It was a very good year, to say the least.
The B.C. food industry has reported a record year for sales in 2018.
Annual revenue from B.C. farming, ranching, seafood, and processing industries contributed to an all-time high of $15 billion, according to a B.C. government announcement today (December 13).
B.C. marked a new record of $4.5 billion in exports, an increase of 10 percent over 2017. Local producers exported $3.1 billion worth of farm and food products and $1.4 billion worth of seafood to almost 150 international markets.
Among the top exports were farmed Atlantic salmon ($541 million), food preparations for processing and natural health products ($361 million), blueberries ($230 million), and baked goods ($230 million).
Top importers of B.C. food and seafood include the United States ($3.1 billion), China ($533 million), and Japan ($224 million). Among the fastest growing export markets are Ukraine (109 percent), Vietnam (39 percent), and Taiwan (28 percent).
In addition, B.C. sold an estimated $4 billion worth of products to other Canadian provinces and territories.
Within the province, local consumers and companies purchased an estimated $1.1 billion worth of wine, beer, and spirits; $800 million worth of meat and poultry; $440 million worth of seafood; and $200 million worth of vegetables and fruits.
In 2017, the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture launched a new mandate to support B.C. farming with three initiatives: Grow BC, to create food hub networks to support entrepreneurs and food processors; Feed BC, to encourage the use of B.C. products in government institutions and facilities; and Buy BC, to help promote the products of over 200 provincial companies.
The food and beverage processing industry is the province’s second-largest processing sector, with 2,917 establishments.