Hundreds of farmers and chefs came together for a one-day event to make connections to buy and sell B.C. foods.
“This event brings farmers and chefs together so that chefs can find new local sources of ingredients and farmers can access new markets,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “Farmers, ranchers, shellfish growers and other food and beverage producers are growing their businesses, thanks to B.C.’s chefs. And chefs are turning these amazing and delicious ingredients into culinary masterpieces.”
The second annual Every Chef Needs a Farmer, Every Farmer Needs a Chef event welcomed 500 farmers, chefs and food service professionals to the Pacific National Exhibition Forum. This year, over 55 exhibitors – B.C.’s farmers, ranchers and producers – showcased their products and shared information about the wide variety of products produced in different regions of the province.
“As a farmer in B.C., it’s my goal to have my product reach British Columbians around the province, and this event is an opportunity to increase our market reach,” said Kevin Hooge, operations manager, Fraser Valley Hazelnuts. “The idea of bringing the agriculture industry together with chefs and the restaurant industry is the first step to seeing more B.C. products being used in restaurants. The connections and relationships we developed at last year’s ‘every chef’ event resulted in sales of 80% of our crop and is proof of the opportunities and success this event offers the farmers and chefs who meet here.”
The event included three interactive panel sessions with chefs, farmers and local food champions from all regions of the province, and an overview of key success factors and best practices learned from success stories at the 2018 event. Participants met directly with organizations that connect farmers with chefs who want locally grown and produced products.
More than 20 speakers shared stories and tips to encourage more connections between agriculture and restaurants. Guests had opportunities to check out exhibits that showcased some of B.C.’s best products, from poultry and beef to hazelnuts and honey.
The Every Chef Needs a Farmer, Every Farmer Needs a Chef event is part of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Buy BC program. Buy BC helps farmers, ranchers and producers market their products as locally grown, raised, harvested or produced, making it easy for British Columbians to Buy BC.
- In 2018, B.C.’s agriculture, seafood and food processing sectors had record revenues of $15 billion.
- In 2018, farm cash receipts increased by 6% over the previous year.
- In 2018, seafood revenues increased 10%, and food and beverage processing jumped 4% compared to 2017.
- In 2017, more than 2,000 new jobs were created in B.C.’s agriculture industry, bringing the total number of people working in the industry to more than 63,000.
Every Chef Needs a Farmer, Every Farmer Needs a Chef event site, with chef videos, exhibitor and speaker information:
More about Buy BC: https://buybc.gov.bc.ca/