Victoria, BC — Farmers and food producers in the region received a boost with the BC Ministry of Agriculture’s announcement that it will provide $50,000 to fund a feasibility study for a food processing hub in the region.
The feasibility study will assess the viability of the Food Security Distribution Centre as a regional food hub. This food hub will ultimately connect local food producers and processors with the specialized equipment, expertise, and space to grow their businesses while providing greater food sustainability for the region. The current centre, a 22,000sq/ft warehouse space in Esquimalt was purchased in June of this year by The Mustard Seed through funding from the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, Vancity and the Victoria Foundation.
The Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable (CRFAIR), in partnership with The Mustard Seed and the Victoria Foundation, were the lead proponent for the $50,000 funding, with the South Island Prosperity Partnership (SIPP) engaging their members and other stakeholders in the region to add support to the successful application.
“A food hub will provide an ideal venue for local agricultural businesses to expand their operations. It’s great news for the agriculture sector within our economy,” said SIPP Interim CEO Bruce Williams. “This value-added processing will lead to added revenue for the sector, more jobs, plus increased capacity for our farmers and food producers.”
“The Food Security Distribution Centre will now see a broad range of partners come together to determine how to expand its infrastructure and services to support farmers and food producers
as well as promoting social good through food rescue and redistribution,” comments Linda Geggie, Executive Director of CRFAIR. “The addition of a food hub has been a high priority for
the region for some time and is a key part of the Good Food Strategy to build more viable and robust local food systems.”
“The feasibility study that’s made possible by this funding will be another significant step towards our goal of creating a more robust and resilient local food economy,” added Victoria Foundation CEO Sandra Richardson. “Connecting the dots on needs and opportunities will help ensure the food hub is successful and provides long-term benefits to the food security of our
“Through our continued work on programs related to food security and community development, the importance of collaboration has remained incredibly apparent. The partnerships we have created and fostered – with other local agencies, non-profits, businesses, and institutions – have truly allowed the programs we provide to reach their full potential, positively impacting our
diverse communities, and further strengthening our local food economy,” said Janiene Boice, Director of Development, Mustard Seed.