five-year funding arrangement providing widespread support to the farming, ranching and food-processing sectors. The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) replaces Growing Forward 2, the five-year federal- provincial agreement that ended March 31. Nationally, CAP includes $2 billion in cost-shared initiatives delivered by the provinces and territories, and $1 billion for federal programs and services. B.C. will see $115 million provided for market development, agri- technology and on-farm and processor food safety, as well as continuing climate adaptation, the Environmental Farm Plan program and business- development services. New programs will target knowledge transfer from agricultural leaders to new farmers, as well as a continued suite of support services to prepare and support new entrants...


Vancouver Island farmer Jennifer Dyson has been appointed to replace former Saanich mayor Frank Leonard as chair of the Agricultural Land Commission. His term expired May 14. Dyson was a commissioner on the ALC from 2008 to 2017, and this year she chaired the NDP government’s Agricultural Land Reserve review, which just wrapped up. Dyson has a family- run water buffalo dairy and direct farm market business in the Alberni Valley, and was chair of the Vancouver Island panel of the ALC. “I have a passion for agriculture, and to lead an organization with the mandate of preserving agricultural land and encouraging farming in B.C., is truly an honour,” she commented. The ALC review heard from more than 2,300 people, including 900 submissions from residents of the South Coast and 800 from the island; nearly 200 from the Okanagan and more than 100 from each of the North, Kootenay and Interior Regions. The top three themes identified in responses during the consultation were: • A defensible and defended ALR — identified by 1,203 respondents. • Food security and B.C.’s agricultural contribution (1,146 respondents). • Residential uses in the ALR (866 respondents)... AgSafe, formerly known as the Farm and Ranch Safety and Health Association (FARSHA), is celebrating its 25th anniversary as British Columbia’s agriculture health

ew name, similar objectives. The federal and British Columbia governments have agreed to a

and safety association. Established in May of 1993, AgSafe offers site-specific health and safety programs, training, evaluation and consultation services. AgSafe is also a Certificate of Recognition (COR) program certifying partner for large and small employers. The organization was established as a joint initiative of WorkSafeBC (Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia), the B.C Agriculture Council and the Canadian Farmworkers’ Union as B.C.’s experts on workplace safety for the agriculture industry. AgSafe says just over half of B.C.’s agriculture industry employers regularly use its services, resources or information and almost two-thirds have used AgSafe resources periodically... Murray Driediger, president and CEO of BC Fresh, has received the Canadian Produce Person of the Year award from The Packer newspaper and website. Driediger, chair of the April 24-26 Canadian Produce Marketing Association’s convention and trade show, was presented the award at the CPMA’s annual banquet by Shannon Shuman, publisher of The Packer. “From his beginnings as a berry farmer four decades ago to the president and CEO of BC Fresh, our winner has done it all,” Shuman said in his remarks April 26. Driediger grew up in Langley. His parents moved to the region from the Prairies in search of opportunity with a family berry farm. As he grew up, Driediger picked berries, became a field

supervisor, drove tractors and trucks, and ran the u-pick operation. At 19, he became the managing partner in the family business. Shuman said Driediger was a visionary and recognized the shift in the market from processed products to the fresh market and the consumer attraction toward locally grown produce. In 1997, Driediger sold his share of the family business and became general manager with the BC Vegetable Marketing Commission. While leading the commission, Driediger stood up for the industry in several anti-dumping trade disputes and helped modernize many longstanding components of the Natural Products Marketing Act, Shuman said. Later, the Aqualini Group, a Canadian investment company, hired Driediger and he led the development of the company’s Golden Eagle Group which operates a variety of recreational and agricultural businesses, including one of the world’s larger blueberry and cranberry growing and processing operations. Driediger was then hired as president and CEO of BC Lower Mainland Distributors and soon he rebranded the company as BC Fresh. Under his leadership, BC Fresh has become synonymous with a “farmer-first philosophy,” providing quality and reliability ever since, Shuman said. BC Fresh is owned by 30 family farms and markets fresh produce from more than 60 farms in total...

18 British Columbia Berry Grower • Summer 2018

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