Farmgate and Farmgate Plus licences

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries issues Farmgate and Farmgate Plus licenses under the Meat Inspection Regulation of the Food Safety Act.

NOTICE: Effective October 1, 2021, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries will create new slaughter establishment licences. Review the public announcement here.

The Ministry will be transitioning all existing Class D and E slaughter licences to Farmgate Plus slaughter licences.

Regional health authorities will continue to administer the permitting of food premises on farms where further processing and retail sales to the public occur.

See below to learn more about applying for a Farmgate or Farmgate Plus licence through the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Fisheries’ Meat Inspection Program.

Farmgate and Farmgate Plus licensed facilities are available throughout the province. These licences are intended to provide on-farm options for small producers who want to slaughter their own animals. Custom slaughter at Farmgate Plus facilities is also available to provide flexibility for nearby producers so long as the licence holder complies with production limits on their licence. The Ministry recommends that facilities for larger volumes of animals or that want to focus on custom slaughter should explore becoming fully inspected as a Licensed Abattoir.

Meat produced in Farmgate and Farmgate Plus facilities can only be sold within the province.

 

 

Farmgate licence 

Farmgate Plus licence 

Activities permitted 

Slaughter 

(own animals only) 

Slaughter 

(own animals and custom slaughter for other producers) 

Sales permitted 

Direct to consumer at farmgate or farmers markets only 

Retail and direct to consumer 

Sales region 

From farmgate, and at farmers markets in the regional district and within 50 km of where the meat is produced 

B.C. 

# of Animal units* 

1 - 5 

1 - 25 

Package labelling 

See below 

See below 

Note: "Animal unit" means a combined animal weight, when measured alive, of 455 kg (1,000 lbs).

  • Farmgate Licences are an entry-level licence intended for low volume producers interested in slaughtering their own animals on farm.
  • Allow annual production of up to 5 animal units (5,000 lbs or 2268 kg, live weight).
  • Available province-wide. 
  • Farmgate licence holders can sell meat products at the farm, at farmers markets within their regional district, and at farmers markets within 50 km of their farm (including in another regional district).
  • Meat products are for end-user purchase and cannot be resold. 
  • Most former Class D and E slaughter establishment licences have been transitioned to Farmgate Plus licences.
  • Farmgate Plus Licences are intended for small producers interested in slaughtering their own animals or providing limited custom slaughter for neighbouring producers.
  • Allow annual production of up to 25 animal units (25,000 lbs or 11,350 kg live weight).
  • Available province-wide. 
  • Farmgate Plus licence holders can sell meat products direct to consumers, retail, restaurants, and at farmers markets province-wide.  

Please visit our Farmgate and Farmgate Plus licences FAQ if you have any questions regarding these licences.

  • For traceability purposes, meat products from Farmgate and Farmgate Plus facilities must be labelled with: 
    • the name and address of the slaughter establishment; 
    • a description of the contents of the package; 
    • the net weight or volume of the contents of the package, and 
    • Premises ID of the farm where the meat was slaughtered. 
  • Farmgate product labels must also include “Not Government Inspected; For sale only in the regional district of [name of regional district in which the farmgate slaughter establishment is located], or at a temporary food market within 50 km of the slaughter establishment. Not for resale”. 
  • Farmgate Plus product labels must also include “Not Government Inspected”.
  • Meat derived from animals other than those raised by the licence holder (custom slaughter) at a Farmgate Plus facility may be sold under the producer’s brand or farm name, provided the labelling requirements above are met.
  • For examples of Farmgate and Farmgate Plus labels, please see the Code of Practice for Farmgate and Farmgate Plus Establishments – Appendix 4 (PDF 522 KB)
  • Successful completion of SlaughterRight training is required for all new applications. Applicants must review the SlaughterRight webpage  and download the SlaughterRight manual and workbook.
  • The SlaughterRight workbook, and the Food Safety Plan and Humane Slaughter Plan are required as part of the licence application package.
  1. Register for a Premises ID
  2. Complete SlaughterRight Training
  3. Review the Code of Practice for Farmgate and Farmgate Plus Licences (PDF 522 KB) to ensure your facility meets Ministry requirements.
  4. Using the Farmgate and Farmgate Plus Application Package Checklist (PDF, 149 KB), ensure the required documents are included before submitting an application package:
    • Farmgate and Farmgate Plus Application Form and Feasibility Study (PDF, 278 KB)
      • Farmgate Plus applicants must consult with any licensed abattoirs within 100 km of their proposed facility, and with their municipality and regional district and report the results of these consultations in the Feasibility Study section of the application form (Pages 3 and 4). Failure to consult with abattoirs, municipalities and regional districts will delay the application process. Please include written confirmation that no slaughter-related zoning restrictions apply to the proposed facility, if available.
    • Confirmation from a PHO approved laboratory that water to be used during slaughter is potable.
    • Completed SlaughterRight workbook.
  5. Contact FrontCounterBC to submit the application package.
  6. A Meat Inspection Program staff member will contact applicants to review the SlaughterRight workbook and food safety plan, and to schedule a site assessment visit.
  7. Following a successful site assessment, a slaughter licence may be issued.

Find resources and review the other organizations involved in meat production in BC.