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B.C.’s agrifood sector grows by 6,100 jobs in 2016

B.C.’s agrifood and seafood sector had 6,100 more employees in 2016 according to data from Statistics Canada.

The sector’s growth to 62,900 employees in 2016 follows B.C. agrifood and seafood companies’ record revenue of $13 billion, and record exports of $3.5 billion in 2015.

The Statistics Canada numbers indicate 2,200 more British Columbians have jobs in primary agriculture like farming and ranching than a year ago, and 3,900 more have jobs with B.C.’s growing value-added processing companies. Stats-Can data suggests the growth follows a period of stability in the sector, which had about 56,000 employees on average over the three previous years.

Job growth was impressive throughout the province, with about 2,800 more employees in the Vancouver Island-Coast Region than 2015, followed by an estimated 1,100 more in the Lower Mainland, 900 in the Okanagan, and 1,100 total in the Kootenays, Cariboo and North.

The B.C. government's Agrifood and Seafood Strategic Growth Plan supports the building of domestic markets and maintaining a secure food supply. The plan is a component of the BC Jobs Plan, and the roadmap to leading the agrifoods sector to becoming a $15-billion-a-year industry by 2020.

Through the BC Jobs Plan, British Columbia is growing its agrifoods sector by providing stable jobs and revenue, and supports strong and diversified communities. The BC Jobs Plan builds on the strengths of the province’s key sectors and educated and skilled workforce, keeping the British Columbia diverse, strong and growing.

Quotes:

Norm Letnick, B.C. Minister of Agriculture –

“B.C. families are doing more than turning to our growing agrifoods sector for fresh and local meals – they are joining it for jobs, to invest in new businesses, and to begin or advance their careers. With the B.C. government’s focus on continuing to build markets, invest in innovation and new technology, and support entrepreneurs, the opportunities for more jobs are on the way.”

Shirley Bond, B.C. Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour –

"The agrifoods and seafood sector is a key economic driver for the province and has seen major growth since the launch of the Jobs Plan, with record revenue levels of $13 billion and record exports of $3.5 billion, employing almost 63,000 people. B.C.’s agrifood sector has a worldwide reputation for producing innovative, high-quality, great-tasting food, and these latest numbers showcase this success."

James Donaldson, CEO, BC Food Processors Association –

"The significant job-growth numbers are greatly reflected in the overall growth of‎ the processing sector, which Is up 9.1%. This drives the creation of more quality jobs as the industry continues to seek both skilled and unskilled labour in order to grow their businesses."

Learn More:

BC Stats ‘Employment by Detailed Industry’ file at: http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/StatisticsBySubject/LabourIncome/EmploymentUnemployment/LabourForceStat...

B.C. Jobs Plan five years of growth: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017PREM0008-000122

Strategic Growth Plan – a road map to B.C.’s agrifood and seafood sectors growing to a $15 billion a year industry: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2015AGRI0071-002008   

International Marketing Strategy – The B.C. government’s plan to build exports markets for B.C. foods: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017AGRI0002-000006

$13 billion in revenue, a record year for B.C. agrifood and seafood producers: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016AGRI0049-001545

B.C. sets a $3.5 billion record for agrifood exports: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016AGRI0053-001669