Provincial government to fund shared food processing space in Kamloops

Food hub for Kamloops

The provincial government announced Monday it will develop a new food hub in Kamloops — an initiative aimed at increasing regional food security while supporting local businesses.

According to a news release from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, the government will be investing $750,000 to set up the space, working in partnership with the City of Kamloops and the Kamloops Food Policy Council.

Funds will go towards purchasing food processing equipment and covering other start-up costs.

The ministry said food hubs help small and medium sized businesses access shared food and beverage processing spaces and equipment to increase production and sales.

Lindsay Harris, food policy implementation lead for Kamloops Food Policy Council, said in a statement this initiative aligns with the council's values, promoting local economic vitality by supporting regional food producers.

“This critical investment in shared infrastructure for food processing will support food entrepreneurs [and] encourage more local farmers and ranchers to diversify their businesses with value-added products,” Harris said.

Kent Fawcett, founder of Local Pulse, makes plant-protein based foods, developing his own “just add water” products including dehydrated instant hummus and muesli.

In a statement, Fawcett said he is hoping to use Kamloops food hub’s shared kitchen to continue to grow his business.

“Kamloops is bursting at the seams with talented people who are passionate about good food,” Fawcett said.

“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.”

Three food hubs are already operating in Vancouver, Surrey and Port Alberni, and additional hubs will open in Quesnel and Salmon Arm later in 2021, according to the release.

In a statement, Lana Popham, minister of agriculture, food and fisheries, said that the hubs create new opportunities for businesses while strengthening food security, ensuring “British Columbians can rely on locally grown and processed food now and for generations to come.”

“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," Popham said.

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