BCNDP Finance & Ag Critic speak up for BC Food Innovation Centre  

Posted

I've spent a lot of time with BC Food Processors over the last six months. One priority that has become clear is the value of a "Food Innovation Centre".

The BC FIC could be a hub to the agri-food sector, providing skill development and knowledge resources to food entrepreneurs around the province.

Ontario and Manitoba are good examples of provinces that support food processing and agriculture with innovation centres.

Unfortunately the BC Liberals don't see it that way and are turning their back on this idea and on an industry that could be a dominant economic driver in our province.

In fact, the BC Liberals are cutting funds for this effort by 42% for the 2012/2013 fiscal year.

In response, The BC Food Processors fired back last week:
Passed around with no champion, it appears the Centre will be forced to lay off all of its five staff members as early as Nov. 16th, 2012 and perhaps even be forced to shut down. If this happens, BC’s food processing industry, part of the number one economic driver of the economy, will be the loser. While the Ag Minister and the Premier continue to make speeches featuring the $ 3.5 billion in new sales and the 20,000 new jobs to be created through innovation in the agrifood sector by 2017 it seems meeting these targets is now even farther away.  
Click here to read the BCFPA's entire release.

Finance Critic Bruce Ralston and myself as Agriculture Critic are in full support of the Food Innovation Centre here in British Columbia. There must be a way to make this work! Click here to read our support letter.