Step 2: File an Appeal of a Regulated Marketing Decision

Once you have determined that you cannot resolve your issue with a decision of an agricultural board any other way, you can file an appeal with BCFIRB.

When you file an appeal with BCFIRB you are entering into a legal process. While this involves commitment to following a formal process as outlined in BCFIRB’s Rules of Practice and Procedure for Appeals (Rules), BCFIRB proceedings are designed to be user-friendly.

You must file a written notice of appeal with BCFIRB within 30 days of the commodity boards’ order, decision or determination, or you may lose the right to file your appeal.

  1. Who can file an appeal?
  2. How do I file an appeal?
  3. What if I want to file an appeal, but the 30-day time limit has passed?
  4. What happens once I have filed my appeal?

Who Can File an Appeal?

If you are aggrieved by or dissatisfied with an order, decision or determination of the following agriculture commodity boards, you can file an appeal with BCFIRB.

B.C. Broiler Hatching Egg Commission
B.C. Chicken Marketing Board
B.C. Cranberry Marketing Commission
B.C. Egg Marketing Board
B.C. Hog Marketing Commission
B.C. Milk Marketing Board
B.C. Turkey Marketing Board
B.C. Vegetable Marketing Commission

  • Refer to Farm Practices Complaints if your concern is related to a farm practice (noise, odour, dust or other disturbance).

How Do I File an Appeal?

You must file a written notice of appeal with BCFIRB within thirty (30) days (Natural Products Marketing (BC) Act) of the commodity board’s order, decision or determination.

Your appeal notice must:

  • Be in writing, and be signed
  • Identify and have attached the specific decision being appealed
  • Clearly state why the decision should be changed
  • State the remedy you are seeking from BCFIRB
  • Include your name, address and telephone number (or the name and telephone number of a person handling the appeal for you
  • Include an address for delivery of correspondence related to the appeal

To file an appeal, complete the appeal application form and submit it by mail or courier, along with a non-refundable $100 filing fee (cheque or money order, made payable to the Ministry of Finance).

Send a copy of your notice of appeal and any attachments to the commodity board concerned.

What Happens After I File An Appeal with BCFIRB?

When BCFIRB receives your appeal and filing fee, both you and the commodity board will be notified by letter. BCFIRB will schedule a pre-hearing conference call with both parties, normally within two weeks of receiving the appeal notice.

What If the 30-day Time Limit Has Passed?

You may lose the right to file your appeal if it is more than 30 days after a commodity board order, decision or determination.

If you are outside of the 30-day time limit, you will need to apply to BCFIRB for an order extending the time for filing your appeal. In your application, you will need to explain to BCFIRB what special circumstances warrant extending the time to file your appeal (Rules of Practice and Procedure for Appeals, Rule 1(7) How to appeal).

BCFIRB will decide whether to allow the appeal to proceed or to dismiss it for being filed outside the statutory time limit.

Examples:
Ladybug Manor v B.C. Turkey Marketing Board (2011) (PDF) – BCFIRB decision where BCFIRB determined special circumstances did exist and allowed the appeal to proceed even though it was filed outside of the statutory time limit.

Washtock v B.C. Chicken Marketing Board (2011) (PDF) – BCFIRB decision where BCFIRB determined special circumstances did not exist and dismissed the appeal for being filed outside of the statutory time limit.

What Happens Once I Have Filed My Appeal?

The following outlines the general steps you can expect once an appeal is filed. The BCFIRB Case Manager will assist you throughout the appeal process.

  1. Written Notice of Appeal: Filed with BCFIRB within 30 days of the marketing board or commission decision. BCFIRB will send both the party filing the appeal and the marketing board or commission a letter acknowledging receipt of the appeal.
  2. Pre-hearing Conference: BCFIRB may organize one or more meetings (or telephone conference calls) with the person filing the appeal, the commodity board, and any interveners (people who have satisfied BCFIRB that they may be impacted by or have an interest in the appeal outcome). The purpose of the pre-hearing conference is to clarify the specific issue(s) being appealed, the grounds of the appeal, and the remedy being sought.
  3. Formal Hearing: BCFIRB staff will organize a hearing, usually no more than sixty (60) days after the appeal is filed (although this can vary depending on case-specific circumstances). The hearing may take a day or more depending on the complexity of the appeal and the number of parties. At the hearing, all parties present their evidence and arguments to a panel of BCFIRB members.
  4. Decision: After the hearing, the BCFIRB panel will provide a copy of its written decision to all parties and interveners. The decision will also be posted online.

At any point during the appeal process, a party may apply for settlement of all or part of the appeal.

At any time during the appeal process, on its own initiative or at the request of a party, BCFIRB may require the parties to participate in a mandatory facilitated settlement to explore the potential for resolving one or more issues in dispute settlement of all or part of the appeal.

In its decision, BCFIRB may do any of the following:

  • Dismiss the appeal
  • Confirm or vary the order, decision or determination being appealed
  • Return the matter to the marketing board or commission for reconsideration
  • Make another order BCFIRB considers appropriate in the circumstances

BCFIRB decisions are final and conclusive, but may be judicially reviewed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. 

BCFIRB processes and procedures can be reviewed by the B.C. Office of the Ombudsperson, providing an additional layer of accountability.

Section 8 of the Natural Products Marketing (B.C.) Act and the Administrative Tribunals Act further describe the appeal process.