British Columbia's agri-food industry is receiving more than $2.5 million (US$2.15 million) for 27 new projects supporting trial crops and the development of new agricultural products and practices. Among these funded projects is the development of commercial raw petfood products sourced from producers in communities around B.C.
The funding comes from the governments of Canada and B.C.'s Growing Forward 2 agreement, which provides up to $13.4 million (US$11.5 million) between 2013 and 2018 through the Canada-B.C. Agri-Innovation Program. Projects funded through the program must have the potential to lead to the commercialization and/or adoption of innovative products, technologies and practices. So far, 63 projects have shared more than $5.8 million (US$5 million) in funding.
Other projects recently announced include the testing of quinoa, flax, lentil and pea varieties suitable for growing conditions in the Peace Valley region; and the design and testing of novel, energy-saving LED fixtures to help grow lettuces, leafy greens, micro-greens and culinary herbs year-round while reducing energy usage by 40%.
While cat trends continue, the pandemic has added to overall slow-growth treatment of the cat food market.
Premiumization and humanization, as well as automation, fueled continued operation growth in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.