The B.C. government is taking a three-pronged approach to building opportunities and sales for B.C. farmers, seafood producers and food processors, as well as those wanting to join these sectors.
Grow BC, Feed BC and Buy BC support the full spectrum of B.C.’s food, seafood and value-added processing sectors, by encouraging new entrants, increased production and higher consumption of B.C. products.
The goal is to create opportunities for B.C. farmers, seafood producers and food processors that include export markets, while focusing on a thoughtful, planned approach to growing the domestic market.
Support for the agricultural sector:
- The Ministry of Agriculture’s budget for 2018-19 is over $93 million, which is $8 million more than the previous year.
- The support for the ministry will increase in the next three years, to over $97 million by 2020-21, which will be an increased investment of $29 million over the next three years.
- The budget is an investment in B.C. farming families, seafood and food producers and processors throughout the province, and will support growing the markets for B.C. products in Canada and around the globe.
- Grow BC is centred on policies that support farmers, and help B.C. producers expand local food production. They include programs to help new entrants and young people getting into farming.
- Grow BC offers targeted programs to make sure the people who are passionate about farming are able to enter and remain in the business.
- Feed BC will increase the use of B.C. foods in hospitals, schools and other government facilities.
- Creating a market and demand for year-round B.C. food products in government facilities in communities around the province supports opportunities to start or expand a farm or food business in B.C. communities.
- The Ministry of Agriculture is exploring opportunities and challenges with producers, processors, distributors and food-service providers to develop strategies that will strengthen the local food supply chain and could lead to more opportunities for the use of B.C. grown and processed foods in government facilities.
- Feed BC will increase food processing innovation and the availability of locally processed foods in B.C. through the development of a Food Hub Network that supports the processing, packaging, and marketing of B.C. food products, and build links between local food processors and new technologies. The network will consist of a core food innovation centre and regional food hub nodes throughout the province.
- An enhanced Buy BC marketing program will help local producers market their products and increase sales in B.C.
- The Buy BC Partnership Program will provide $2 million in cost-shared funding per year, over the next three years, to help eligible applicants with their marketing efforts using the Buy BC logo on their products or promotional materials.
- A sector-wide Buy BC brand and logo are needed so consumers can identify local B.C. products at grocery stores, restaurants and food service establishments.
- When British Columbians increase their demand for local products, B.C. farmers, seafood producers and processors can sell and produce more, which in turn helps provide a safe and secure food supply for all British Columbians.
- Sector Snapshot 2016: B.C. Agrifood and Seafood - https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/agriculture-and-seafood/statistics/industry-and-sector-profiles/sector-snapshots/bc_agriculture_seafood_and_agrifood_sector_snapshot_2016.pdf
- 2017 British Columbia Agrifood and Seafood International Export Highlights - https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/agriculture-and-seafood/statistics/market-analysis-and-trade-statistics/2017_bc_agrifood_and_seafood_export_highlights.pdf