Farming and farm culture are fundamental elements of Central Saanich’s rural and small-town character. Central Saanich is home to 152 farms, across more than 2,679 acres of crop land. In Central Saanich, the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) covers the majority of the land base, and farming is undertaken in both small and large operations. Food and agriculture support the health and well-being of Peninsula residents, and locally produced food is recognized for its environmental and economic benefits. At the same time, Indigenous food systems and traditional hunting, fishing, and gathering have been impacted by current forms of land ownership.

While the agriculture sector is largely regulated by Provincial and Federal governments and influenced by market forces, local governments can regulate some aspects of farming, such as building setbacks and how they respond to non-farm use applications. Furthermore, recent changes in provincial legislation mean that private landowners are no longer able to apply to the Agricultural Land Commission to exclude land, only the Provincial Government, local or First Nation governments or prescribed public bodies may make such applications.

The District has a role to play and is committed to supporting agriculture and food security for current and future generations through advocacy, local initiatives, and reducing barriers to farming in local bylaws. This includes advancing efforts that respect W̱SÁNEĆ Nations’ food systems and move toward more sustainable and equitable models of agriculture.