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Question: Canadian regulations on various farm activities, what are your experiences as a farmer?  RSS feed

 
Sheldon Nicholson
Posts: 54
Location: Canada
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Hi fellow Canadians!

I am tentatively planning a small farm opperation (In British Columbia, probably) in a year or two and I am looking for some information:

What farm practices and common farm income sources are easiest (least burocracy to deal with) and which are most difficult in terms of the ammount of time, stress, and money spent dealing with government regulations?

Here are some examples to give you an idea of what I am looking for... they are totally hypothetical and please dont try to answer them specifically just tell me what youve learnt through your own real world experience. thanks!

For example would I have to deal with more regulations if I was raising pigs, cows, or ducks?
Or, another example, is the government more lenient with you selling home made sauerkraut, bacon, yogurt, or beer?
Are the regulations stricter for greenhouse crops, orchards, or veggies?

remember those questions are just example.

I am solely looking for info on the difficulties in relation to dealing with government laws... I am NOT interested in how much physical work, for example, raising pigs takes versus growing veggies (that is a topic for another time).
 
Barry Fitzgerald
Posts: 43
Location: Welland, Ontario, Canada
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Hi Sheldon, here in Ontario the regulations are many. Farmers markets for veggies and processed home made foods make it difficult for you to just rent a booth when you have something to sell, they expect you to be there year round and meet public health standards. Livestock is best sold privately as live stock, it would be very difficult to comply with all the regulations otherwise. Do not forget the regulations that would apply when you are growing whatever, permits to take water, run off management for livestock, waste management for compost if you are big enough...etc. They do not make it easy to be a small farmer!
 
Misty Rayne
Posts: 49
Location: SW Ontario, Canada
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If you are just wanting to farm to feed yourself and your family then you'll find as long as you buy land that is permitted to have livestock and keep it clean, animals healthy and fallow any local bylaws you pretty much will fly under the radar and not have any issues. Now if your wanting to sell product at a farmers market then it gets tricky. I'm pretty sure in BC if you want to sell canned goods, and baked good you have to have your kitchen area inspected and passed and I think it has to be it's own separate area from your main kitchen of your house. Selling fruits and veggies is usually no issue any where in Canada but selling eggs is different depending on province some places it's fine other it's not. Selling raw milk, beer, or meat that has not been processed at a licensed government inspect abattoir is all illegal in Canada and will get you fines and/or jail time. I personally just sell privately, no markets and do it by the book and have never had any issues.
 
Sheldon Nicholson
Posts: 54
Location: Canada
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Thanks Misty Rayne! That was the exact type of answer I was looking for.

Ya I pretty much figured that you would not have much trouble unless selling stuff to other people, so for this question I am thinking like a small farm that is run for profit, not just a personal homestead.

You mentioned you sell privately, how exactly does that work? Where is the line drawn between public and private selling? And you say you do it by the books, does this mean you still have to report all your private sales to the government, or do you just mean that you are not trying to break any laws (something I totally am on board with, which is why i am trying to learn more about this)? What about selling to restaurants, is that considered a private sale?

Do you think there is the possibility of building a business out of just private sales (a very small business), working through word of mouth?

Sorry to pepper you with questions, but I havent gotten much of a response for this thread and im eager to learn.


 
Misty Rayne
Posts: 49
Location: SW Ontario, Canada
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how I sell privately is through "word of mouth" and initially the internet just putting ads up. Private sale usually mean where the people come to you not going out to public markets and such. You will need to claim at the end of the year what you made on your income tax there are different set amounts you can make in each province before you will have to pay tax on it so you will have to look that up. What i mean by the books is yes being honest and fallowing the rules that the government has layed out. I couldn't tell you if it would be a viable business or not as we don't sell a whole lot just any of our extra we have. I think selling to a restaurant would be kinda a private sale as it is just between you and them but the same rules apply weather private or public no raw milk, beer/alcohol or any meat not processed from an abattoir. For example I couldn't process a chicken myself and sell it BUT I could keep it and eat for myself. If I took that same chicken to the local licensed abattoir and they did it then I could sell that chicken to anyone in our case that's what we do no fuss no muss it only costs us $2.75 a chicken to be processed there.
There are people out there who do make it a business look on youtube there are lots of videos of people who have made it or failed you can learn from them and take what might work for you in your area.
 
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