The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm recently received $500,000 from Vancity’s enviro™ Visa program, the enviroFund™ in support of a proposed food and beverage pilot processing facility.
The UBC Farm’s Business and Agri-Food Research Network (or BARN@UBC Farm) will help to develop and support B.C.’s sustainable food and beverage sector. The BARN@UBC Farm will be an integral part of the sustainable food systems living laboratory stewarded by the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm and will focus on teaching, research and community engagement around environmentally and socially sustainable food systems.
“Vancity is the first company to pledge support for our pilot processing facility. This project provides critical food science infrastructure, research, and teaching support ensuring that BC’s sustainable food and beverage entrepreneurs will be able to start and grow their businesses. BC is the only major province without a significant pilot processing research and development capability and Vancity is helping us change that,” said Rickey Yada, Dean of the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia.
Vancity’s contribution will not only help build these important new facilities, but will also support sustainable local food business development programs through partnerships such as Feeding Growth. This series, which is a collaboration between the CSFS, Vancity, and Brian Saul of Fluid Creative, connects values-based BC packaged food entrepreneurs with business sector leaders for advice and support in building a brand, scaling manufacturing and distribution, and accessing financing. Several local companies have already seen the benefit of working with Feeding Growth, including The Good Stuff, an organic ready-to-blend smoothie company established by two UBC students.
“The success of our business has been in having access to local, organic food and support from the experts at Feeding Growth. We’re proud that we source our food locally, which allows us to provide healthy food to our customers, create local jobs and contribute to growing our local economy,” said Tonner Jackson, co-founder, The Good Stuff.