B.C. to develop new food hub in Summerland
February 21, 2023 By Government of British Columbia
British Columbia’s farmers and food and beverage producers and processors will soon have more opportunities to grow their businesses while helping strengthen food security with the development of a new food hub in Summerland.
“Expanding the B.C. Food Hub Network to the south Okanagan will bring new opportunities to local farms and businesses that will help them increase their production, sales and market presence,” said Pam Alexis, provincial minister of agriculture and food. “Summerland is known for its amazing fruit, like cherries, strawberries and peaches, and the food hub will enable entrepreneurs in the area to use those locally grown ingredients to create products to share with British Columbians.”
In partnership with the District of Summerland and Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen, the Government of B.C. is investing $800,000 over two years in a new Okanagan Food and Innovation Hub (OFIH) in Summerland and growing the B.C. Food Hub Network to 13 facilities throughout the province. The hub will be located in the District of Summerland and will open in summer 2024.
“Farmers, producers and processors in Summerland share a passion for the agriculture and food industry and bringing the delicious flavours of the south Okanagan to happy eaters across the region and beyond,” said Roly Russell, parliamentary secretary for rural development. “The development of the Okanagan Food and Innovation Hub will provide a catalyst for development of innovative and new ideas by providing access to top-of-the-line equipment and a creative space to nurture the growth of local companies.
“This is the kind of project that helps build more resilience into rural community economies while strengthening food security for all British Columbians.”
Food hubs provide a commercial, shared food-processing and innovation space which help increase the volume of food grown and processed locally. This creates more demand for ingredients from local farmers and increases the number of people employed locally by the food industry while addressing food safety and security issues.
“Like many other producers in the area, I believe this food hub facility will help increase the possibility of primary production and create opportunities for new added-value revenue streams for farmers in Summerland,” said Thomas Tumbach, owner, LocalMotive Organic Delivery and Low Waste Market. “At LocalMotive, we would be interested in the use of a value-added processing line for various products like preserved fruits, jams, syrups, salsas and pickled vegetables, which would primarily be made from ingredients from our farm and neighbouring farmers in the area.”
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