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More opportunities for economic growth coming soon to the Okanagan

Food and beverage producers in the Okanagan will have more opportunities to grow their businesses with the development of a new food hub in Salmon Arm.

“The province’s processing sector is seeing success all over B.C., and we are supporting farmers and food and beverage producers who want to take their products to the next level,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “A new food hub will offer entrepreneurs in the Okanagan a place where they can create and package new products, receive business support and engage in training opportunities to help develop new innovative products that will strengthen food security, create good jobs and help the local economy thrive.”

The B.C. government is partnering with the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society and providing $500,000 to develop the new food hub in Salmon Arm to help businesses access shared food and beverage processing space and equipment in order to increase their sales.  

The hub is scheduled to open next year. The society has received strong interest from potential clients who make products from local fruit, vegetable and livestock/poultry farms as well as support from area businesses and social organizations.

Food hubs bring jobs, skills training, community-building and business opportunities to the regions in which they operate.

The BC Food Hub Network is part of the Province’s Feed BC initiative, increasing the use of B.C. food and bringing more opportunities to all aspects of B.C.’s food system. Feed BC is a priority for the Ministry of Agriculture, which is committed to encouraging more agriculture and seafood production and food and beverage processing in B.C.

Quotes:

Lana Fitt, economic development manager, Salmon Arm Economic Development Society –

“The Food Hub will provide a shared processing space and create a venue for knowledge sharing designed to support the growth of local businesses. The funding announcement from B.C.’s Ministry of Agriculture enables our community to move forward with this important project, which will strengthen our economy.”

Chad Shipmaker, board member, Salmon Arm Economic Development Society –

“The goal of the food hub is to establish a mechanism to support a healthy, more resilient local food system. This funding announcement is very timely, as it will support both economic recovery and business growth in our community.” 

Alan Harrison, mayor, City of Salmon Arm –

“The Minister of Agriculture has supported this initiative from idea through to implementation and we are very grateful for this support. As a region built upon a long history and a current economy of agriculture activities, the Shuswap is an ideal location in which to expand the B.C. Food Hub Network.”

Quick Facts:

  • B.C.’s food and beverage processors produce over $10 billion worth of value-added products each year.
  • Salmon Arm Economic Development Society is looking forward to collaborating on the food hub initiative with regional organizations, including the Salmon Arm Innovation Centre, the Shuswap Launch-a-Preneur Program, Community Futures Shuswap and Okanagan College.
  • The new hub will be the fifth in B.C. and the first in the Okanagan, joining three hubs operating in Vancouver, Surrey and Port Alberni, and a fourth opening soon in Quesnel.
  • The B.C. Food Hub Network is supporting the establishment of a network of regional shared food processing and innovations hubs. The hubs increase value-added processing opportunities for producers and processors and advance innovation in B.C.’s food and beverage processing sector. 

Learn More:

Feed BC: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/growbc-feedbc-buybc/feed-bc

Salmon Arm Economic Development Society: https://www.saeds.ca/   

Salmon Arm Innovation Centre: https://www.innovatesa.ca/

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