Record $10.5 billion sales for B.C. food and beverage processors in 2019

RECORD 2019 sales, along with the resilience and innovation of B.C. food and beverage processors, are providing a blueprint for the sector’s economic recovery from COVID-19, the Province said on Wednesday.

Food and beverage processors play a key role in B.C.’s food system and overall economy. In 2019, sales were up $700 million to a record $10.5 billion.

“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.”

Areas of growth 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.

2019 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. In every region, farmers and producers continue to play a crucial role in contributing to both the local economy and the overall provincial economy.

“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,” said James Donaldson, CEO, BC Food and Beverage. “We’ve seen this trend for many years, which demonstrates why the industry is so important to B.C.’s economy.”

The government said it is committed to strengthening B.C.’s food system through the three pillars of Grow BC, Feed BC and Buy BC. This includes helping more people get into farming, expanding local food production through the BC Food Hub Network, moving more locally grown and processed foods into hospitals and other public institutions, and making it easier for consumers to identify made-in-B.C. products.

Quick Facts

* B.C.’s food and beverage processing industry is comprised of 2,995 establishments and is the second-largest processing sector in the province in sales.

* There were 35,700 food and beverage processing jobs in B.C. in 2019.

* Top five sales in 2019 were:
– $1.9 billion in beverages (includes soft drinks, wineries and breweries);

– $1.9 billion in meat and poultry products;

– $1.7 billion in other food processing products (includes snack foods, coffees and teas, flavouring syrups and concentrates and seasonings and dressings);

– $1.6 billion in dairy products; and

– $900 million in bakery and tortilla products.

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