. 25% over 3 years. In progress

• Environmental Farm Planning program is in final stages of development.

• Progress on the percentage of B.C. farms with environmental farm plans in place and adoption of best management practices will be determined through data comparison in 2003.

• Pilot wildlife-waterfowl damage control and compensation projects were put in place.

Standards of Practice (code of conduct) developed for shellfish aquaculture operations as licensing requirement. No standards established. Complete. In progress

• Extensive consultation with industry and stakeholders resulted in a Standards of Practice that will provide minimum standards to which all shellfish farmers must adhere. A regulation is being drafted to make the standards enforceable as a condition of licence.

Development of standards, policy and regulation maximizing environmental performance of the aquaculture industry:

• Policy framework for new and emerging fisheries with Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

• Fish health management plan and standards, industry database.

• Finfish performance-based waste management standards.

• Refine Escape Prevention Standards.

Under development. Complete all plans and standards. In progress

• Several emerging fisheries are being developed on a precautionary basis.

• Fish health on farms is being monitored industry wide with about 25 per cent of farms surveyed quarterly.

• Fish health database almost complete. A report on industry health status will be available in 2003.

• Achieved — Waste control regulations were introduced September 12, 2002 by Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection.

• Achieved — Escape regulations were introduced April 19, 2002.

Outcome measures for the following will be determined:

• Fish escape standards

• Finfish health management plan.

68,247 total fish escapes (2000)

55,414 total fish escapes (2001)

voluntary compliance by farm owners.

Zero escapes

Fish health management plan in place.

Zero escapes not achieved — fish escapes continue to decline.

AchievedRequired Elements of a Fish Health Management Plan for Public and Commercial Fish Culture Facilities in B.C. is now available on the ministry's web site.

Development of annual performance reports for aquaculture:

• Compliance and Enforcement Reports for aquaculture

• Fish Health Report

Under development. Complete reports. Achieved

• An analysis and report of the inspections at all salmon farms is completed and compiled into an annual report each year. For the first time, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries inspectors conducted some inspections on behalf of the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection because of a new service agreement. This year's annual report will combine the findings of both ministries' inspections.

• A report on industry fish health status will be available in 2003.

Objective 2:

Contribute to resource planning processes that reduce land and water allocation conflicts and enhance access to capable lands.1

Key Strategies:

• Prepare and maintain an agriculture sector strategy to identify needed resources on an ongoing basis.

• Participate in land-use planning and zoning processes in conjunction with Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management to ensure access to resources for agriculture and aquaculture.

Measure Baseline 2002/03 Target 2002/03 Actual
Increased Crown land tenured for shellfish aquaculture. 2,727 hectares

* amended to 2,276 based on more accurately captured data.

10% per year increase. On target  — 2,448 ha (2002).
1 See Related activities: Land use planning and access for agriculture.

Related activities

Land use planning and access for agriculture

• The ministry supported the preparation of an Agriculture Sector Strategy for Crown Land Access by the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management to identify needed resources and constraints to access and use.

• The ministry worked to determine which Crown land areas are most capable and suitable for agriculture. Staff implemented arability assessment projects resulting in thousands of hectares of land across the province being designated as Agriculture Development Areas (ADA) for future agricultural development.

• Several programs continued or were put in place to deal with crop damage by wildlife.

    – East Kootenay Agriculture-Wildlife Damage Compensation pilot program (in conjunction with producer groups) — In 2002/03, $820,000 in crop losses was verified and $650,000 in compensation was paid out to 52 claimants whose crops were significantly damaged by wildlife.

    – B.C. Wild Predator Loss Control and Compensation pilot program (in conjunction with the B.C. Cattlemen's Association) — In the first year of the program (August 2002 to March 2003) total compensation paid to producers was $28,075 for claims of cattle verified as killed by predators.

    – Delta Forage Compensation pilot program (in conjunction with several agencies) — 21 producers received $61,205 in compensation for waterfowl damage to about 900 acres of forage.

    – Eight agriculture/wildlife projects and two stewardship projects continued in the Interior region. To date, 70 stackyards have been fenced to reduce stored feed losses in the Peace River, and 103 km of fencing was constructed to reduce forage crop losses in the East Kootenays.

Land resource inventory

• The ministry continued working with the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management (MSRM) on coordinating geographic information systems in government for information on land use, soil capability, terrain, mapping requirements, existing base maps and other geographic information needs.

Living Rivers Strategy

• The ministry continued working with the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection (WLAP) on its Living Rivers Strategy. The premise is the conservation and restoration of rivers and watershed systems based on an ecological, science-based management model and the engagement of the public, private and voluntary sectors in active stewardship roles.

• A draft discussion paper will be released in mid 2003.

Climate change

• The ministry is participating in developing a strategy for inclusion in the province's response to Canada's climate change plan and the Kyoto Accord.

• The five-year federal/provincial Agricultural Policy Framework (APF) agreement includes a component on environmental programs, and will address climate change issues with management and sustainability targets, including agricultural emissions of gases that contribute to global warming.

Objective 3:

Local government plans, bylaws and other initiatives that are supportive of, and do not hinder, agriculture and aquaculture development.

Key Strategies:

• Support municipal bylaw reviews, and the development and implementation of local government agriculture plans to ensure they are supportive of agricultural activity.

• Resolve rural/urban conflicts.

• Review and update "right-to-farm" legislation.

Measure Baseline 2002/03
2002/03 Actual
Bylaw reviews conducted of local governments with significant agriculture activity (approx. 50) to determine their support of agricultural activity. Reviewed bylaws of 12 out of 50 local governments. Bylaws of 5 key jurisdictions improved for agriculture; Review appropriate bylaws of 5 additional local governments each year. On target

• Formal bylaw reviews, mandated by the Local Government Act regulation were underway in Delta, Langley, Abbotsford and Kelowna.

Objective 4:

Eliminate government subsidies to businesses.

Key Strategies:

• Discontinue Grazing Enhancement Fund program by March 31, 2002.

Measure Baseline 2002/03 Target 2002/03 Actual
Eliminate grants to businesses and organizations. $2.5 million (Grazing Enhancement Fund). $0 Achieved — $0 — Grazing Enhancement Fund was terminated March 31, 2002.

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Core Business area 3 — Fisheries and Aquaculture Management

Goal: The most economic benefit possible from fisheries and aquaculture while protecting the resource.

Outcome: Competitive and self-reliant seafood industry.

Objective 1:

Enhance the financial viability, self-sufficiency and environmental performance of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.

  Key Strategies:

• Support industry-led development and diversification projects such as: new species development for the wild and cultured industry, processing that adds value to the raw product, use of the by-products, selling into more markets and research and development.

• Relocate poorly-sited finfish farms and site new technology and new finfish farms.

Measure Baseline 2002/03 Target 2002/03 Actual
Economic growth of the seafood sector — wholesale value. $1.056 billion (2000) revised to $1.011 billion (2001 data). Increase wholesale value of B.C. seafood by an average of 4% annually.

$1.2 billion by 2004/05.

On target

• Early estimates for 2002 of the wholesale value of farmed fish at $332 million and the wholesale value of the wild fish harvest at $718 million indicate that total sector growth is on target.

Successful siting of:

• Poorly-sited finfish farms,

• Alternate technology finfish farms, and

• New finfish farms

Industry capped at 121 tenures.

7 of 36 farms moved.

Salt-water new technology farms sited.

Siting of new finfish farms underway and ongoing.

On target

• 17 proposals approved, 5 have been relocated; 12 awaiting federal approval.

• 3 pilots (2 closed containment and 1 alternate feed) finfish farms sited and operational.

• No new finfish farms were approved in 2002/03.

Objective 2 & 3:

Redefine federal-provincial fisheries governance (roles) to increase provincial influence over fisheries and revenues.

Key Strategies:

• Represent and incorporate provincial interests in federal fisheries management and decision-making processes.

• In conjunction with Intergovernmental Relations, negotiate with the federal government for greater influence over fisheries management and revenues.

• Build and maintain co-operative partnerships for research and development.1

Provide an effective management framework for fisheries and aquaculture that does not inhibit the sector's ability to conduct business effectively.

• Complete the review of fisheries and aquaculture management and service delivery by 2002/03.

• Harmonize government review and approval processes for aquaculture (access to Crown land and operation of aquaculture sites).2

Measure Baseline 2002/03
2002/03 Actual
Government position on B.C. Seafood Alliance's eight priority action items including:3

1. Establish a baseline for co-management agreements for B.C.'s commercial fisheries.

2. Organization and infrastructure to support marketing and industry research and development.

3. Review effectiveness provincial and federal seafood inspection regulations.

  1. Accountability framework.

2. Baseline (benchmark) study.

3. Assess need and establish workplan.

On target

1. a) Federal/provincial committee established to agree on approach toward addressing action items.

b) "Sustainability through Co-management" summit held October 2002.

c) Status report on co-managed fisheries in B.C. was completed and presented at the summit.

2. A contract was issued to undertake basic background research and industry assessment for a seafood marketing organization. The report was received in March and will be considered by both government and industry for further direction.

3. A consultant's discussion paper was received March 2003. It provides an overview of the existing legal framework, assesses the two regimes and compares key substantive requirements of each system.

1 See Related activities: Aquaculture research and development.
2 See Related activities: Streamline the aquaculture system.
3 The measures in this section have been modified slightly to more accurately depict the goals and objectives on these initiatives.

Related activities

Influence over federal fisheries management policies

• Ministers met during mid-2002 and proposed to the federal government a new Pacific Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers. The establishment of the council would enable the development of a cooperative relationship between the provincial and federal ministers, which the province could build on to achieve effective influence.

• The ministry continues to represent and incorporate provincial interests in federal fisheries and aquaculture management decision-making processes.

Aquaculture research and development

• The ministry established a $3.75 million Aquaculture and Environment Research Fund (Aqua E Fund) through the University of British Columbia to enable practical work to be undertaken on the environmental aspects of finfish and shellfish aquaculture that will address questions of public interest and policy.

Streamline the aquaculture system

• The government formalized a one-window aquaculture licence application procedure through Land and Water B.C. which simplifies the application process for aquaculture proponents.

• The ministry also worked with Fisheries and Oceans Canada to streamline the application and approval process.

Objective 4:

Eliminate government subsidies to businesses and organizations.

  Key Strategies:

• Eliminate development grants by 2002/03.

• Eliminate contributions to the Shellfish Aquaculture Working Capital Fund.

• Wind up Fisheries Renewal B.C. by March 31, 2002.

Measure Baseline 2002/03 Target 2002/03 Actual
Eliminate grants to businesses and organizations. $15.3 million $0 Achieved — $0 — Consistent with government policy to eliminate subsidies, no further direct government subsidies for seafood businesses and organizations.

Core Business area 4 — Risk Management

Goal: Provide basic protection to farmers for uncontrollable and unpredictable disasters such as weather hazards, natural disasters, disease, pests and erratic markets consistent with trade obligations.

Outcome: Increased private sector responsibility for management of farming risks, and a more level playing field for industry relative to other jurisdictions to effectively mitigate unpredictable, uncontrollable risks.

Objective 1:

Assist farmers to manage risks from natural disasters, weather hazards, disease, pests, and erratic markets; review and improve the effectiveness of risk management programs; reduce the likelihood of demands for ad-hoc government financial assistance.

  Key Strategies:

• Discontinue NISA (Net Income Stabilization Account) Interest Bonus by 2002/03. Discontinue provincial participation in NISA or WFIP (Whole Farm Insurance Program) by 2004/05.

• Continue delivering crop insurance program while examining private sector options for risk management.

Measure Baseline 2002/03 Target 2002/03 Actual
Private sector delivery of components of crop insurance programs by 2004/05. Virtually 0% of program sales component privately delivered. Move toward private sales delivery.

* target amended to evaluate delivery options including private delivery of some or all functions


• Internal assessment of options completed. Further analysis and decision to proceed has been delayed until new Production (crop) Insurance priorities are established — (2004/05).

• Private sector delivery: re-evaluating private sector delivery targets to consider the implications of the new Agricultural Policy Framework (APF) agreement and linkages between risk management programs in the APF.

Provincial participation in income stabilization programming rationalized. NISA and Whole Farm Insurance Program in place. Either/or but not both or a new lower cost alternative program by 04/05. On target

• Under the APF, WFIP and NISA will be rationalized and combined into one.

Impact of weather-related crop disasters effectively mitigated. Insurable crops covered by insurance ranges from 30% to 90%. 70% of all insurable crops covered by insurance over three years. In progress

• Participation levels achieved in most crops.

• New Production Insurance agreement is being negotiated as part of APF with more flexibility to improve sales in low participation crops such as forages.

Related activities

APF impacts on NISA and Whole Farm Insurance Program

• The ministry service plan indicated that farm income stabilization programs needed to be rationalized which requires the discontinuation of either NISA (Net Income Stabilization Account) or WFIP (Whole Farm Insurance Program).

• Through negotiations of programs under the Agricultural Policy Framework (APF), the ministry has presented its positions to achieve this result. However, the expected expenditure reductions are not likely to be achieved.

Crop Insurance program

(see data below)

• In 2002, the crop insurance program provided insurance coverage valued at about $273 million across six major commodity groups i.e., berries, forage, grain, grapes, tree fruits and vegetables. Crop losses in 2002 were well below normal with claims from all crops totalling about $4 million. The largest losses occurred as a result of spring frost on tree fruits ($2.5 million) and excessive spring moisture in the grain producing areas of the Peace River area ($0.5 million). The crop insurance program premium revenue from all sources was approximately $15.8 million.

Whole Farm Insurance program

• The Whole Farm Insurance Program (WFIP) received 434 claim applications from B.C. farmers for the 2001 claim year. Out of that total, 245 received payments averaging $38,706 each for a total program payout of $9.48 million.

Crop Insurance
program data
2001/02 2002/03 (Unaudited) 2003/04 (Target)
  2001 crop year 2002 crop year 2003 crop year
Premiums $14.7 mil. $15.8 mil. $15.5 mil.
Value of crops covered $262.0 mil. $273.0 mil. $265.0 mil.
Loss ratio of claims to premiums (10 year moving average) 0.71 0.67 0.70
Administration costs as a percentage of premiums 17% 16% 17%

Objective 2:

Maintain a reasonably level playing field in publicly supported agricultural risk management programs compared to competing jurisdictions; receive a fair share of federal funding for risk management programs offered to Canadian farmers.

Key Strategies:

• Negotiate with federal government for new national farm insurance programs1 by March 31, 2003.

• Phase down publicly supported agricultural risk management and encourage private sector options subject to WTO negotiations.

Measure Baseline 2002/03
2002/03 Actual
Federal funding to B.C. farmers is proportionate to that in other provinces. 4.8% of federal expenditures

(based on B.C.'s share of Canada's farm cash receipts).

Up to 6% of federal expenditures over three years (dependent on provincial cost-sharing). In progress

• The new risk management component of APF is demand-driven; full industry participation is needed in order to achieve the target 6% share of federal funding for B.C. over three years.

Availability of private sector risk management tools. Limited and specific tools available and being utilized. Broader range of tools available and being utilized over long-term In progress

• The new APF agreement encourages new public and private risk management tools. It broadens the focus of risk to include food safety and environmental hazards.

1 See Related activities: National farm insurance program.

Related activities

National farm insurance program

• British Columbia's intent is to phase down direct provincial government expenditures in agriculture risk management programs in the long term. This is dependent on a new WTO agreement which is seeking to reduce agricultural subsidies world-wide. The objective in the meantime is to develop a more business-like approach that focuses on profitability rather than income support, including higher farmer funding and private delivery where feasible. Participation in national programs will give B.C. farmers a more level playing field with producers in other provinces.

Objective 3:

Implement the recommendations following the regulated marketing review.

  Key Strategies:

• Provide policy framework for marketing boards to improve market responsiveness, encourage specialty products and further processing in B.C. over a three-year period.

Measure Baseline 2002/03
2002/03 Actual
Regulated marketing review completed. Current governance system. Repeal two marketing boards (grape and tree fruit).

• Review completed.

• Grape and tree fruit marketing boards were repealed.

• A new governance framework1 has been implemented.

1 Governance framework includes:

• A clear economic policy framework to encourage new markets, competitiveness.

• More efficient and effective dispute resolution processes with streamlined appeal function and increased emphasis on mediation.

• Appointed rather than elected chairs.

• Signed letters-of-expectations between Board Chair and Government to clearly define the relationship between Government and Boards and to provide higher standards of responsibility and accountability in administration and decision-making.

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Core Business area 5 — Industry Competitiveness

Goal: An agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture and food sector that is competitive in a global economy and provides economic benefit and stability to British Columbia's rural and coastal communities.

Outcome: More profitable and growing sector.

Objective 1:

Enable and implement self-funding systems to increase industry self-reliance and reduce dependence on government funding, and eliminate subsidies to businesses and organizations.

  Key Strategies:

• Enable levy systems for industry to fund its own technology and development.

• Eliminate grants to entities including BUY B.C., B.C. Fairs & Exhibitions Assn., B.C. Wine Institute, B.C. Agriculture Council.

• Accelerate contributions to the Okanagan Valley Tree Fruit Authority to enable meeting of the government's commitment to support the tree replant program by 2003/04 instead of 2005/06.

Measure Baseline 2002/03 Target 2002/03 Actual
Increased self-reliance of the agriculture sector; % of industry covered by self-financing organizations. 35%

amended to 63%.1

50% over 3 years.

amended to 70% over 3 years.1

On target

• 63% of B.C. production is represented by commodities that use levies to fund programming or have self-financing organizations.1

Eliminate grants to businesses and organizations. $1.8 million. $0

The Okanagan Valley Tree Fruit Authority (OVTFA) replant commitment completed by 2003/04.

Achieved $0 — Subsidies and grants that were identified in the core review process have been eliminated as of March 31, 2003. These include: BUY B.C., B.C. Fairs & Exhibitions Assn., B.C. Wine Institute, B.C. Agriculture Council, Fisheries Renewal B.C.

Ahead of schedule — OVTFA was terminated as of March 31, 2003. The ministry accessed contingency funds of $7.55 million in order to complete its budgeted final commitment one year early for the orchard replant program that was delivered through the OVTFA up to March 31, 2003. This allowed for the efficient transfer of the program to the private sector. This replant program will continue to provide funding to the tree fruit industry through to March 31, 2006. This also put the ministry ahead of schedule in meeting the 2004/05 budget targets.

1  Industry self reliance measure re-calculation.

A number of indicators could be used as valid measures of self-reliance, including lack of requests for ad hoc government financial assistance and the number of commodities using self-funding mechanisms including levies to finance their industry development. Overall commodity sales (farm cash receipts) for those sectors with self-funding levies compared to total British Columbia farm cash receipts have been used as an indicator of self-reliance in this measure. The baseline figure of 35% has been broadened beyond organizations collecting levies under the Farming and Fishing Industries Development Act, to include commodity groups which collect levies to help fund their own programming through marketing organizations or national legislation. As a result, the baseline figure would be approximately 63%. Although the ministry has successfully completed several initiatives during 2002/03 to encourage and facilitate organizations to implement self-funding and self-reliance in the coming years, the 2002/03 figure remains at about 63%. There is a potential to increase this over the next three years to about 70% and potentially 75% in six years which is considered to be the likely optimum for British Columbia commodities based on overall sales. This figure could vary each year based on actual sales and market conditions.

The ministry is conducting further studies to determine other indicators that could contribute to more accurate measures of overall industry self-reliance. These will be reported in future years and adjustments noted as necessary.
Objective 2:

Increase access to government information and expertise.

  Key Strategies:

• Discontinue government direct technical advisory services by March 2003; close specific district offices.

• Expand electronic information delivery in partnership with agriculture and seafood industry agencies, technology organizations and private information providers; then privatize delivery.

Measure Baseline 2002/03 Target 2002/03 Actual
Enhanced access to electronic information (in addition to the information already available to all consumers).

% of agriculture and seafood industry that have information accessible in electronic form and # of industry sectors with electronic information available on InfoBasket (ministry's specific electronic service).

Accessible to 30% of industry.

i.e., 4 sectors.

Accessible to 40% of industry.

4 more sectors added.

Ahead of target — Seven new industries/sectors have been added to the InfoBasket Web Portal, bringing the total number of commodities to 13. This represents approximately 59% of industry production.

• InfoBasket webstats show a 50% increase in usage from January 2002 to January 2003.

• Electronic information continued to be widely available to all consumers on a wide variety of topics including production techniques, marketing, and statistics.

Closure of ministry offices.   Six district offices closed. Completed

• As part of the increased need to be cost-effective in both program and service delivery, six regional offices throughout the province were closed during fiscal 2002/2003. Direct technical advisory services have been reduced but a more targeted professional advisory service remains to support the agriculture community. The outcome is to have much of the information that was provided by the regional office to be delivered electronically providing industry with online access to core business services.

Client satisfaction and awareness.

Market survey of service quality in program delivery.

Survey under development. Establish baselines.

Under development.


• Surveys were not undertaken in light of ongoing program restructuring to meet core business program objectives. These surveys will be developed and carried out in future years as programs are clarified.

Objective 3.

Advocate for B.C.'s interests on all issues such as labour issues and fair share of federal funding; and reduce negative impacts on the sector from excessive regulation, tax policy and cross-government policy.

Key Strategies:

• Examine all programs to reduce excessive regulation.

Measure Baseline 2002/03 Target 2002/03 Actual
Reduced red tape, outcome-based regulations (environmental and labour), and supportive tax policy. Prescriptive, inflexible regulations. 60% outcome-based regulations in place over 3 years.

• On target — The ministry reduced regulatory requirements by 12% (544 requirements) by March 31, 2003.

• On target to achieve 60% outcome-based regulations in three years.

• Complicated and uneven property and sales tax systems affecting farmers were changed to encourage production of new crops to diversify their income base, to add legitimate farm inputs as exempt from sales tax, and further encourage on-farm packing of their own products.

Objective 4:

Enhance trade access by resolving international and interprovincial barriers; resolve trade impediments affecting British Columbia agri- and seafood products.

Key Strategies:

• Support trade negotiations, advocate for B.C. interests and build strategic alliances.

• Advocate for reduced subsidies, investment rules and effective dispute settlement in domestic and international trade agreements.

Measure Baseline 2002/03 Target 2002/03 Actual
Eliminate identified interprovincial trade barriers (e.g., imitation dairy products, federal grain transportation policy, provincial investment subsidies). Three priority barriers. Elimination of key barriers over three years. Not achieved — Barriers remain.

• Re: imitation Dairy Products barriers — consulted with Ontario under Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT). Now exhausted the AIT's agri-food consultation process. Requested the Ministry of Competition, Science and Enterprise to pursue other avenues under AIT dispute settlement procedures.

• Re: grain transportation and investment subsidies — developed several strategies to promote recognition and strengthening of AIT obligations.

• Trade advocacy continued.1

1 See Related activities: Trade.

Related activities

First Nations participation in the economy

• The ministry continued programs to increase the capacity of First Nations to support training and skill development, achieve joint ventures with private organizations and partially fund First Nation agriculture, food and fisheries development initiatives.

• Aboriginal Agriculture Initiative: a funding agreement with First Nations Lending Association was completed and the program now being implemented.

• BC Aboriginal Fisheries Commission held a Fish Farming and the Environment meeting in September 2002 and is planning an Aquaculture Environmental Monitoring Workshop in May 2003.

• Completed a baseline survey of First Nations in Central and Northern B.C. to identify the potential agricultural development opportunities.

Agricultural labour

• The ministry worked with the Ministry of Skills Development and Labour (MSDL) to ensure the new Employment Standards Act (ESA) regulations for agriculture do not detrimentally impact agriculture's competitiveness.

• The ministry supported MSDL in development of a Memorandum of Understanding with industry to strengthen workplace ESA compliance. As a result, new regulations may exempt agriculture from hours of work and overtime provisions of the ESA. Industry had indicated that this was their single most important issue with the regulations.


• The ministry conveyed B.C.'s position for the World Trade Organization anti-dumping and countervailing negotiations to the federal government in a major provincial policy paper, developed by the Ministry, and Ministries of Competition, Science and Enterprise and Forestry in consultation with British Columbia industry. Anti-dumping and countervailing duty actions against B.C. agriculture exports have become a significant challenge for the provincial agriculture sector.

• The ministry joined with other provinces and US state governments to promote greater compatibility between Canada-US pesticide regulations.

• The ministry assisted in developing exports of specific products such as dairy genetics which represent a farm revenue diversification opportunity for B.C. dairy producers and genetics' industries. An estimated $15 million in sales of Holstein cattle, embryos and semen were realized. The US cattle demand softened in early 2003 due to depressed milk prices, which will reduce breeding cattle sales for the balance of year.

Core Business area 6 — Corporate Services

Goal: Effective policy, legislation and trade programs, and measurable objectives of performance.

Outcome: Modern, service-oriented policies and legislation, significantly reduced government regulation, a fair share of federal expenditures, enhanced trade access, and an efficient, accountable administrative operation.

Objective 1:

Provide the ministry with administrative and financial services that help the ministry operate efficiently and effectively while ensuring compliance with government policies and procedures.

  Key Strategies:

• Co-ordinate the preparation of annual expenditure, revenue and capital budgets, and carry out subsequent budgetary control functions.

• Participate in implementing administrative efficiency processes (e.g., online procurement) identified by the Best Practices Initiative.

Measures Baseline 2002/03 2002/03 Actual
95% of suppliers and contractors are paid within 30 days of goods received or invoice date. 95% in 30 days. 95% in 30 days.

• Targets met.

Actual expenditures do not exceed budgets. Targets met. Targets met.

• Targets met (see below).

Related activities


• Budget targets were successfully met and slightly under-expended for 2002/03.

• However some additional contingency funding was required to meet the ministry's commitment one year early for the orchard replant program delivered through the Okanagan Valley Tree Fruit Authority (OVTFA); the OVTFA was terminated as of March 31, 2003 although the replant program was transferred to an industry-led organization (Investment Agriculture Foundation) and will continue to be delivered to growers through to 2006. Access of contingencies enables the ministry to be ahead of target in meeting expenditure reduction targets for fiscal 2004/05.

Shared-service models

• Service agreements are under negotiation with appropriate agencies for human resources, finance/admin and information technology. These had yet to be finalized as of March 31, 2003.

Objective 2:

Maintain and enhance a modern human resource policy that recognizes a changing workplace and which effectively implements change management strategies.

  Key Strategies:

• Develop a comprehensive human resource management plan related to succession planning, recruitment, performance measurement and training.

Measures Baseline 2002/03 2002/03 Actual
Human resource plan implementation. Human resource plan under development. Human resource plan being implemented. On target

• A comprehensive human resource management plan was in development; it encourages/develops leadership while providing for succession planning, recruitment, performance measurement and training.

• It will be implemented over the next five years.

Objective 3:

Maintain a future-oriented and effective policy, legislative and planning framework to support the ministry's operations in achieving its goals.

Key Strategies:

• Re-orient and streamline legislation/regulations in line with the new mandate and the deregulation initiative, in conjunction with other ministries.

• Influence the policies and regulations of other governments to support agri-food and fisheries development.

Measures Baseline 2002/03 2002/03 Actual
A streamlined regulatory framework is in place. Current legislation.

4,538 regulatory "requirements."

Reduce to maximum of 3,025 "requirements" over three years. On target

• The ministry reduced regulatory requirements by 12% (544 requirements) as of March 31, 2003.

(see Deregulation section following)

Objective 4:

Increase the provincial share of federal expenditures, particularly in farm safety nets, research and export promotion.

Key Strategies:

• Represent the Province of British Columbia on federal/ provincial committees (trade, safety net agreement, etc.)

Measure Baseline 2002/03 2002/03 Actual
Federal cost-sharing formula is maintained or increased. 60:40 minimum 60:40 maintained over 3 years. Target maintained; future is dependent on successful implementation of the Agricultural Policy Framework (APF) agreement being negotiated with the federal government.



Reducing red-tape and removing barriers

  • The ministry's starting base count of regulatory requirements at June 2001 was 4,538. That number will be reduced by one third to 3,026 requirements by June 2004 (1,512 requirements).
  • Deregulation plans are underway in five subject areas:
    • Food safety and quality;
    • Regulated marketing;
    • Commercial fisheries and aquaculture;
    • Livestock; and
    • Cross-government and miscellaneous.
  • The ministry reduced regulatory requirements by 12% (544 requirements) as of March 31, 2003.
  • Legislation repealing nine obsolete or redundant statues was in final stages of development at fiscal year-end. The legislation has been enacted, and consequential changes to regulations will take place throughout 2003/04.


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