The City of Richmond is creating a food hub to support local farmers, fishers, producers and processors in the Lower Mainland.
Food hubs are shared food and beverage processing facilities offering access to “commercial processing space, equipment, expertise and resources” to support business growth, according to the B.C. government.
Richmond’s new hub will be the 14th one in the B.C.-wide network of food hubs catering to the unique needs of each community and region.
Pamela Baxter, president of the Small Scale Food Processor Association, said in a media release that Richmond is the “perfect location” for a new hub because it needs “more available kitchen space and related supports for budding food processors.”
“Food hubs provide not only equipment and space, but also education and training to make it easier for enthusiastic growers, fishers and producers to navigate food-safety requirements and other regulations,” said Baxter.
“Tenants can learn about food safety, business, scaling up and all the behind-the-scenes requirements to succeed in a competitive environment.”
The city has received $1 million from the provincial government to fund the creation of the hub and will be spending the next 18 months researching and planning for the facility, including finding a location and deciding what the hub will look like.
“Richmond has a thriving agricultural and seafood sector, key strengths in manufacturing and processing, as well as a vibrant restaurant and culinary scene,” said mayor Malcolm Brodie.
“This initiative will build on these existing strengths to provide more opportunities for innovation, support for entrepreneurs and to create new jobs.”