The B.C. government will invest $2 million into food processing equipment and other startup costs for three new food hubs on Vancouver Island.
The hubs in Bowser, Victoria and Cowichan Valley will help small and medium-sized businesses access shared food and beverage processing space and equipment to increase their production and sales, the province said.
“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 food hub in Bowser will focus on seafood processing, while the Cowichan Valley and Victoria locations will work with farmers and food processors to create more value-added products.
The projects are a partnership between the province and the City of Victoria, the Victoria Community Food Hub Society, Cowichan Valley Regional District, Cowichan Green Community Society and Vancouver Island University.
Three food hubs are already operating in Vancouver, Surrey and Port Alberni, with additional hubs in Quesnel and Salmon Arm opening later this year.
B.C.’s food and beverage processors produce over $10 billion worth of value-added products each year, according to the provincial government.