COVID-19 updates and resources
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Agriculture as an Essential Service

List of essential services in B.C. during the COVID-19 pandemic

Essential services are those daily services essential to preserving life, health, public safety and basic societal functioning. They are the services British Columbians rely on in their daily lives.

Developed by Emergency Management BC in consultation with other government ministries and the provincial health officer, this definition is intended to clarify what qualifies as an essential service in the context of the Province‘s response to COVID-19.

The Ministry of Agriculture is working on providing further guidance for agriculture and food businesses. 

COVID-19 and you

COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information

Our priority is to protect British Columbians and ensure our province is best positioned to effectively respond to the pandemic. This page provides a centralized resource for supports and information on the COVID-19 pandemic. 





COVID-19 App

In order to provide British Columbian's with up to date information on the COVID-19 pandemic, the Province of British Columbia has developed a downloadable app and self-assessment tool. The app will let you receive the latest updates, trusted resources, and alerts. The Self-Assessment Tool is built in.

COVID-19 and your Business

UPDATED - Resources for Canadian Businesses

The Prime Minister recently announced additional new measures to support small businesses dealing with the economic impacts of the pandemic. These measures will help Canadian businesses protect the jobs that Canadians depend on, and pay their workers and bills during these difficult times.
Updates include: 
      - a 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses. 
      - deferral of GST/HST payments until June
      - interest-free loans to small businesses
      - guaranteed loans when small businesses 





Ag Safe BC - COVID-19 and your farm

The example templates developed by AgSafe BC are available to assist agricultural employers in building their Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) Program during COVID-19. Employers are encouraged to customize these documents to fit their individual operation’s needs when building or enhancing their OHS Program.





AgriWorkforce Issues

The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council have created a dedicated webpage with the latest information, recommendations, employee management tips, tools (posters, policies) and links to authorities.  These details will help you respond to the pandemic and limit the impact and spread of COVID-19 within your business. This website contains up to date information on temporary foreign workers and best practices for labour during times of disruption. 





BC Tech Day - Get the Support you need to support your business

BC Tech is offering businesses that are in non-tech industries access to free one-on-one advisory services in the key areas of digital marketing, e-commerce and remote working.
Highly skilled experts will help guide you in what technologies to adopt to reach customers and generate sales. This is valuable, one-on-one advice, offered to you at no cost.
The BC Tech Virtual Connection Day is on Friday, April 3, 2020. Apply by March 31 via this link: 





Farmers' Markets during COVID-19

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, farmers' markets are expected to comply with recommendations and orders from the Provincial Health Officer (PHO). Farmers' markets are not currently considered a high risk setting for the transmission of COVID-19 as they are usually held outdoors. For more information on Farmers' Markets and guidance on safety, please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control. 





Guidance to retail food and grocery stores

As we continue our efforts to manage and contain the COVID-19 pandemic, retail food and grocery stores play an essential service in every community by ensuring safe and reliable access to food, supplies and other provisions.  This guidance document outlines key steps to put in place, and provides advice and help interpreting the recent public health orders. 


AgriStability Program - Is it right for you?

The BC Ministry of Agriculture’s AgriStability program provides Canadian agricultural producers with an ongoing whole-farm risk management tool that provides protection against large declines that threaten the viability of their farm and are beyond their capacity to manage. This webinar will provide detailed overview of the program parameters and processes, recent changes and eligibility criteria. 

Date: April 2nd, 2020
Time: 11am - 12pm EST

Presenter: Dalraj Boparai, BC Ministry of Agriculture

Can't make it?
The session will be recorded for those who cannot attend.
Visit our 
Past Webinars library approximately one week after the session to view this and other recorded webinars.

Eight Key Success Factors in Food Aggregation

Aggregation combines products from multiple food producers to be sold through a single channel to buyers. The purpose of this seminar is to share what factors make food aggregation initiatives successful, what it looks like in BC, some of the common challenges and experiences from BC so that you understand what it takes to put your initiative in the best position for success, from an early stage.

Presenters: Darren Stott, Greenchain Consulting and Janine de la Salle, Urban Food Strategies

Other webinars

AgTech Talk - Working together to sell more

Join AgTech Talk where they review online tools, services, and options for farmers and food processors to sell their products.

In their next session, you will hear from Darren Stott, from Greenchain Consulting and David Van Seters, President of Sustainability Ventures, as they describe how farmers and food processors can work together to enable grocery retailers and households to order their products online and get them delivered. 

Date: April 3rd, 2020
Time: 9:00am - 10:00am PST

Presenters: Darren Stott, Greenchain Consulting and David van Seters, Sustainability Ventures

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Ministry Updates

BC Farmers' Markets Opening Online Soon

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM) is helping member markets acquire additional methods of sales and distribution including an online model to continue providing consumers with locally grown and prepared food products.





Province takes unprecedented steps to support COVID-19 response

Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, is using extraordinary powers under a state of provincial emergency to keep British Columbians safe, maintain essential goods and services, and support the Province’s ongoing response to novel coronavirus (COVID-19)...





Joint Statement on fisheries collaboration related to COVID-19 impacts

Harvesters, seafood growers, and processors, are essential to our collective food security and to coastal communities up and down the Pacific. We spoke about the need to maintain the supply chain while ensuring the health and safety of the essential workers who support it. Your health is of paramount importance to us...

Program Updates

AgriStability Applications

If you are not enrolled in AgriStability, there is still time to enroll for 2020 before the April 30th, 2020 deadline. The AgriStability program provides agricultural producers a whole-farm risk management tool that protects against large declines which threaten the viability of their farm and are beyond their capacity to manage. New AgriStability participants must complete and submit the New Participant Information and Declaration form to the AgriStability Administration by scanning and emailing, faxing or mail on or before April 30, 2020.

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Have a question about agriculture?

Contact AgriService BC   

AgriService BC connects farmers, food processors and new entrants to agricultural services, programs and information that can help them succeed.