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New food hub to strengthen food security in Fraser Valley

New food hub to strengthen food security in Fraser Valley

February 24, 2021 at 8:32 am  BC, News, Politics

Food and beverage producers will soon have more opportunities to grow their businesses while increasing food security with the development of a new food hub in Abbotsford.

“B.C. food hubs create new opportunities for small- and medium-sized businesses and strengthen food security, so British Columbians can rely on locally grown and processed food now and for generations to come,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. “Our BC Food Hub network is a wonderful example of innovation at a local level, creating jobs and supporting farming, skills training and community building in the regions they operate.”

The B.C. government is investing up to $750,000 to purchase food-processing equipment and cover other startup costs in partnership with the District of Mission and the Mission Community Skills Centre Society. The hub will help small- and medium-scaled businesses access shared food and beverage processing space and equipment to increase their production and sales.

The Fraser Valley is home to a rich agricultural history, thanks to the hardworking people that live here,” said Pam Alexis, MLA for Abbotsford-Mission. “As our agricultural community continues to grow, so do the ideas that people bring to the table to innovate our food. The new food hub will help support small business owners with the resources they need to build on their ideas leading to a stronger food supply for all British Columbians.”

One of the local Fraser Valley businesses looking forward to using the new food hub is Field House Brewing, owned and operated by Josh Vanderheide since 2016. The brewery includes an eatery that sources many of its ingredients from local farms and businesses, and produces its own grain used in many of Field House’s beers. Vanderheide hopes to use the shared kitchen and support resources from the new Abbotsford Food Hub to help continue to grow his business.

“As a local entrepreneur involved in our food community, we are very excited to hear about the development of a regional food hub,” Vanderheide said. “We see a growing need for additional shared kitchen space and resources for value-add processing. This food hub will be a key component of building more resilient and thriving food ecosystem in the Fraser Valley.”

Quotes:

Danny Plecas, acting mayor, District of Mission –

“The District of Mission is pleased to collaborate with the Province of B.C. and the Mission Community Skills Centre Society to realize the development of the Abbotsford-Mission Food Hub. The hub will be instrumental in furthering agricultural production and processing activities and bringing innovation and new employment to Mission.”

Stephen Evans, executive director, Mission Community Skills Centre Society –

“On behalf of Mission Community Skills Centre Society and our partners, we are delighted by the opportunities the new Fraser Valley Food Hub will bring to local producers and processors. The hub will help food entrepreneurs access training and supports while providing a shared space to commercialize their ideas. The Province set out on a bold plan to enhance a made-in-B.C. local supply chain and we wish to thank the minister for her vision.”

Quick Facts:

  • B.C.’s food and beverage processors produce more than $10 billion worth of value-added products each year.
  • $5.6 million through StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan have been earmarked for the expansion of the BC Food Hub Network.
  • Three food hubs are already operating in Vancouver, Surrey and Port Alberni, with additional hubs in Quesnel and Salmon Arm opening later in 2021.
  • The BC Food Hub Network supports 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:

BC Food Hub Network: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/growbc-feedbc-buybc/bc-food-hub-network

StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/

Field House Brewing: https://fieldhousebrewing.com/crafting-good-beer-good-times-in-east-abby-bc/

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