As of this afternoon, significant parts of the Sumas Prairie area remain flooded and all highways in and out of the Fraser Valley remain closed.
It is unclear how many farms have suffered significant loss of building or animals, but we are aware that major losses have been realized and we are working with producers on the relocation of animals and other arrangements where possible.
Further to yesterday’s notice and the outline above, we have limited ability to resume milk pickups although still come with many challenges and risk of shutoff again. The following regions of the province are still affected as follows:
- Producers in Abbotsford that fall East of Sumas Way, we may have limited pickups where roadways allow. You are asked to only dump your milk at intervals when you would ‘normally’ be picked up – every other day. Trucks may be late, so your milk disposal should occur prior to the milking after your ‘normal pickup’ timing. This will be very limited.
- Producers in Chilliwack, we may have the ability to do limited pickups in Chilliwack. You are asked to only dump your milk at intervals when you would ‘normally’ be picked up – every other day. Trucks may be late, so your milk disposal should occur prior to the milking after your ‘normal pickup’ timing.
- Producers in Agassiz East of the Woodside Mudslide, we may have the ability to do limited pickups in Agassiz. You are asked to only dump your milk at intervals when you would ‘normally’ be pickup up – every other day. Trucks may be late, so your milk disposal should occur prior to the milking after your ‘normal pickup’ timing
- All producers in the BC Interior, we will be picking up your milk starting tomorrow, when it is your ‘normal’ pickup day. A few producers will be called specifically to dispose of their milk. If you are not called, expect milk pickups to resume.
- Producers in Prince George/Bulkley Valley/Smithers will not be picked up until further notice. There are no roads available to enter the Lower Mainland for milk delivery, and only limited access to Alberta. We are actively working on solutions in this region.
- Producers in the Creston/Kootenays will have continued pickup as we can deliver to Alberta.
- Producers on Vancouver Island will have continued pickup, with limited disruption.
See the end of this notice for instructions on how to report and the impact to your farm by doing so.
Reporting for Multiple IRMAs (“Buddy Farms”):
For reporting purposes, all producers who have either received cows (HOST) from another farm/producer or have relocated their cows (GUEST) to another farm, will need to contact Kathy Wallis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604.854.4471 with the following details prior to milk disposal or pick-up:
- HOST IRMA and farm name
- GUEST IRMA and farm name
- Number of GUEST cows that are milking at temporary relocation
This information is important to determine the proper breakdown of litres produced per IRMA for payment purposes. The Quota Management department will follow-up with obtaining an official milk share agreement.
Distribution of Unpasteurized Milk:
We understand that producers want to provide aid to the public and help their community during the current crisis and may be tempted to distribute raw unpasteurized milk directly to the public from their farms. However, this may compromise safe consumption and the standard of high-quality milk for the industry, while adding other implications.
In British Columbia, the regulations for the distribution of raw milk from dairy farms are outlined in the Milk Act and the Milk Industry Standards Regulation. Licensed dairy farms can legally supply their raw milk to licensed dairy processing plants, in contrast, the distribution of raw milk to unlicensed plants or members of the public is prohibited.
As per Section 5 of the Milk Industry Act – “No person shall sell, offer for sale, or supply milk in fluid form unless the dairy farmer of the dairy farm on which the milk is produced is the holder of a subsisting certificate under Section 4. In addition, Section 6 states – “A person must not sell, offer for sale, or supply any dairy product unless the dairy product has been pasteurized in accordance with this Act and the Regulations.
British Columbian dairy producers can pride themselves in producing clean, high quality raw milk, however, the consumption of raw milk can be a risk to human health, and these risks are eliminated through the process of pasteurization.
Dairy producers that distribute their raw milk at the farm gate level are at risk of having their production licenses cancelled or suspended under Section 12 of the Milk Act.
Please contact us directly for support and any questions, as it is important to work together to be able to recover from this situation.
Raw Milk Disposals:
In the event that your farm is not picked up and you are requested to dump your raw milk, please do so responsibly. DO NOT holdover more milk than you would otherwise have for each pickup or it will affect pickup of your peers or will be rejected onsite. Before disposing at your regular pickup time, record your dipstick measurement and send in an email;
- Your dipstick reading
- Date of disposal
To Lisa Gruban email@example.com
Raw milk disposals have the following financial and quota impact:
- Payment for the volume disposed at the provincial pooled rate per component
- Credit for the production against your CDQ
If your farm has unfortunately been partially or fully inoperable and you have partial or no milk to produce and dump, you will need to seek compensation through your farm’s insurance. Only milk produced and reported to the BCMMB will be compensated
Also to note: producers across the province can expect disruption to milk quality sample results and components. We will do our best to test whatever possible but are uncertain what is available at this time.
We ask for your patience in our communication as we are working around evolving timelines and limited understanding of current road conditions