IAF delivers programs and services to support a thriving agriculture and agri-food sector in British Columbia.

Vision

A vibrant and progressive agriculture and food sector for BC that is sustainable and growing.

Mission

IAF creates funding opportunities to support a thriving BC agriculture and food sector through the effective delivery of programs.

Values

Integrity

We are honest, accountable and consistently uphold strong moral and ethical principles.

Transparency

We operate openly and communicate accurate information in a timely manner.

Collaboration

We engage and collaborate with government and industry to broaden opportunities for the sector.

Innovation

We foster a work environment that kindles ideas and promotes teamwork and learning.

IAF Strategic Framework

GOAL 1:

An enduring resource for the sector

Strategic Priority 1:

We must ensure our financial sustainability by creating an IAF Trust Fund and diversifying our funding base.

Strategic Priority 2:

We must have a Board and membership that reflect the agriculture and food sector.

GOAL 2:

Responsive and impactful programs

Strategic Priority 3:

We must collaborate with our funders on program design and cost.

Strategic Priority 4:

We must create unique IAF programs that respond to industry needs and priorities.

GOAL 3:

A client-centered organization that delivers service excellence

Strategic Priority 5:

We must provide an excellent applicant experience.

Strategic Priority 6:

IAF must be a great organization to belong to and work.

Strategic Initiatives

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:

AGRICULTURAL CLIMATE SOLUTIONS

In collaboration with our sector stakeholders, IAF worked with the BC Agriculture Council (BCAC) to develop an application for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Agricultural Climate Solutions Program (ACS).

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CULTIVATING PROSPERITY

Launched in 2020 with the BC Agriculture Council (BCAC) and its members, the Cultivating Prosperity initiative set out  to increase collaboration across the BC agriculture sector and evaluate the role of various industry associations and groups.

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AGRICHAIN

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.

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EXPLORING AFFF’S FUTURE

The Agri-Food Futures Fund (AFFF) was established in 2001, with an initial investment through the Canada-BC Framework Agreement on Agricultural Risk Management. The trust agreement for AFFF ends in spring 2022, and the IAF Board of Directors asked the IAF staff to explore future program opportunities for the remaining funds.

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GROWING AGRICULTURE TRUST

IAF’s Board of Directors led a number of strategic Initiatives in 2021. From addressing the future of the agriculture sector in BC, to assisting the sector during the pandemic, The Board acted quickly and responded to issues facing the industry wherever possible.

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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.

A pile of peaches

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:

  1. Regenerative Agriculture and Agri-Tech
  2. Climate Change
  3. 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.

AgriChain

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.

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Bottled beverage going through the production line

Our Sectors

IAF Members and Board of Directors represent the following sector groups of BC agriculture and agri-food.

Agri-Business, Retail & Agri-Tech

Includes:

Farm equipment, input suppliers, farm credit / banking, accelerators, and academics.

Food & Beverage Processing

Includes:

Food and beverage processor associations.

General Farm Interest

Includes:

Indigenous agriculture, Institute of Agrologists, Farmers Institutes, food security groups, small lot agriculture, farmers market associations, and apiculture.

Grains & Oilseeds

Includes:

Grains, Seeds, Oilseeds, and Specialty Crops.

Horticulture

Includes:

Field vegetables, mushrooms, berries, and greenhouse.

Livestock

Includes:

Beef, horse, sheep, and pork.

Tree Fruits & Grapes

Includes:

Apples, cherries, pears, and grapes.

Supply Managed Commodities

Includes:

Chicken, eggs, dairy, broiler hatching eggs, and turkeys.

Other Primary Industries & Commodities

Includes:

Flowers, landscape and nursery.

Board of Directors

Jack Dewit
Jack DewitChair
Represents Horticulture
Region Lower Mainland
Board Member Since 2020
Jim Pratt
Jim PrattVice Chair
Represents Food & Beverage Processing
Region Lower Mainland
Board Member Since 2019
Glenda Gesy
Glenda GesyTreasurer
Represents Pre-Farm Gate
Region Thompson-Nicola-Okanagan
Board Member Since 2017
Angela Groothof
Angela GroothofSecretary
Represents Supply Managed Commodities
Region Lower Mainland
Board Member Since 2018
Ralph VanDalfsen
Ralph VanDalfsenBoard Member
Represents Supply Managed Commodities
Region Thompson-Nicola-Okanagan
Board Member Since 2019
Irmi Critcher
Irmi CritcherBoard Member
Represents Grains, Oilseeds & Specialty Crops
Region Peace
Board Member Since 2020
Jos Moerman
Jos MoermanBoard Member
Represents Horticulture
Region Lower Mainland
Board Member Since 2019
Mike Soth
Mike SothBoard Member
Represents Other Primary Industries & Commodities
Region Lower Mainland
Board Member Since 2019
Corine Singfield
Corine SingfieldBoard Member
Represents General Farm Interest
Region Cariboo Chilcotin Coast
Board Member Since 2020
David Eto
David EtoBoard Member
Represents Food & Beverage Processing
Region Lower Mainland
Board Member Since 2020
Mike Manion
Mike ManionBoard Member
On one-year leave. Term to resume Jan 2023
Represents Agri-Business, Retail & Agri-Tech
Region Lower Mainland
Board Member Since 2020
David Machial
David MachialBoard Member
Represents Tree Fruits & Grapes
Region Thompson-Nicola-Okanagan
Board Member Since 2021
Paul Devick
Paul DevickBoard Member
Represents Livestock
Region Thompson-Nicola-Okanagan
Board Member Since 2021

Members

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.

Questions?

For more information about IAF Membership, please contact us.

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Our Members

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

Governance

IAF’s Strategic Framework states three goals, one of which is for “IAF to be an enduring resource for the sector”.

Within this goal, the second strategic priority is: “IAF must have a Board and Membership that reflects the agriculture and food sector of BC” where agriculture and food are defined as the “production, processing and marketing of all farm, food and agri-based products.” The IAF Board and staff are working to execute a tactical and operational plan that addresses this strategic priority.

To date IAF has stood up a new Governance and Nomination Committee is working and consulting with IAF members to determine how this priority should be realized within the lifespan of the Strategic Framework.

In 2018, IAF’s membership ratified a series of changes to IAF’s Constitution and Bylaws, in keeping with the new BC Societies Act, which requires all societies to amend their constitutions and bylaws by the end of 2018.

Constitution & Bylaws

The Board is governed by a constitution and set of bylaws updated during our 2018 Special General Meeting, in keeping with the new BC Societies Act. This document outlines the general operational policies of IAF, clarifies director duties and responsibilities, addresses director liability and conflict of interest guidelines, and offers mechanisms for member complaints.

Under its bylaws, the Board’s role is to ensure effective governance by providing strategic direction, developing policy, and hiring and supporting senior management. Directors are also responsible for envisioning the future of IAF and ensuring that it is progressing towards its goals, while staying within legal limits and using resources efficiently.

In carrying out their responsibilities, directors owe fiduciary duties to IAF, which can be broken down into two categories:

  • The duty of loyalty – this duty requires that a director act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of IAF
  • The duty of care – this duty requires that a director act with a level of skill and competence that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in comparable circumstances

IAF is responsible for delivering more than a dozen government funded programs. Our Board of Directors convenes regularly to review applications for project funding, which must be guided by the funding parameters and eligibility criteria specific to the programs entrusted to us by the government funder.

Certain programs address broader issues or strategies and reflect priorities set by government. While it is the Board’s responsibility to deliberate on applications within these guidelines, it also has the latitude to determine merit based on industry priorities.

The Board also adjudicates funding applications through programs that are much narrower in scope and designed to meet highly specific issues or strategies, such as the Livestock Waste Tissue Initiative and the Poultry Biosecurity Program. In these cases, directors must review applications and allocate funding according to clearly (and externally) defined eligibility criteria.

In situations where there are gaps in funding or issues that cannot be resolved with existing industry resources, IAF may develop specialized programs to address specific priorities which fall within our mandate and funding principles, such as the Local Government Partnership Program. Board-led initiatives allow more flexibility in offering funding tailored to current industry needs.

During adjudication meetings, the Board has the authority to:

  • Approve all, or parts of, a project
  • Reduce or increase the requested funding
  • Set conditions for approval
  • Defer an application until more information is available
  • Decline an application, with reason (reconsiderations are granted to applicants)

Our directors are farmers, food processors and industry professionals from a variety of sectors who bring valuable expertise to the table. Rest assured your application will be reviewed by a knowledgeable panel of industry peers!