The B.C. Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries is investing an additional $50,000 into the new Fraser Valley Artisans Food Hub in Abbotsford.
The money will be used to purchase additional technology to support access to the shared-use training kitchen and facilities. The funds are in addition to the $750,000 announced in February by the ministry to purchase equipment and cover other start-up costs.
Another $999,450 in provincial funding was announced for retrofitting and upgrading the building.
The project will be located at 2570 Cyril St. in the former site of the Abbotsford District Teachers’ Association. It is being developed in partnership with the City of Mission and the Mission Community Skills Centre (MSCS) Society.
MSCS executive director Stephen Evans said the food hub will help small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) access food-related business planning and training services, including resources to help connect with nutrition, traceability, and local small-business financing.
He said information related to packing options, product development, social media, resource lists for equipment suppliers, distribution, and grants and contributions for ag-food SMEs will also be available.
“Foodies can also use a shared-use tasting kitchen to increase their product development and better commercialize their business concepts,” Evans said.
He said the project also includes the formation of a separate legal entity called the Fraser Valley Artisans Food Hub Inc.
Lana Popham –minister of agriculture, food and fisheries – said the Fraser Valley is “a significant agricultural region” in the province with farms of all sizes growing, raising and harvesting food.
“We’re excited to be supporting the new Fraser Valley Food Hub, which will help more farmers and food producers add value to their products, leading to a more resilient food system in B.C.,” she said.
Participants within the local food hub network can become owner/operators, users, and/or service providers of the regional food hub. The local food hub manager is Josie Van Patter.
It’s not known when the hub will be fully operational, but it’s hope that the shared kitchen will be up and running by the fall.
Visit fraservalleyartisansfoodhub.com for more information.