Big agrifood conference coming to Kelowna

B.C. Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick says he wants to see new ways to develop, strengthen and build the sector.

B.C. Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick

B.C.’s agrifood and seafood sector will look at how it can bolster the province’s  food supply security and continue to encourage innovation for the sector at the upcoming Growing the Future Together: BC Agrifood and Seafood Conference, Nov. 14 and 15 in Kelowna.

The conference, announced by Agriculture Minister and Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick earlier this year wil,l start with a with a keynote address by B.C. restaurateur

and celebrity chef Vikram Vij.

His presentation will touch on the importance of sourcing local food, how to build a successful B.C. agrifood business and a discussion on local food trends.

“Canada is one of the greatest culinary destinations because of our farmers, purveyors and chefs, who have a great relationship with nature,” said Vij.

Other speakers will include experts from the food and beverage industry, entrepreneurs, planners, purchasers and suppliers.

A variety of topics will be covered in sessions including: new sector development, agritech, climate change, export readiness, e-commerce, succession planning and urban agriculture.

“The goal of this conference is to look at ways how we can develop, strengthen and build relationships with both the sector and consumers in supporting B.C. food supply security,” said Letnick.

“I look forward to welcoming everyone to Kelowna and growing the future of our agrifood and seafood sector, together.”

Throughout the conference, participants will  be able to interact with the exhibitors at a showcase, engaging with B.C. companies that are on the leading edge of new production practices, or pursuing an emerging trend or technology.

The presentations will align with the theme of the conference: food supply security, building markets and promoting competitiveness and productivity.

B.C. has one of the most-diverse agrifoods industries in Canada, producing more than 200 agriculture commodities on the land and 100 in the water.

Sales of B.C. agrifood products topped $13 billion for the first time in 2015

The B.C. government has set a goal of growing the sector to a $15-billion-a-year industry by 2020.

To learn more about the Growing the Future Together: BC Agrifood and Seafood Conference program go to:

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/agrifood-seafood-conf-2016/conference-home/conference-program