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Agriculture

Buying BC like never before: 2018 record year for food sales

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Agriculture

Buying BC like never before: 2018 record year for food sales

Media Contacts
Dave Townsend
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Agriculture
250 356-7098
250 889-5945 (cell)
(flickr.com)
Media Contacts
Dave Townsend
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Agriculture
250 356-7098
250 889-5945 (cell)

Backgrounders

Facts about agricultural sales in B.C.
  • B.C. farm, fish and food sales reached $15 billion in 2018. Total sales include $3.5 billion in agriculture, $1.3 billion in seafood and $10.2 billion in food and beverage processing.
  • In 2018, B.C. consumers and companies purchased from B.C. producers an estimated:
    • $1.1 billion of wines, beers and spirits
    • $800 million of meat and poultry
    • $750 million of milled grains, cereals, pastas and breads
    • $650 million of dairy
    • $440 million of seafood
    • $200 million of fruit and vegetables
    • $125 million of eggs
    • $70 million of floriculture and nursery products
  • B.C.’s top export markets in 2018 were the United States ($3.1 billion), China ($533 million), Japan ($224 million), South Korea ($73 million) and Hong Kong ($73 million).
  • B.C.’s top 2018 exports were $541 million in farmed Atlantic salmon, $361 million in food preparations for processing and natural health products, $243 million in blueberries, $230 million in baked goods and $189 million in mushrooms.
Contributing B.C. businesses

The following B.C. businesses contributed to the record-setting year and achieved success with support from programs offered by the Ministry of Agriculture:

Anita’s Organic Mill:

Anita’s Organic Mill is an artisan-quality, certified organic and kosher mill in Chilliwack. Its last round of funding from the Buy BC Partnership Program helped launch an online, membership-based bake club to help connect and educate baking enthusiasts. As a result, Anita’s reported that sales were up 36% and recently, the company released a new line of gluten-free products in 100 local stores.

“Thanks to Buy BC, we are excited to report that we have strengthened our brand connection with consumers online and through social media — it’s really helped our sales continue to grow,” said Jayda Smith, vice-president sales and marketing, Anita’s Organic Mill. “The Buy BC effort by this government has helped our business thrive and grow.”

Effingham Oysters:

Effingham Oysters is a collective of oyster farmers in Barkley Sound. The collective received funding from the B.C. government’s oyster recovery fund to help replenish stock after experiencing challenges in 2018. The company is a partner of the Alberni Valley Regional Food Hub project being developed in Port Alberni with B.C. government funding. Effingham Oysters plans to process its product locally once the hub is operational, meaning it will no longer need to transport its oysters on a five-hour trip by truck and ferry.   

“We are excited to be part of the Port Alberni Food Innovation Hub,” said Mica Verbrugge, owner, Effingham Oysters, “It will allow us to move processing operations from the mainland to the local area, employing residents from the Alberni Valley. It will also allow us to expand operations and invest in our business.”

Cutter Ranch:

Tyler McNaughton and Sacha Bentall from Cutter Ranch in Fort Steele believe that when it comes to ranching, care reflects quality. Their animals are pasture-raised with low animal density, which is good for both the animal and the land. They credit their strong relationships with local abattoirs and butchers for the health of their business and supply local restaurants in the Kootenays. The pair are advocates of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Every Chef Needs a Farmer, Every Farmer Needs a Chef initiative, as local businesses can network and establish business relationships there, make deals and increase the demand and enjoyment of B.C. foods.

“As a relatively young farm, hard work and planning has driven our farm business to where we find success today. In recent years, our farm has seen year-over-year double-digit growth as a result of the buy in of consumers and chefs who recognize the value and quality of local farm products,” McNaughton said. “This is strengthened to greater effect for the whole of the B.C. farm economy by the support of the Province through investments into agriculture and food research, support programs to encourage good farming practices and implementation of sound agriculture policy.

“An initiative like Every Chef Needs A Farmer provides a new opportunity for local farm and food businesses to network with each other and stakeholders of the B.C. food industry. This is a key factor for growth and long-term stability in the B.C. food economy.”

Media Contacts
Dave Townsend
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Agriculture
250-356-7098
250 889-5945 (cell)

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