Project Title:

Enhancing Cowichan Agricultural Processing

Project Organization:

Economic Development Cowichan

Project Investment:

  • Island Coastal Economic Trust: $20,000
  • Growing Forward 2: $24,000
  • Total Budget: $44,000

Project Highlight:

The report identifies barriers and opportunities for increasing local processing and storage of Cowichan agricultural products.

Limited processing and storage capacity in the Cowichan Valley region had long been identified as a significant challenge for the region’s producers. Economic Development Cowichan recognized that solving these two problems would lead to greater flexibility for producers, and ultimately, increased profitability for this important local economic sector.

The project, developed in collaboration with the local Agriculture Advisory Commission and the BC Agriculture and Food Climate Action Initiative, evaluated existing facilities and regional assets. An analysis of the value-added food processing sector in the Cowichan Region identified gaps and infrastructure needs, and researched trends, opportunities, and barriers to expanding food processing. From the evaluation, a strategy was developed, with key priorities and an implementation plan, to improve the local food processing sector.

Completed in 2014, the project helped to enable regional agricultural industry growth and develop new value-added businesses.

Island Coastal Economic Trust approved funding for this project in 2014 through the Investment Readiness program.