Farmgate and Farmgate Plus licences

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.

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

 

 

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 to sell at local farmers markets or from the farmgate.
  • 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 (into other RDs).
  • Meat products cannot be resold 
  • All 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 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.  
  • For traceability purposes, regulations require that 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. 
    • 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.
  • Licence holders wishing to sell or process their meat should contact their Health Authority to ensure they are in compliance with requirements relating to selling, processing or transporting food.

  • Regional health authorities oversee the issuance of Food Premises Permits under the Food Premises Regulation of the BC Food Safety Act.
  • SlaughterRight 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 application package.

More information on how to apply will be made available October 1, 2021.