Farmed salmon continues to dominate B.C.’s food and beverage exports with international sales last year valued at $562 million, helping push the sector’s overall sales to a record high of $10.5 billion, $700 million more than 2018.

Noting the food and beverage producers’ key role in B.C.’s economy, the Ministry of Agriculture said this latest data will provide a blueprint for the sector’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

“Our food and beverage processors here in B.C. have been at the forefront of innovation during the pandemic, adapting their businesses to suit both their needs and consumers. The record sales in 2019 set the foundation for a strong economic recovery,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “I’m so proud of our amazing producers and their contributions to a strong B.C. food system. Everyone can enjoy the high-quality, delicious locally made food and beverages when they choose to ‘Buy BC’ and support their communities.”

READ MORE: B.C.’s wild seafood exports snagged in Beijing’s recent COVID-19 panic

Areas of growth last year included a $300-million increase in meat and poultry sales, along with a $295-million increase in dairy sales and a $137-million increase in winery sales.

Last year also set a record for B.C. exports with $4.7 billion in sales of agricultural, seafood and food and beverage products to 152 different international markets.

“The continued revenue growth of the food and beverage processing sector in B.C. is a testament to the high degree of entrepreneurship and innovation in the industry,” James Donaldson, CEO of BC Food and Beverage said. “We’ve seen this trend for many years, which demonstrates why the industry is so important to B.C.’s economy.”

READ MORE: Strong season but no market for B.C.’s spot prawn fishers



quinn.bender@blackpress.ca