IAF delivers programs and services to support a thriving agriculture and agri-food sector in British Columbia.
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We are honest, accountable and consistently uphold strong moral and ethical principles.
We operate openly and communicate accurate information in a timely manner.
We engage and collaborate with government and industry to broaden opportunities for the sector.
We foster a work environment that kindles ideas and promotes teamwork and learning.
IAF Strategic Framework
IAF’s Board of Directors have led a number of strategic initiatives in recent years. From addressing the future of the agriculture sector in BC, to assisting the sector during the pandemic, the Board acts quickly and responds to issues facing the industry wherever possible.
Here are a few of the strategic initiatives since 2020:
Exploring AFFF’s Future
In 2001, the Agri-Food Futures Fund (AFFF) was established, with an initial investment of $13.3 Million through the Canada-BC Framework Agreement on Agricultural Risk Management, with a top-up the following year of $9.5 Million. The trust agreement for AFFF ends in spring 2022, leaving $3.3 Million remaining of the interest earned on the principal amount. Identifying an opportunity to develop impactful, responsive programs, the IAF Board of Directors asked the IAF staff to explore future program opportunities for the remaining funds.
Programs identified are within the original intent of AFFF, which was developed to ‘assist the agriculture and agri-food industry in achieving and maintaining competitiveness and self-reliance’. AFFF funding is intended for broad benefit projects that address sector and regional priorities, develop supporting strategies and support industry’s ability to lead, manage and finance its own development. Program funding cannot be used for direct advertising and promotion, business start-ups or expansions, core funding for organizations, capital costs or lobbying of government.
The IAF staff undertook an extensive review of provincial and federal government priorities, existing programs, gaps in funding, and potential opportunities to leverage other program dollars, and provided the Board of Directors with three key areas of interest for potential program funding:
- Regenerative Agriculture and Agri-Tech
- Climate Change
- Indigenous Agriculture & Food Systems
The Chair of the IAF Board of Directors presented the AFFF Strategy to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Fisheries in the fall of 2021, and IAF now has a Memorandum of Understanding in place with the Ministry to develop and implement the programs over the next three years.
Growing Agriculture Trust
The IAF Board of Directors and staff are pleased that after collaboration and consultation with members and other stakeholders IAF’s Growing Agriculture Trust (Trust) was officially created in 2021. With a starting balance of $19.3 Million, the focus now is to create a sustainable Trust to enable IAF to develop programs and initiatives to assist and grow agriculture and agri-food in BC. The Trust has been created primarily with the old IAF Sustaining Fund which was interest earned over 25 years from IAF’s founding grants.
The IAF Board of Directors and staff are committed to working with our members and stakeholders from industry as the Growing Agriculture Trust increases and to developing programs using proceeds of the Trust. IAF is dedicated to ensuring programs developed out of the Growing Agriculture Trust reflect the needs of agriculture and agri-food in BC, have sustainable funding, and can adapt to future priorities and will address eligibility concerns raised by IAF Members and stakeholders.
Realizing the potential benefits for the agriculture sector, IAF has begun development of AgriChain, an agriculture specific blockchain, designed to help the sector take advantage of this innovative technology.
With the ever-growing use of digital solutions in our everyday lives, both personal and business, innovative security options are a necessity to keep data and information safe, private, and trustworthy. Blockchain technology provides a transparent and safe means to store, validate and protect information. Blockchain technology is well established with cryptocurrency transactions and offers significant value in other areas such as credential verification, certification status and public trust models.
In the coming year IAF will be exploring the potential uses for this technology with both the Province of BC and select industry groups.
IAF Members and Board of Directors represent the following sector groups of BC agriculture and agri-food.
Agri-Business, Retail & Agri-Tech
Farm equipment, input suppliers, farm credit / banking, accelerators, and academics.
Food & Beverage Processing
Food and beverage processor associations.
General Farm Interest
Indigenous agriculture, Institute of Agrologists, Farmers Institutes, food security groups, small lot agriculture, farmers market associations, and apiculture.
Grains & Oilseeds
Grains, Seeds, Oilseeds, and Specialty Crops.
Field vegetables, mushrooms, berries, and greenhouse.
Beef, horse, sheep, and pork.
Tree Fruits & Grapes
Apples, cherries, pears, and grapes.
Supply Managed Commodities
Chicken, eggs, dairy, broiler hatching eggs, and turkeys.
Other Primary Industries & Commodities
Flowers, landscape and nursery.
Board of Directors
Comprised of fifteen industry associations, our members are responsible for IAF’s highest level of operations, including the nomination/election of our board of directors, the appointment of auditors and the approval of IAF members.
The ability of IAF to effectively support a thriving BC agriculture and agri-food sector depends on the experience, knowledge and abilities of representatives of Member groups. A diverse group of agriculture and agri-food members increases of IAF’s ability to support agriculture and agri-food throughout BC and deliver a wide range of programs to the sector.
Membership Eligibility Criteria
To be considered for IAF Membership, applicants must:
- Be an organization or federation; individuals are not eligible
- Be located in BC
- Have an organizational mandate that aligns with IAF’s mandate
- Be aligned with one of IAF’s nine sector groups
- Have a membership that represents BC agriculture and agri-food (i.e. 50% or more of the organizations members are actual producers or processors)
Applicants will be further evaluated on the following:
- The value the applicant organization brings IAF
- Any issues or concerns regarding conflict between IAF, it’s mandate, ongoing business and the applicant
- Strategic alliance to IAF