British Columbia offers tremendous potential for the application of new technologies to agriculture and food production to help strengthen the sector.
West Coast Fishculture
's fresh steelhead are native to the Pacific Northwest and favoured by seafood lovers and discerning chefs. West Coast Fishculture is developing and testing new, alternative technology that advances humane harvesting, sustainable fish farming practices and proprietary cage technology, including through its AgriMarine Floating Closed Containment System.
Breeding and Genetics
Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. (OSF)
is a dynamic agricultural company that uses biotechnology and molecular tools to develop new tree fruit varieties. Located in British Columbia’s sunny Okanagan region, OSF is one of the first firms to use biotechnology to deliver product innovations to the tree fruit industry. OSF’s revolutionary innovation is the development and commercialization of non-browning apples.
Nutrients and Crop Protection
British Columbia’s innovative agritech companies are focused on providing nutrients and protecting plant health and crops from pests, weed and diseases. These companies use biology and technologies that are nontoxic and environmentally friendly.
’ precision farming platform and pest management tools have twice earned it a space on the Thrive Top 50 Global Agtech Companies’ annual ranking. Ecoation
’s autonomous scout robots monitor plant health, forecast crop yields and perform spot treatments. This North Vancouver company received the 2018 Greentech Innovation Concept Award in Amsterdam
, a global agritech leader based out of Vancouver, is fusing proprietary green chemistry technology and artificial intelligence to reduce global synthetic pesticide loads. Terramera is the 2020 recipient of Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas award. Ostara
, headquartered in Vancouver, develops game-changing technology for nutrient management and wastewater treatment.
IoT – the internet of things
seafood traceability software works with IoT wireless devices. The Tally Tracker software connects to scales, sensors, scanners and accounting software and allows users to digitize the data collection process to improve monitoring, analysis, reporting, compliance and productivity.
has a unique solution for saving farmers’ time and money. Its system uses remote monitoring and wireless sensors to collect real-time data to highlight accurate and current conditions, and historical data for future preparations. This capability is essential when farmers face a lack of available farm employees, as they have been during COVID-19. The historical data supports farmers to better prepare for the future. For example, when a farmer wants to know if a crop is well-watered, the remote sensors provide real-time information. This start-up is listed on Rocket Builders’ Emerging Rocket List for Agri-Food 2020
Farm At Hand’s
app makes farm management easier, with crop planning and field-activity, storage, contract, equipment maintenance, sales management, cost and revenue tracking.
Farm to Consumer
Restaurant and consumer expectations are changing. They are looking for more transparency from farmers, including knowledge of their farming practices, from animal welfare to environmental impact.
provides consumers with 100% farm transparency. Meatme.ca collaborates with local farms through an online platform that allows consumers to research individual farms and their practices and then place online custom orders with free home delivery.
provides food distribution through its digital marketplace where wholesalers across North America can set up a custom shop to reach new consumers while also benefiting from a Whitelabel aggregated marketplace on one platform.
In many ways, COVID-19 accelerated digital transformation. When Organic Ocean Seafood
’s high-end customers dried up, the company pivoted to create an online e-commerce business going directly to end consumers and home chefs. This new market is now a permanent part of their future strategy.
These innovative businesses are examples of start-ups using technology to improve food supply. Enterra
is harnessing the nutritional power of insects that naturally upcycle nutrients from organic matter to create sustainable, high-quality animal and pet feed. Its use of traceable, recycled food, including fruits, vegetables and grains, to feed the insects they produce, keeps waste out of landfills and reduces greenhouse gases.
, based in Delta, is redefining clean and green extraction without organic solvents. Its patented PhytoClean™ technology produces clean, high-quality extracts from various plant materials of varying moisture contents, whether extracting bioactives from dry tea or a moist berry pomace. Extract ingredients are used in various functional foods, dietary supplements and beauty products.
Irrigation and Water Management
Worldwide, water is a critical resource. Improved agriculture irrigation efficiency is essential for a planet facing climate change, a growing population and regions faced with scarce freshwater supplies. Skaha Remote Sensing
, headquartered in British Columbia's Okanagan region, is focused on precision irrigation technology and efficient water management. Its intelligent irrigation uses detailed, site-specific, daily high-resolution soil moisture maps to take the guesswork out of irrigation scheduling.
Health of Livestock
, headquartered in Duncan, British Columbia, has designed new technology for the early detection of udder infections (mastitis) in dairy cows. Its integrated system includes a handheld device and software for continuous and individual monitoring of livestock animals for early detection of illness.
Machinery and Robotics
Yield increase and cost reduction is the focus of the innovators of Clean Seed Capital Group.
Its SMART Seeder Technology uses digital, robotic and machine precision placement to control the volume of seeds and nutrients. The systems are ideal for even the most sensitive crops, like canola.
food drying technology helps create new value from food, preventing waste and increasing crop value with its new revolutionary food drying technology. Its portable and scalable food drying solutions use patented NuGenesis™ vacuum microwave drying technology to provide drying solutions used by primary processors and food manufacturers.
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Learn how British Columbia agritech is transforming the global food system
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