- The British Columbia government supports local farmers, and their products, for all British Columbians to enjoy.
- The B.C. government is working with farmers, ranchers, the seafood and food manufacturing sector to increase food supply security in B.C. by developing policies and programs that encourage agrifoods in B.C.
- Agriculture technology (Agritech) represents significant opportunity to increasing B.C.’s food supply security by maximizing productivity, minimizing inputs and creating greater value from B.C.’s farmland and coast.
- About 20,000 B.C. family farms utilize 2.6 million hectares to produce more than 200 agriculture and agrifood commodities. B.C. also produces about 100 seafood commodities, providing economic development opportunities for coastal communities.
- The Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) is key to supporting and sustaining food production in B.C. by protecting farmland for future generations.
- There is more land in the ALR today than when it was created in 1974. This area represents a net increase of over 32,000 hectares since 2001.
- The B.C. government supports local food consumption and production through the $14-million Buy Local Program, which helps B.C. companies find new customers in British Columbia.
- The $250,000 Grow Local program is funding projects in 10 communities to increase awareness and appreciation for supporting local food production and strengthen local good supply security. Grow Local is to provide a deeper connection between B.C. food, B.C. communities and the people who live in them.
- The Ministry of Agriculture is providing funding of up to $25,000 each for 10 communities, so they can work directly with their local residents to help them grow their own food. The goal of Grow Local is to provide a deeper connection between B.C. food, B.C. communities and the people who live in them.
- The ministry provides farmers with advice, support and expertise - whether that's in starting a farm, running their operations or business, or planning for a new generation of farmers to take over when they retire.
- The ministry’s AgriService BC offers a toll-free phone and e-mail service to connect farmers and agri-businesses with the people and information they need to help their businesses succeed and grow.
- The ministry supports food supply security initiatives for farmers, producers and food processors through a variety of programs, including:
- AgPal (agpal.ca) offers information and links to application details for accessing about 70 federal and provincial government programs that, among other things, offer funding to help B.C. food producers reach new markets, adopt new technology and develop more sustainable operations.
- The Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program provides funding to accelerate the pace of innovation in British Columbia's agrifood industry.
- The B.C. government's $8-million Buy Local Program helps promote local foods and allows B.C.'s diverse food industry to use customized promotions specific to their market and needs.
- Business Risk Management programs including Agristability, Production Insurance, and the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program provide industry with insurance options for weather-related-losses and price protection.
- The Environmental Farm Plan supports farm operations in completing agri-environmental risk assessments.
- The efforts of the provincial government to create a new Centre of Excellence for Agriculture at the University of the Fraser Valley ensures the knowledge, expertise and passion that British Columbians have today will be shared with future generations.
- The Ministry of Agriculture continues to work with the federal government and the agriculture industry to proactively plan for climate change and extreme weather conditions and that partnership has resulted in regional agriculture climate adaptation strategies for Delta, Cowichan Valley, Peace, Okanagan, Fraser Valley and Cariboo regions.
BC Agrifood and Seafood Conference 2016: Growing the Future Together
- The Ministry of Agriculture hosted the BC Agrifood and Seafood Conference in Kelowna in November 2016, to lead more than 300 delegates in discussions how B.C. can strengthen B.C. food supply security.
- More than 35 experts, including agri-entrepreneurs and business executives, tech leaders, distribution and retail companies, government representatives, and research and policy leaders from universities, not-for-profits and research organizations from around North America shared their knowledge and opinions about increasing food supply security.
- A key focus of the conference was Agriculture Technology (Agritech), which represents significant opportunities for the sector as it has can help maximize productivity, minimize inputs and creates greater value from B.C.’s farmland and coast.
- The first day of the conference included the Agritech Innovation Challenge (agritechinnovation.ca) , in which entrants were tasked to develop a product or process that promotes overall food supply security for the province, by developing a project or process that will:
- Enhance productivity and profitability through enhanced mechanization and storage solutions for blueberries and other field crops;
- Minimize losses through pest management solutions;
- Promote sustainable practices and finding efficiencies in B.C. greenhouses;
- Create new revenue streams and addressing environmental concerns through optimization of nutrient application and nutrient recovery.
- The conference hosted an exhibitor showcase where B.C. companies using new production practices and technology highlighted their successes and innovation. B.C. food producers also had the opportunity to meet with leading B.C. retailers and distributors actively sourcing local food and are interested in strengthening their local suppliers’ network.
Government Communications and Public EngagementMinistry of Agriculture