Fields Forward Society has announced the opening of the Kootenay Farms Regional Food Hub and Innovation Centre in the Creston Valley on Friday, October 15.
The Food Hub is a project whose initial start-up is jointly funded by the Provincial Government and the Columbia Basin Trust. It seeks to expand opportunities for food producers and processors within the Kootenay-Columbia Basin region.
“The Fields Forward Society has worked tirelessly to develop a vision for collaboration for Basin food producers and processors that benefits the whole region. The Trust has been a proud supporter of this project from early on, seeing the opportunity to increase Basin residents’ access to foods that are locally produced and processed,” said Johnny Strilaeff, President and CEO of Trust. “The Kootenay Farms Food Hub will increase and strengthen food and beverage options available in the region, helping producers to work together and expand offerings, while also creating employment opportunities.”
The Trust contributed $150,000 to purchase commercial scale equipment for the Food Hub. Farmers and food processors from across the Columbia Basin will have access to the food processing facility starting next week.
“The Columbia Basin Trust has provided Fields Forward with tremendous support over the last three years. We couldn’t have succeeded with this Food Hub initiative without their ongoing interest and support in food security and farming,” said Elizabeth Quinn, Executive Director of Fields Forward Society.
The purpose of the Food Hub is to help Kootenay region food and farm businesses to grow and innovate by giving them access to community-based processing equipment and facilities they might otherwise not afford. It will also offer an aggregation and distribution service, and sales support.