The Progressive Penalty Program (PPP) was introduced in Spring 2022 as a proposed policy initiative to ensure the production of higher quality milk in the western provinces.
The BC Milk Marketing Board (BCMMB) has not made any decisions regarding the implementation date of the PPP due to a few key challenges that need to be resolved before next steps can be determined.
Our team has been working on new protocols to ensure that samples are handled according to Ministry regulations throughout the custody chain and to improve the timeliness of reporting test results to producers.
Lab Hours and IBC Testing
Currently, labs in the province only test samples Monday through Friday excluding Statutory holidays. IBC is only tested twice per week on the freshest samples. There are exceptions to this: Preloads (loads picked up on day but delivered the next day), Vancouver Island samples, loads that are delivered to another province, loads that miss the delivery cut-off time for delivery and statutory holidays. The percentage of BC samples tested at 2 days old or less in 2023 was 80.7%. Over weekends and holidays some component tests are still performed on samples greater than 2 days old. These numbers need to be improved to implement the PPP.
In preparation for the Progressive Penalty Program implementation, the testing lab will need to be open on Saturdays and IBC tests will need to be conducted on every sample. Everyday testing is imperative for this program to work, this includes producers that are on preloads, loads that miss the delivery cut off at a processor, statutory holidays and the Vancouver Island samples.
The BC Ministry of Agriculture is reviewing the elements of the PPP to determine if the program can replace the Ministry penalty program currently in place.
We continue to work on solutions for challenges like weather/road conditions, two-day testing on Saturday samples, manual oversight on IBC tests and defective vials to ensure that when the PPP is implemented in BC, producers are not negatively impacted.
We will provide further updates as issues are resolved and a planned implementation date is determined.