New food hub to strengthen food security in Kamloops
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 Kamloops.
“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 City of Kamloops and the Kamloops Food Policy Council. The hub will help small- and medium-scaled businesses access shared food and beverage processing space and equipment to increase their production and sales.
“Farmers and food producers in and around Kamloops work together to provide food for families in our communities, contributing to a safe, reliable and delicious food supply for British Columbians,” said Harwinder Sandhu, MLA for Vernon-Monashee. “I’m excited to see that a new food hub is coming to Kamloops after so much work from the community to make this a reality. By creating space for food producers and processors to work together and expand on their existing skills, we’re strengthening food security for all British Columbians and ensuring the people of Kamloops can shop and eat local.”
One of the local businesses looking forward to using the new food hub is Local Pulse, founded by Kent Fawcett in 2018. Fawcett makes plant-protein-based foods to help more people eat more pulses like peas, beans and lentils. He has developed his own “just add water” products, which include dehydrated instant hummus and a muesli made with pea protein. Fawcett hopes to use the Kamloops food hub’s shared kitchen and support resources to help continue to grow his business and create more products for customers.
“I am thrilled that Kamloops is getting a food hub,” Fawcett said. “Kamloops is bursting at the seams with talented people who are passionate about good food. Through the food hub, local foodie entrepreneurs will have access to resources and equipment to turn their tasty ideas into successful businesses and become a part of a collaborative community that will strengthen our local food system for future generations.”
Ben Chobater, community development co-ordinator, City of Kamloops –
“The City of Kamloops has been privileged to be a partner with the Kamloops Food Policy Council (KFPC) for many years – a group that shares the values of ensuring a vibrant and sustainable community. With the KFPC leading the charge to develop a regional food hub that improves market access for local producers, the City of Kamloops proudly and confidently supports its efforts for creating a brighter future.”
Lindsay Harris, food policy implementation lead, KFPC –
“At the KFPC, one of our values is to promote local economic vitality through support for regional food producers. This critical investment in shared infrastructure for food processing will support food entrepreneurs, encourage more local farmers and ranchers to diversify their businesses with value-added products and create a bridge to a greener and more diversified economy.”
- 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 innovation hubs. The hubs increase value-added processing opportunities for producers and processors and advance innovation in B.C.’s food and beverage processing sector.
StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/
Local Pulse: https://localpulse.ca/