Friday, November 26, 2010

Small scale farming in Canada

thefarmersstand, a blog written by Barbara Johnstone Grimmer, has a couple of entries that I thought were interesting.  They're videos, interviews, of farmers and customers talking about the plight of small farmers in Canada.  It's interesting to note that the Canadian farmers have the same sorts of complaints as the small US farmers.  
  1) Slaughter regulations prevent sales to interested customers
  2) Slaughter regulations are driving small slaughterhouses out of business
  3) Small farmers, given this situation, are closing their doors.  

You'll find part 1 here, and part 2 here

I appreciate the insight into farming in another regulatory environment; thanks to Barbara for posting this. 


Arlene said...

Hi I was interested to see your post this morning and went right to the site to see what was said, but its all video and so I can't do it on my slow rural dialup.

However as a small mixed farm in ontario, my largest output being Lamb, I read your three points with interest.. and I thought I would comment about my own area. It is true that in order to sell my meat to the public, I need to have it process'ed in a provincal approve plant, if you want to sell out of your own province (which I don't, my market is all local), you need to go to a federal processer, something I have never tried to do.

However in regards to my Chickens, Ducks, Turkeys, Rabbits, Pigs and Lamb, within an hour's drive from my farm, I have my choice of nine small approved butchers, and if I widen the net to two hours, it jumps to 12.

I found a great place within 20 min of home for my lambs/pigs, and 25 min for the all my birds and rabbits etc.

Given that I had such a wide choice, I was able to visit and talk to the owners in person at most places and decide who I wanted to give my business to.. Even when its prime busy season, I am able to call and be booked in within a week once you are a regular.

There is a ever growing market in my area for locally produced meat.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I are hoping to start a small scale farm (smallholding) in the UK, Wales/Scotland. The cost of land however is so huge we could not hope to get more than 3 acres. We have considered Spain but remain unconvinced.
We want to be as rural as we possibly can and recalling the vastness of Canada and the fact we would like a wooded area as well I began to wonder if canada may afford an option.
As someone who is already there would this be a way of life you recommend?
Kind Regards

Barbara Johnstone Grimmer said...

Canada is a land of immigrants (my dad came from Scotland in 1929) and a large pool of new farmers in Canada come from Europe today. The prairie provinces are very affordable, especially Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Still, there are pockets of rural land in all the other provinces. Perhaps a good long vacation would point you in the right direction. Good luck.