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2018 was record year for BC food sales


December 31, 2019
By BC Ministry of Agriculture
Photo from: BC Ministry of Agriculture

B.C. farmers, ranchers, seafood and processing workers contributed to a record-setting year in 2018, with annual revenue from businesses in those sectors reaching $15 billion for the first time.

“It was an excellent year for agriculture in British Columbia. The hard work of many has led to record results,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “The people who make up B.C.’s agriculture industry are hard-working and dedicated, and their passion for growing, raising, harvesting and producing fresh great-tasting food and beverages is why the industry is reaching new heights.”

The milestone includes increases such as a 4% rise in food processing, 6% in agriculture and 11% in seafood revenues. The number of overall sector employees in B.C. also increased to a 10-year high of 63,400 in 2018, with 2,300 more jobs than the year before.

B.C. consumers and companies continue to be the main buyers of B.C. products, with an estimated $6.4 billion of purchases.

B.C. also set new record in 2018 with exports of $4.5 billion — about 10% higher than in 2017. B.C. producers sent $3.1 billion worth of farm and food products and $1.4 billion worth of seafood to 149 international markets, with the United States, China and Japan as the top importers. B.C. companies also sold an estimated $4 billion worth of products in other Canadian provinces and territories.

“Congratulations to all my fellow farmers and ranchers for their hard work and innovation that makes British Columbia a great place to live, work and enjoy local products,” says Stan Vander Waal, president of the BC Agriculture Council.