The food hub survey showed that over 61 per cent respondents were looking to expand their business. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)

The food hub survey showed that over 61 per cent respondents were looking to expand their business. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)

RDBN’s food hub survey highlights producers’ needs

The project team to set up further discussion sessions with producers this year

The results for the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako’s (RDBN) food hub survey, conducted from Oct. 15 to Nov. 20, 2020, are now out and the project team is readying itself to go to phase 2 of the project.

The survey was launched to determine how the regional food economy currently is, to assess the need for a possible food hub in the region, to find ways to shift towards more food sales and investment back into the region and to launch initial phases of a food hub in 2021 to potentially forming a regional food hub network.

A total of 72 people responded to the survey and while food producers, raisers, harvesters, and makers responded to the survey from across the regional district participated, 40 per cent of the total responses came were from Vanderhoof. Telkwa, Topley, Smithers, Fort St. James, Burns Lake, Houston were some of the other regions from where participants had responded.

READ MORE: A location has been found for Sprout Kitchen regional food hub

Nearly 49 per cent responses came from livestock farmers, 18 per cent from fruit and vegetable producers, 13 per cent from grass and grain producers and the remaining 10 per cent were made up of farmers markets, food processors and makers and community programs.

The survey showed that over 61 per cent respondents were looking to expand their business. Increasing meat production and processing, broadening their customer base geographically to include regional customers and beyond, improving marketing and product development, expanding processing and storage capacity and supporting businesses to conform to regulatory requirements were some of the responses received from those interested in expanding their business.

One of the most popular choices among the respondents was to have a local food store while some other popular choices ranged from online sales and storage, to having the options for commercial kitchens.

According to the survey results released during a recent RDBN meeting, “based on the responses from the “food hub ready” respondents, implementing a retail outlet in Vanderhoof with an online store, mainly for livestock and produce growers, could be a key recommendation.”

Respondents also showed a strong inclination to have smaller groups to discuss and explore the food hub as an opportunity, a suggestion that would soon be implemented by the RDBN food hub’s project team. According to their action plan, “About half of respondents (51 per cent) are interested in meeting as a small group to further discuss opportunities. The project team will be in contact to set these sessions up in 2021.”

Just before the survey was launched, Debbie Evans, the agriculture coordinator with RDBN had said that the intention behind having a food hub was not to increase competition “but would work in conjunction with the existing services and models to enhance access to locally grown and produced food.”

“If feasible, let’s give it the best possible chance for succeeding,” she had said at the time.


Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist
@PriyankaKetkar

priyanka.ketkar@ldnews.net


Like us on Facebook and follows us on Twitter.

food security

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

File photo.
Vanderhoof Hospice Society is providing a peer support program for grieving adults

The program is being held in a partnership with Connexus Community Resources

Quilting event being organized in Vanderhoof. (Photo by Jeff Wade/ Unsplash)
Vanderhoof Department Store is hosting a quilting event

Mystery Block Exchange will start March 1

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives to view the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Death threats mount against Dr. Bonnie Henry, sparking condemnation from Horgan, Dix

Henry has become a staple on televisions in homes across British Columbia since January 2020

Most Read