Spotlight on BC Agrifoods

Spotlight on BC Agrifoods

September 12, 2017 Posted by Abby Pollen

Food is at the centre of every family gathering, and in British Columbia family is at the heart of food production: 98 per cent of B.C. farms are family-owned and operated. And we put a lot of food on the table: B.C. producers export $3.8 billion worth of agrifood and seafood products annually to more than 160 markets worldwide.

Some of the most interesting food production developments come in liquid form, as local craft breweries cause a rise in demand for B.C. hops. The province now boasts 10 times the hops growers it had a decade ago, and over 100 craft breweries are snapping up their product locally. Combined sales from B.C. breweries, wineries, and distilleries amounted to $1.3 billion in 2016. With almost 1,000 vineyards producing over 21 million litres of wine annually, it’s no wonder the province is becoming a destination for wine lovers all over the world.

Other niche products are inspired by four-legged family members: B.C.'s pet food exports have increased by over 120%, with top export markets being the United States, New Zealand, and Hong Kong. The trend towards pet humanization and ethical treatment has increased demand for healthy pet food options, and Canadian exporters have made concerted efforts to meet the most stringent food safety standards.

B.C. has a global reputation for high-quality food products and safety standards, with secure, reliable and integrated transportation networks that make it efficient and cost-competitive to ship products to leading global markets.

Farmers in B.C. keep a competitive edge by taking advantage of the latest research and technologies. They enjoy proximity and exposure to leading clean tech innovators and their adoption of industry advancements has led to a blossoming modern agrifoods sector. High-tech greenhouses and state-of-the-art processing facilities keep British Columbia’s agrifood sector flexible and resilient, while leading the sector in innovation, competitiveness and market development. The province is also generating a growing selection of value-added products, such as non-edibles like flowers, cosmetics and textiles.

Members of B.C.’s agrifood sector participate in food and seafood expos around the world, including the upcoming Seafood Expo Asia, Asia Fruit Logistica, and Winter Fancy Food event. Trade and Invest BC helps local farmers connect with buyers and trade representatives in key markets, as well as participate in trade missions, tradeshows and promotional events.  With market intelligence and access to networking opportunities, British Columbians can feed the world and watch their family business grow.

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