Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, and members of the BC Agriculture Council were joined by farmers and ranchers to celebrate B.C. agriculture, an industry that provides good food, good jobs and boosts local economies in every corner of the province.
“Today, we celebrate our invaluable partners who are working together to support B.C. agriculture and seafood,” Popham said. “More than 60,000 British Columbians are working in our agriculture and seafood sector. Together, we’re working to protect farmland for farming, helping new farmers access land and growing B.C.’s agriculture sector so British Columbians have a safe, secure supply of locally grown foods for generations to come.”
Over the last 15 months, the B.C. government has taken steps to support farmers and producers, jobs and communities all over the province. The government has significantly increased funding to the Ministry of Agriculture’s budget for 2018-19 to more than $93 million, the largest Ministry of Agriculture budget to date. The ministry has launched Grow BC, Feed BC and Buy BC, to strengthen B.C.’s agriculture, seafood and food processing sectors and expand the domestic market for B.C. food and beverage products.
BC Agriculture Council (BCAC), a provincewide farm organization, helped establish the annual B.C. Agriculture Day. BCAC represents nearly 30 farm associations that generate 96% of provincial farm-gate sales.
“BC Agriculture Council and government have an important role to play in supporting our food system,” said Stan Vander Waal, president, BC Agriculture Council. “Farm and ranch leaders from across the province are here today to connect with government. We thank Minister Popham for her dedication to bolstering agriculture in B.C.”
#BCAgDay celebrates B.C.’s agriculture industry, which produced $3.2 billion in farm cash receipts in 2017, up 4% over the previous year.
- 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.
- Feed BC will increase the use of B.C. foods in hospitals, schools and other government facilities.
- Buy BC was re-launched with $6 million over three years to help B.C. growers and producers market their products, reach more people looking for made-in-B.C. products and increase sales in B.C.
- The Ministry of Agriculture’s budget for 2018-19 is over $93 million, $8 million more than the previous year. Support for the ministry will increase in the next three years, to over $97 million by 2020-21.
BC Agriculture Council: https://www.bcac.ca/
B.C. agriculture and seafood sector statistics: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/statistics