B.C. farmers are set to benefit from a $4.3 million agrifoods export program announced this morning on Granville Island.
The B.C. Agrifoods Export Program will provide matching funds to support industry participation at international tradeshows, promotional events, incoming and outgoing trade missions, and to develop marketing materials for international audiences.
(Applications for the new program are available here.)
“These investments will assist B.C. agrifood producers and processors to take full advantage of new opportunities that the government is creating through the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union,” said MP Kerry Lynne Findlay on behalf of federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.
The program will build on B.C.’s export success. Each year, the province exports about $2.5 billion of agrifood products to more than 130 countries.
Several stakeholders provided statements on the new program:
Dave Eto, chair of the BC Food Processors Association: “It is always good news when resources are made available to help grow industry activities. We have a huge diversity of innovative local products that need to find international markets. This program should help our industry to access these markets, grow our economy and create additional jobs for British Columbians.”
Christina Burridge, executive director of the BC Seafood Alliance: ”Seafood accounts for almost $1 billion of the $2.5 billion in agrifood exports so we are pleased that British Columbia and Canada will work with our exporters to increase that value.”
Debbie Etsell, executive director of the BC Blueberry Council: ”B.C. blueberries are the number one fruit export from B.C. and this new export program will be beneficial to our growers and enable competitive and sustainable access in the target markets in China, Japan, India, southwest Asia and the EU.”