BC Milk Marketing Board Operations
In keeping with provincial and federal guidelines to reduce the potential risk of exposure to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Board is significantly limiting the number of staff working from the Abbotsford office over the coming weeks. Therefore, employees have been directed to work from home as much as possible, thus limiting the amount of staff in the office on any given day. Fortunately, Milk Board staff are well-positioned to work from home over the coming weeks, since we have moved to a cloud-based system for all our essential business processes.
However, we ask producers and other stakeholders to only visit the MMB office for essential business, after contacting the employee by phone or email first to ensure that they will be available. Milk Board business therefore continues as usual; we just ask for patience as our response times may be slower while we transition to a work-from-home priority over the next few days.
Spring Producer Meetings
Further to reducing the risk for everyone, the Board has decided to postpone the planned Spring Producer meetings, which were to take place around the province during the first two weeks of April. The Board will provide more information once we are able to look again at booking public meetings.
Producer Business Continuity Plans
The Canadian Dairy Commission has prepared templates to help producers prepare business continuity plans during pandemics. Please see the guides on the CDC’s website here:Canadian Dairy Commission-Pandemic Planning Guides. Please take time to look at the producer resource and update basic information for your farm.
Official Canadian Information and Updates on COVID-19
Your official source for information on COVID19 should be the: Public Health Agency of Canada.
Other important links may be found at the bottom of this Notice.
CFIA advice on contact with Livestock
For domestic animal species, to date there have been no reports of livestock being infected by COVID-19. As always, livestock producers should follow normal biosecurity measures, including limiting visitors or foreign workers who may have travelled to, or been in contact with, someone from an affected area.
It is very improbable that cows would be infected with this specific virus. Therefore, the main priority is for farmers to protect their own health.
General Precautions on your farm (DFC)
1. Stay away from the animals if you are sick (if possible).
2. If not, wear gloves, a mask, avoid sneezing on animals or letting them lick you, etc.
3. Cancel or postpone plans to host foreign farmers or delegations. Consider also postponing any large group from urban areas, school visits, open farm days–where there are cases–out of abundance of caution (until after the risk for pandemic of COVID has passed).
4. Write down the names and dates of any small number of screened visitors on the farm for ‘traceability’ purposes.
The Board continues to stay abreast of the developments of the coronavirus outbreak. We will continue to provide our employees, producers and other stakeholders with updates as this situation evolves.
Other Important Links
Government of Canada Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Being prepared
British Columbia Centre for Disease Control COVID-19
British Columbia Health Link BC Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
BC Milk Marketing Board 2020-03-17- Notice to Industry – COVID-19 Update