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Nova Scotia announces changes for small farm businesses

Nova Scotia announces changes for small farm businesses

These changes are designed to cut red tape

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The government of Nova Scotia has made regulatory changes which affect the ag sector.

Effective as of May 11, 11 processing activities associated with small farm operations will no longer need industrial approvals. Instead, this work will be regulated through standard wastewater approval requirements.

These activities include the construction, operation or reclamation involving:

  • Poultry, red meat, fish, dairy, vegetable or fruit processing plants,
  • Distilleries or wineries,
  • Breweries which produce at least 150,000 litres of alcohol per year,
  • Fish meal plants,
  • Food additive or supplement manufacturing plants.

These amendments ensure farmers have an easier time doing business while still operating within a proper framework, said Fred Crooks, chief regulatory officer in the office of regulatory affairs and service effectiveness.

“Regulatory modernization balances regulatory changes with the associated risks,” he said in a statement. “This change is an example of how we can reduce red tape for smaller agricultural businesses, saving them time and money, while maintaining important oversight.”

In terms of money saves, Crooks’s office, which is responsible for helping the provincial government identify and remove regulatory burdens for Nova Scotians, estimates each business can save about $308 per year.

The province’s ag sector supports the changes.

The government taking this step is an indication lawmakers understand how regulatory hurdles can affect food systems, said Tim Marsh, president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture.

“The changes being announced today should help reduce some of the regulatory burdens our farms face,” he said in a May 11 statement. “Anything that can be done to lessen the burden on our producers, while still ensuring the production of safe and sustainable food, is welcome. We anticipate that these changes will have a positive impact on producers.”

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