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2015 Another Record Year For B.C. Agrifood Revenues

Victoria/Fraser Valley (Media Release from The Province of BC) – Sales of B.C. agrifood products topped $13 billion for the first time in 2015, growing by more than $700 million for the second consecutive year, and contributing to a $2.5 billion (24%) rise in revenues since 2010.

The B.C. government has been partnering with growers and trading partners to increase markets for B.C. farmers and food producers, and the benefits of working together are showing results. The growth in sales has occurred across B.C.’s diverse agrifood and seafood sectors with:

  • The primary agriculture sector (farmers, ranchers and producers) up 4.5% to $3.1 billion;
  • The seafood sector up 4.7% to $867 million; and
  • The food and beverage manufacturing sector up 9.1% to $9.1 billion.

B.C. market shares are expanding in part through programs supported by the B.C. government. The $8-million Buy Local program increases the sales of B.C. products within the province, while a network of 13 international trade offices, B.C. trade missions, and innovation and market development funding have all played roles in growing B.C.’s sales across the country and around the world.

Increasing production, driving competitiveness, and building markets are three key priorities of the B.C. Agrifood and Seafood Strategic Growth Plan that has an overall goal of growing the B.C. agrifoods sector to a $15-billion-a-year industry by 2020.

Norm Letnick, B.C. Agriculture Minister –

“The B.C. Government has a plan to grow the sector to $15 billion by 2020 and it is clearly working. Through our partnerships with B.C.’s food producers, we’ve seen new markets develop and new successes for our farmers and food producers, with annual sector revenues growing by $2.5 billion in five short years as a result.”

James Donaldson, BC Food Processors Association CEO –

“To see the sector surpass the $13 billion mark – with food and beverage processing industry representing over $9 billion with 9% growth in 2015 – is very exciting. The agrifoods sector has a major impact on B.C.’s economy and has been demonstrating growth year after year, so this is a success story that everyone can celebrate.”

Jeremy Dunn, BC Salmon Farmers Association executive director –

“Demand for salmon raised in B.C. has never been higher with exports reaching a record 11 markets. The United States remains our most important trading partner, and will be so for some time, however we are encouraged at the market diversification and the prospects for growing demand in the future – particularly in Asia.”

Christina Burridge, BC Seafood Alliance executive director –

“B.C.’s reputation for sustainable, high quality seafood from clean waters continues to grow around the Pacific Rim. The ministry’s programs help us better meet the needs of our customers in these high value markets. It’s a partnership between industry and government that’s working well.”

Stan Vanderwaal, BC Agriculture Council chair –

“Hard working B.C. farm families are proud to grow and raise some of the best and highest quality products in the world. In today’s very competitive business environment, B.C. farmers utilize a blend of modern technology and proven farming practices to expand and contribute to the economic success of the province and quality of life we enjoy in B.C.”

Quick Facts:

  • The $13 billion sales of B.C. agrifood & seafood products in 2015 is 7.6% higher than 2014.
  • Approximately 20,000 farms utilize 2.6 million hectares to produce more than 200 agriculture products.
  • The top agricultural commodities in terms of farm cash receipts in B.C. in 2015: were dairy products, chicken, beef, greenhouse vegetables, floriculture, nursery, blueberries, eggs, mushrooms and cherries.
  • Net cash income for primary agricultural production increased 21.5% in 2015 to $440 million, up from  $362 million in 2014.
  • The top seafood commodities in terms of sales in B.C. in 2015 were farm-raised salmon, crabs, halibut, prawns, geoduck, sablefish, rockfish, wild chum salmon, and herring.
  • In 2015, farmed seafood production increased 31% over 2014 to 96,000 tonnes, while landed values increased by 20% to $497 million. Commercial fishers harvested 159,000 tonnes of wild fish, shellfish and marine plants in 2015, down 5% from 2014, with values of $370 million.
  • B.C.’s food and beverage manufacturing sector is comprised of about 2,500 firms, many of which source locally produced ingredients, and is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the province.
  • Top food and beverage manufacturing categories include meat & poultry products, dairy products, beer, wine and spirits production, seafood products, food for animals, baked goods, and fruit and vegetable products.

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