Innovation Front & Center at Project Showcase
Leaders from across the industry came together at the 2018 Showcase of BC Projects in Abbotsford to collectively illustrate some of the latest (and greatest!) ideas that offer a bright future for BC agriculture.
The event, held in conjunction with the IAF Annual General Meeting on April 12th, featured exhibits from close to 40 projects funded through IAF that are helping to fuel innovation and market growth in primary production and food processing.
Hedy Dyck, Chief Operating Officer for the BC Landscape and Nursery Association (BCLNA), was among many funding recipients who have witnessed significant impacts unfold for her sector thanks to project support.
“Showcasing BCLNA’s projects is important to the nursery industry as well as other sectors, as we learn from the diversity of projects and how they can enable industry to move forward to face challenges,” says Hedy. “It is a pleasure to work with IAF to find the pathways to address emerging issues and build a strong and vibrant industry.”
Programs like the Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program proved particularly instrumental for a variety of sectors. For Dr. Saber Miresmailli, Founder and CEO of Ecoation Innovative Solutions, Innovation funding played a vital role in his efforts to advance crop health technology. With the development and commercialization of Crop Sense™, a wireless crop health monitoring system, growers can now identify where and when treatment is needed based on plant-generated signals before symptoms arise, significantly reducing crop loss, labour and pesticide applications.
Zuun Nutrition received Innovation funding to develop and commercialize an all-natural diabetic meal replacement drink, while Big Mountain Foods (BMF) accessed support through different funding programs to help expand their product line and grow their business. After developing the unique meat-free and allergy-friendly CauliCrumble Veggie Grounds with the help of Innovation funding, the family business turned to the BC Government’s Buy Local Program and the BC Agrifood & Seafood Export Program to revitalize their brand. The resulting increase in listings, sales and online exposure in both local and international markets is creating more lucrative opportunities for both BMF and their value chain partners in BC.
“With the increased demand we have been able to evolve from a small- to a medium-sized food manufacturer that is creating more jobs and sourcing more local ingredients,” BMF vice president, Jasmine Chamberland explains, noting that BMF has since employed several more full-time staff and now purchase truckloads of local ingredients instead of pallets.
Whether funding research into more sustainable pest control, technology to enhance animal welfare, or moving new products to market, we are proud to support BC’s leaders and innovators as they drive our industry forward one project at a time.
Project funding was provided by the Governments of Canada and British Columbia through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.
Funding for the BC Government’s Buy Local Program is provided by the BC Ministry of Agriculture.