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BUSINESS – – A Fraser Valley Tech Idea – Local Food That is Accessible and Less Costly (INTERVIEW and VIDEO)

Fraser Valley – Initially supported by $1 million in funding from Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster, Abbotsford-based Wisebox Solutions launched last year as a fast-tracked response to pandemic-induced food shortages, supply chain disruptions, grocery store crowding, and COVID outbreaks at B.C. food processing plants.

The first farm-to-table online marketplace of its kind doesn’t have any warehouses, with all orders picked up directly from local farms and vendors in the morning and delivered to customers later in the day.

Company co-founder and CEO Colin Schmidt has ties with the Valley. “The impact we’ve had on sustainability is really empowering those local farmers to actually start to scale their business. That matters because these small businesses, of course, are the backbone of our society and keep money local which has a much larger impact here.” Given growing public concern over inflation and food security, as well as interest in locally-sourced foods, Wisebox and its collaboration with the Supercluster, this is a business to keep an eye on.

As Supercluster Co-Founder and COO Bill Tam explained, “the project demonstrates the power of collaborative innovation to solve real challenges to the food supply caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, while also building a safer and more sustainable world through tech innovation.”

Less than 12 months later, the catastrophic flooding that was literally outside Wisebox’s front door highlighted yet another critical application for the marketplace. With food supply chains disrupted by road and port closures, enabled Fraser Valley producers to step up and feed their communities with stores of fruit, dairy products, vegetables, meat and seafood, to name a few products, that would likely have gone to waste otherwise.

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