Beyond Production Agriculture Business Information Bundle

Related Regulations

Table of Contents

  1. Taxation
  2. Offical Plans and Zoning/By-laws
  3. Risk Management: Liability and Insurance
  4. Signage
  5. Public Health
  6. Food Safety and Traceability
  7. Patents, Trademarks, Copyright
  8. Human Resources (Provincial and Federal)
  9. Marketing Regulations
  10. Selling Food Through Various Channels

Rules and regulations will need to be researched when exploring a value-added venture involving people, food and processing. Visit the following sites to learn more about what will be required for your new business venture.


Moving beyond primary production agriculture to secondary activities or uses on the farm may include a different tax assessment by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC). Examples include retail, commercial or industrial uses. You may also wish to speak with your accountant about how value-added activities fit with Canada Revenue Agency's definitions of farming activities and income.

Financial Management - Taxation

Farm Property Class Tax Rate Program

Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) - Property Taxes

Official Plan and Zoning/By-laws

Municipal planning department administers official plans and zoning by-laws local zoning regulations and bylaws. Be sure to contact and work with your local planning department to have a clear understanding of what uses are permitted in your area. A list of municipalities in Ontario may be found at:

Ontario Municipal Affairs and Housing

OMAFRA has developmed Guidelines on Permitted Uses in Ontario Prime Agricultural Areas see our website for more details:

Risk Management: Liability and Insurance

Farms engaged in value-added activities and agri-tourism are exposed to a variety of risks that may be of lesser concern for farms engaged solely in production agriculture. OMAFRA's Managing Risk on Farms Open to the Public factsheet provides an overview of these risks and strategies to mitigate them.

Farm Safety Association

Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Canada

Managing Risk on Farms Open to the Public - 15-005

Office of the Ontario Fire Marshall


Directional and other types of signs advertising your business are important. Be sure to explore sign bylaws within your local municipality. In addition, permits and regulations regarding signs and other commercial-related activities along provincial highways also need to be explored. The Tourism-Oriented Directional Signing (TODS) Program enables and allows qualifying tourism operations to place their business signs along provincial roadways.

Tourism signs on Ontario’;s roadways Tourism-Oriented Directional Signing (TODS)

Public Health

If the public visits, purchases a product or takes part in an activity on your property, you should be aware of local public health requirements. These may include:

Food Premises Regulation Health Protection and Promotion Act

Petting Zoos in Ontario

Small Drinking Water Systems

Food Safety and Traceability

Good food safety practices require attention to detail at every level of a farm or food processing operation. OMAFRA's Advantage Good Agricultural Practices program takes a whole farm approach to food safety for both crop and livestock producers. The following OMAFRA resources provide information about food safety, manufacturing, inspection, and traceability for farmers and food processors:

Food and Beverage Manufacturing

Food Inspection Programs

Food Safety Overview

Food Safety and Traceability

Ontario Regulation (O. Reg.) 119/11 Produce, Honey and Maple Products under the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001 regulates the grading (only applicable to potatoes), packaging, labelling, transporting, advertising and sale of produce in Ontario. O. Reg. 119/11 defines produce as fruit and vegetables, sprouts, culinary herbs, nuts and edible fungi.

Value-added minimally processed (cut, sliced, diced) produce or processed product such as apple cider, baking, jams, etc. fall under Regulation 562, Premises of the Health Protection and Promotion Act which is administered by local public health units. More information can be obtained by contacting the local health unit or the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Local health units also deliver training and certification in proper food handling.

All food sold in Canada falls under the federal Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and the Food and Drugs Act and their respective regulations. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) administers federal legislation. More information on federal legislation can be found on the CFIA website.

Once you step into the area of food service or food processing, such as on-farm snack areas, selling baked goods and / or preserves, compliance to ensure food safety and quality is vital.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency - Food

Canadian Food Inspection Agency - Labelling

Food - Animal Health and Welfare

Good Agricultural Practises Manual

Guelph Food Technology Centre

Health Services in your Community

What you should know if you're home canning

If you plan to value-add through the sale of meat produced on your farm, a list of approved provincial abattoirs can be found at:

Alliance of Food Processors - Food Safety Tools (English only)

Provincially Licensed Meat Plants

Registering Patents, Trademarks, Copyright

You will want to protect the products or services you develop to ensure its success in the marketplace and keep competitors at bay. This can be achieved by exploring intellectual property options such as registering your product, and exploring what option is most suitable for your product or service including trademark, patent, and/or copyright. Visit the following sites for information on safeguarding your product or service.

Business Registration and Renewal in Ontario

Canadian Business Network

Copyright, Patents and Trademarks

Human Resources

Depending on the scale of your business it may be necessary to employ staff. The links below provide useful guidelines to ensure that you comply with provincial and national employment regulations and standards. OMAFRA's Human Resources page includes information on paying wages to family members, creating a human resources management plan and understanding the Occupational Health and Safety Act for farming.


Complying With Employment Standards: What Businesses Need to Know

OMAFRA Human Resources

Mandatory Health and Safety Awareness Training for Workers and Supervisors

Occupational Health and Safety Act Application to Farming Operations Frequently Asked Questions

Ontario Ministry of Labour - Health and Safety


Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

Federal Workplace Health and Safety Regulations

Marketing Regulations

Marketing regulations need to be adhered to when marketing agricultural and food products in Ontario both domestically and for export purposes.

Managing Commodity Price Risk Using Hedging Options - 17-041

OMAFRA's Ontario Food Exports (OFEX) Service Team

Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission

Regulations for the Food Industry

Selling Produce Through Various Channels

The following OMAFRA resources provide information for selling produce through various marketing channels:

Requirements for Craft Show/Distributor/Off-Farm Stand/On-Farm Retail Store/On-Farm Stand/Retail Store/Wholesaler

Requirements for Farmers' Markets

Selling fruits and vegetables at farmers' markets and the farm gate

For more information:
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