Abbotsford, BC – The Province of BC has trumpeted a new tool for Agriculture information dispensing for farmers, food processors, distributors and customers.
It’s called AgriService BC.
According to Orlando Schmidt, Regional Manager with the Ministry of Agriculture, this is a brand new social media tool to pool and share information. It’s to update agriculture content to a new platform including a 1-800 number and one stop shopping through email. The page also opens up to serve 8 distinct agriculture regions in BC, including the Fraser Valley. Yes UFV’s Agriculture program will be in the cross hairs of the Fraser Valley region.
When asked if this was merely a re-hash of the now defunct InfoBasket which the Province shut down in 2012 after shelling out $10 million tax dollars over its 10 year run (2001-2011), Schmidt emphasized that this was new and improved and had nothing to do with the old InfoBasket program.
Ann Britton, the former Content Manager of InfoBasket scoffs at this description noting that over 2 million articles were made available at your fingertips and that was all swept away when Victoria dumped the program. They re-invented the wheel.
UFV Agriculture Professor Tom Baumann was blunt. This program is just InfoBasket with more social media add-ons.
You can decide. This is the media release from the Province:
For individuals looking to start or grow their agrifoods business, accessing information has just been made easier. AgriService BC is now available, linking British Columbians to comprehensive and up-to-date information and tips to be a success in B.C.’s exciting agrifoods sector.
AgriService BC can quickly connect you to programs and information that includes:
- Starting a new farm and effectively marketing your products.
- Hiring and supervising workers.
- Developing marketing plans and expanding your business.
- Responding to risks – resources available to help protect your business.
- Learning how to manage water and other resources effectively.
AgriService BC is available online at: www.gov.bc.ca/agriservicebc, by phone (1-888-221-7141) and email: AgriServiceBC@gov.bc.ca, or by visiting a Ministry of Agriculture office. If you contact AgriService BC, Ministry of Agriculture staff will either find the information you have requested right away or will put you in contact with the appropriate expert.
There are 20,000 family farms in the provincial agrifoods sector providing a vital role in B.C.’s food security and economy.
The B.C. agrifoods sector includes primary production in agriculture, sustainable aquaculture industry, commercial fisheries, and the processing of food and beverages. The sector generates almost $12 billion in combined gross revenues and in 2013 B.C. exported $2.7 billion worth of products to more than 140 markets.
For more information on this new program: