I’m excited to be taking part in the BC Middle Market Growth Conference. You really can’t talk about growth without looking at the incredible things happening in B.C.’s food processing industry. Overall, the industry grew 9% in 2016, which translates to $600 million. To put that growth in perspective, there are now more than 1,800 food and beverage processing companies in B.C. employing more than 28,000 people. Our industry now makes up approximately 20 percent of the province’s total manufacturing revenue and is the largest manufacturing sector in BC. That’s not small potatoes.
What’s most interesting to me is that this big industry is made up largely of small businesses, many of which are family-owned and operated. While many are processing fish, dairy, bakery, meat and beverage products, a growing number are exploring specialty and niche value-added products – something that’s putting B.C.’s industry on the world map. Natural health products in particular have become part of B.C.’s growing brand.
Our province has so many of the right ingredients for a thriving food processing industry, including our rich geography, high food standards and access to global markets. But growth has also brought new challenges like accessing skilled labour and dealing with rising input costs and squeezing margins – elements that impact our ability to compete with other provinces and on a larger, global scale.
How do we continue to build on our legacy of innovation and support business pioneers as they forge their way onto the global stage? Join me for an important growth discussion with some of the players who have changed the game in B.C. We’ll talk about opportunity as well as challenges, and how both forces are shaping transaction activity. I’ll see you there,
James Donaldson, CEO
BC Food Processors Association
To register for the BC Middle Market Growth Conference on April 11 click here.