RE: TEACUP PROPERTIES EXCLUSION
Dear Members of the Agricultural Land Commission:
We write to you on behalf of Fractal Farm, including two owners, three staff, eighty CSA members and hundreds of other customers. We have been producing mixed vegetables for the last three years at the Kwantlen Farm Incubator in Richmond. Last year, when we could not secure suitable land to move to, the incubator program granted us an emergency extension for an additional year. Now in year four, we once again are worried about where we will grow our vegetables in the coming year. Our customers wonder where they will find accessible, sustainable, and healthy produce. Our community partners, who’s food programs we support, are worried about the loss of support that has enabled them to get healthy vegetables to members of our community who would otherwise not be able to afford them.
I write to you regarding the proposed exclusion of the Teacup Properties in the District of Kent from the Agricultural Land Reserve. A decision to exclude these lands would be a short-sighted policy. It would serve to undermine food security and further incapacitate farmers, particularly new farmers like ourselves. This is because the proposed inclusion lands are significantly poorer agricultural quality than what is proposed to be excluded. Even the components that are rated a similar agricultural quality are outside of the protection of the local dyke system and are often too wet for production. As new farmers, we can say that while the land inside the teacup exclusion zone could be suitable for us to produce food on, we could never take on the financial risk of growing in the proposed inclusion area.
The recent pandemic emergency has demonstrated that unforeseen circumstances can disrupt international supply chains. Given an increasingly unstable and unpredictable economy, efforts to promote local food security are clearly in the public interest. We believe that the given the ALC’s mandate to preserve agricultural land and encourage farming in the public interest, the Teacup Properties must not be excluded from the ALR.
Piotr Majkowski Daniel Edmond