The agreement includes:Unfortunately, my prior links to the Potato Coalition's blog are now broken; they've taken down all of their old content.
- A complete 5 acre exemption for small potato producers
- A complete 1 acre exemption for small root crop producers
- Growers under these exemptions may sell year round to all Farmers Markets, small independent retail, road side stands and restaurants.
- This is a complete exemption that will require no permits or regulatory procedures from Peak of the Market.
- The parties will meet in consultation to discuss any future issues
I wonder if Peak was scared they'd lose their cartel position over this. Allowing a small competitive fringe avoids some bad press while ensuring that any of those less-than-5-acre growers can never grow into a real competitive threat without joining the cartel.
Update: Erin has more here.
A group of farmers, retailers, and other concerned parties got together about 3 weeks ago to fight the crippling regulations. We formed the Potato Coalition of Manitoba, and I was a part of the main organizing committee. I have just spent a VERY busy 3 weeks in meetings, working with farmers to hear their concerns, and writing up a proposal for Peak. We received immense public support, which we believe forced Peak's hand. We met with Peak of the Market on Friday at 1 pm, where after a 20 minute meeting, Peak agreed to repeal the current regulations, advise to Marketing council to enact new regulations that are much more open, and agreed to work with our group, me specifically, to re-write the regulations to be more inclusive.And she points to a few looming issues:
I am beyond thrilled with the response that we received and am very much hoping that this decision on the part of Peak will usher in a new era of Marketing Boards working to support small farmers. I am thrilled that you the public who has less of a personal stake in this issue spent time writing to the minister and the powers that be as really this is what forced the hand of change.
The province of Manitoba in a misguided attempt make our food system "safer" may soon be disallowing farmers from keeping their potato seed. This will of course, reduce the number of varieties of potatoes available, and thus reduce agricultural biodiversity in the province.Manitoba visitors to New Zealand, especially the farm folks where I grew up, would do well to see the paddocks of farmed deer here being raised....
The province of Manitoba is also attempting to shut down the elk farming business in Manitoba, once again in a misguided attempt to make our food system "safer"