Texada Island is BC’s largest Gulf island with a population of just over 1,000 residents. The economy was traditionally based on mining copper, iron and gold.
The combination of light and soil conditions suitable for market agriculture has helped make Texada Island home to a wide range of agricultural processors and producers. However, due to lack of capital and access to commercial equipment required for food safety certification, many local entrepreneurs and home-based food producers are unable to scale to their full potential and export products to wider markets.
As a result, the Texada Agriculture Group formed to create the Texada Food Hub – a shared-use facility where local processors and producers have access to commercial kitchen equipment with a user-pay sustainability model. This project will revitalize unused rooms at the Texada Elementary School with cooktops, a convention oven, food hydrators and other equipment required for secondary processing. Users will also receive business development support, access to packing and marketing expertise and other incubation services to develop value-added products, export and grow local enterprises.
As Island-based entrepreneurs’ access local retailers, restaurants, and internet-based retail and wholesale opportunities, the Food Hub is anticipated to generate incremental economic activity to the local economy. Growth of small businesses is anticipated to supported added employment in everything from farming, cooking and packaging, to order fulfillment and bookkeeping – as well as increase awareness, access to and demand for locally produced food.