May 10, 2023 By Government of British Columbia
A new food processing growth fund of as much as $20 million will help B.C. food- and beverage-processing businesses increase productivity, economic opportunities and competitiveness, while strengthening food security for British Columbians.
“Helping B.C.’s food and beverage companies increase their production will result in more B.C. ingredients being used, more B.C. products being enjoyed, and more economic activity in communities around our province,” said Pam Alexis, provincial minister of agriculture and food. “The fund will help businesses increase their capacity and sales, and further support the food security and livelihoods of British Columbians.”
The fund will support upgrades to established businesses, such as new or expanded production and storage facilities, the use of robotics and other technology, new product development and commercialization, specialized training for production staff on new technology and systems, and the hiring of specialized experts, such as food scientists, to support new products and processes.
“By investing in B.C.’s food- and beverage-processing businesses, we are not only promoting economic growth and creating new job opportunities, but also ensuring the security and sustainability of our local food system,” said James Donaldson, CEO of B.C. Food & Beverage. “This fund will help these businesses scale up, innovate and stay competitive, while also increasing the use of locally sourced ingredients and products. It’s a win-win for British Columbians and the province’s largest manufacturing sector.”
Eligible recipients include established B.C.-based food, beverage and seafood processors with $500,000 in annual revenue, as well as commercial food hubs, for-rent commercial kitchens, and industry groups and associations. The fund will be delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C. (IAF).
The IAF and its partner organizations are also developing a program to support small-scale food processors and abattoirs with annual revenues less than $500,000, and anticipates the program will open this summer.
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