Agrifood

Businesses in British Columbia’s agrifood sector serve the global marketplace. With the province’s diverse and growing array of products and international reputation for high food safety standards, food importers from around the world are exploring B.C.’s agrifood sector and discovering products like Canadian wine, salmon, meat and produce. 
British Columbia’s rich, fertile land, abundant fresh water supplies and diverse geography enable farmers to produce more than 200 agriculture products and 100 seafood species. While farming is at the heart of food production, a modern agrifood sector includes an even greater choice of products – from basic edibles like dairy, beef, shellfish and poultry to value-added products like wine, caviar and pet food, as well as non-edibles like flowers, cosmetics and textiles.

B.C.’s food and beverage processing industry is composed of more than 2,800 small- to medium-sized firms. This structure provides the industry with operational flexibility and the ability to satisfy consumers’ diverse tastes and preferences. In many cases, processors are strategically located in close proximity to a highly integrated transportation system, making it easy to ship their goods across North America or overseas.

 

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

British Columbia’s diverse agrifood industry relies on both land and sea. Here is a summary of key product areas:  

Farm products

  • Our farms and ranches produce beef, dairy, chicken, turkey, eggs, pork, mutton and lamb.
  • Our fields grow vegetables from asparagus to zucchini and our greenhouses produce tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce and peppers.
  • Our northern range produces grains and oilseeds.
  • We have a thriving industry in ornamental flowers and shrubs.

Seafood

  • British Columbia is known worldwide for wild and farmed salmon.
  • Other key fish species are halibut, hake, sablefish, herring and tuna. Shellfish include wild and farmed clams, farmed oysters, crab, prawns, geoduck, sea urchins and sea cucumber. We also produce a variety of marine plants. 

Beverages

  • British Columbia has long been recognized for award-winning wines.
  • Local brewers produce craft-brewed ciders, beers, and spirits, including whiskey, vodka, and other spirits.
  • Other products include fresh glacial spring water and a variety of fruit and vegetable juices.

Processed Foods

  • Our diverse agricultural production supports a varied food processing industry. In fact, food processing is among the largest of British Columbia’s manufacturing industries.
  • We also produce ethnic, organic and functional foods; sugar-confectionary and cocoa products; baked goods; food preparations for manufacturing and natural health products, sauces and soups; and specialty pet food.


 

KEY ADVANTAGES

The variety and high quality of British Columbia food products makes us an ideal market for buyers from around the world.
 

High food standards

We are recognized globally for our high-quality food products and safety standards.

 

Innovation

Our agrifood sector is flexible and resilient. We rely on a modern infrastructure that uses the latest research and technologies developed in collaboration across industry, government and academia.

 

Transportation

  • Because of our location on the West Coast of North America, shipping costs to Asian markets are lower and times are shorter than from competing suppliers.
  • The North American Free Trade Agreement ensures that companies located in British Columbia, regardless of their corporate nationality, can export and import duty-free within Canada, the United States, and Mexico, provided the goods meet NAFTA's Rules of Origin.
  • Our secure, reliable and integrated transportation networks make it efficient and cost-competitive to ship products to leading global markets.

Watch this short video on British Columbia’s Agrifoods advantages.



 

SNAPSHOT

From the traditional family farm, award-winning vineyards, wild fisheries, fish and shellfish farms, cattle ranches, high-tech greenhouses and state-of-the-art processing facilities, British Columbia’s agrifood sector is growing a worldwide reputation for variety and quality.

  • British Columbia produces more than 200 agriculture products and 100 seafood species. We are home to more than 2,800 food processing businesses.

  • In 2017, British Columbia’s agrifood industry produced $14.2 billion in sales of agriculture, food and seafood products.

  • We export $3.9 billion of agrifood and seafoodproducts to more than 157 markets worldwide.
  • The agrifood industry has been growing steadily, with total farm cash receipts increasing 3.2 per cent in 2017 to $3.2 billion.
  • In 2017, our top five exports were: Farmed Atlantic Salmon, food preparations for manufacturing and natural health products, baked goods and cereal products, blueberries and mushrooms.
  • Most British Columbia farms – 98 per cent – are family owned and operated.
 

Success Stories

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