Businesses in British Columbia’s agrifood sector serve the global marketplace. With B.C.’s diverse and growing selection of agrifood products including wine and seafood, an international reputation for high food safety standards and a favourable location for international shipping, British Columbia's agrifood sector is well-positioned for growth and investment in both existing and new markets.
|British Columbia food and beverage
|Sales in 2017
|Exports in 2017
Innovative growers and producers are breaking new ground, focusing on high-quality, value-added products and exploring niche markets at home and abroad.
Rich production potential – Fertile growing conditions and a diverse geography and climate support a variety of commodities, from marine and range products to soft fruits and flowers.
High food standards – British Columbia is recognized globally for our high-quality food products and safety standards.
Innovation – British Columbia's agrifood sector is flexible and resilient. We utilize modern infrastructure and the latest research and technologies developed in collaboration across industry, government, and academia.
Global markets – Markets for British Columbia food products are growing rapidly in South Korea, Philippines and Hong Kong.
Transportation advantages – Proximity to Asia result in lower shipping costs and shorter travel times than from competing suppliers. Duty-free access to the United States and Mexico, seamlessly connect to North American economic centres by secure, reliable transportation networks.
Skilled workforce – A skilled and experienced local workforce is supported by job training, recruitment and temporary foreign worker programs.
Positive business climate –
Business advantages include tax credits, funding programs and low cost of doing business.
Watch this short video on British Columbia’s Agrifoods advantages.
Agrifood & Seafood Snapshot
British Columbia’s geography and climate allow producers to cultivate a wide array of agrifood and seafood products.
Steady growth – In 2017, total farm cash receipts generated by British Columbia’s agriculture sector rose 4.1 per cent to $3.2 billion.
Varied agricultural production – A wide variety of farm products are produced, including dairy, cattle, poultry, tree fruits, vegetables, berries, grapes, mushrooms, bulbs, ornamental flowers and shrubs.
Value from the sea – British Columbia companies exported $1.3 billion worth of seafood products to 73 different markets in 2017.
Commercial fisheries and aquaculture – British Columbia is known worldwide for its wild and farmed salmon. Other seafood products include groundfish, shellfish and herring.
Alcoholic beverages – British Columbia has long been recognized for its award-winning wines. More recently, the province is attracting international interest in craft-brewed ciders, beers and spirits.
Diverse food processing industry – A wide range of agricultural and seafood products support a varied food processing industry. While fish, dairy, poultry, meat and beverages dominate production, value-added specialty food products are increasing. Consumer interest in safe, high-quality and sustainably produced food drives growth and innovation in this industry.
Global access – British Columbia's highly integrated transportation system makes it easy to access high-quality agriculture products and to ship fresh, value-added products worldwide.
Support Programs for the Agrifoods Industry
In addition to general business programs, British Columbia offers specific programs for the agrifood sector. See the Canadian Agricultural Partnership program for information on supports for your agribusiness investment in British Columbia. It includes:
- Buy BC Partnership Program - provides up to $2M in funding per year over the next three years to increase the competitiveness of British Columbia’s agrifood and seafood industry in the domestic market. Learn more about the Buy BC Partnership Program.
- B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program - Enables BritishColumbia producers and processors to make more informed decisions and strengthen their business. Learn more about the B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program
- B.C. Agrifood & Seafood Market Development Program - Provides funding to support businesses to develop marketing skills, purchase market research, create marketing plans and expand export sales. Learn about the B.C. Agrifood & Seafood Market Development Program.
- Beneficial Management Practices Program - - Supports producers to implement practices, identified through an Environmental Farm Plan, to increase agricultural sustainability, address climate change and contribute to a cleaner environment. Learn about the Beneficial Management Practices Program.
- Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program - The Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program is designed to accelerate the pace of agrifood related innovation to enhance the sector's competitiveness, sustainability, productivity and resiliency. Learn more about the Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program.
- Environmental Farm Plan Program - Farm operations can apply for assistance to complete agri-environmental risk assessments. Visit the Environmental Farm Plan Program page to learn more.
- B.C. Indigenous Agriculture Development Program - Provides support for the development of agriculture and agrifood opportunities within Indigenous Communities. Visit the B.C. Indigenous Agriculture Development Program page.
- BC Food Safety & Traceability - helps ensure food safety and quality, with financial incentives to implement food safety management and tracing systems. Learn about the BC Food Safety & Traceability program.
- Premises ID - Livestock and poultry premises can register for the BC Premises Identification Program in support of the National Agriculture and Food Traceability System. Learn more about Premises ID.
- Traceability Knowledge Transfer - Supports agrifood and seafood industry organizations to educate their membership about traceability systems, practices, infrastructure and technologies. Learn more about Traceability Knowledge Transfer.
- Environmental Farm Plan - Supports producers to complete environmental and climate change risk assessments related to agriculture. Learn more about the Environmental Farm Plan
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership program:
- AgriMarketing - will make investments that help promote Canadian products in international markets