Agriculture in Kamloops:
An Industry Snapshot
The Thompson Rivers Basin area supports a wide range of crops including fruits and vegetables, and the large valleys with lakes and rivers, provide fertile soil and a readily available water supply. The diverse climate of the region supports major crops like alfalfa, hay, most vegetables, and hard fruit along with specialty crops such as herbs, berries, and specialty trees. Local crop production is consumed partly within the region, with about 50% of production shipped to the west coast of British Columbia.
Beef production continues to be the primary agricultural activity in the region. The beef industry, along with accompanying crops and a small dairy, account for 85-90% of total agricultural acres. Both the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association and the B.C. Livestock Producers Co-op Association are headquartered in Kamloops.
Agri-tourism has gained a strong presence in the region as many farms and ranches have diversified to provide tours and B&B services. Besides direct employment, a strong service industry including equipment, irrigation, and general supply firms, supports the agricultural sector.
Kamloops’ Competitive Advantages for the Agriculture Industry
Kamloops has an ideal climate to support the agriculture industry. The warm, dry summers are desirable for field, fruit, and vegetable crops as well as specialty crops such as herbs, berries and specialty trees.
One of Kamloops’ advantages is its geographic location in the province of British Columbia. As a transportation hub with trucking, rail and air cargo access, the ability to move products from Kamloops to other locations in a cost-efficient method is ideal.
Kamloops has a vast landscape with plenty of room in which to play and engage in an array of recreational opportunities, all while enjoying over 2,000 hours of sunshine annually. Housing is affordable and the cost of doing business is competitive, plus the area boasts exceptional schooling options and healthcare services. Employee retention is high in Kamloops with employees citing an affordable, quality of life in the region as a major plus.
Incentives for the Agriculture Industry
The Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP)
The Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP) was launched in 2009 as a five year, $163 million initiative of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. CAAP’s objective is to assist the agriculture, agri-food, and agri-based products sector’s ability to seize opportunities, respond to new and emerging issues, as well as path find and pilot solutions to new and ongoing issues in order to help it adapt and remain competitive. More Information
First Nations Community Food Systems for Healthy Living
A project funded by the B.C. Government’s ActNow Incentive Fund. The project is implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with First Nations Agricultural Lending Association (FNALA) to further agricultural programs benefitting First Nations in B.C. More Information
Investment Agriculture Foundation
The Investment Agriculture Foundation strategically invests federal and provincial funds in support of innovative projects to benefit the agri-food industry in British Columbia. Funding is available to help the industry seize new opportunities and deal with emerging issues. More Information
Machinery and Equipment Investment
Purchase of eligible machinery and equipment is exempted from Provincial Sales Tax (PST). Eligible expenditures include machinery and equipment used in manufacturing, software development, mining and mineral exploration, petroleum and natural gas production and logging. More Information
City of Kamloops Agriculture Plan
The Sustainable Kamloops Plan identified the need for the City of Kamloops to gain a better understanding on where viable agricultural land exists, how it should be used or enhanced, and what opportunities are available for increased food production and processing. To answer these questions, a decision was made to develop an Agriculture Area Plan for the City of Kamloops. After a two year planning process with extensive public consultation, City Council adopted the first Agriculture Area Plan for the City in December of 2013. Review the Plan
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) Grassland Research
Grasslands Research is a highly developed department at TRU with many faculty members involved. The department offers expertise on the effects of global climate change on grasslands, trophic interactions in grassland food webs, and the impacts of cattle on grassland-associated wetlands.
The B.C. Regional Chair in Cattle Industry Sustainability is working with the beef industry in B.C. to utilize the province’s rangelands and forage resource to produce the healthiest beef in the world. TRU has been involved in a project under the University’s new Centre for Innovation in Ranching, Range and Meat Production, to facilitate research and development to help ranchers, producers and suppliers adopt new technologies that support sustainable ranching practices. More Information
The Thompson Shuswap Foods Connection Project (TSFC)
The goal of the project is to strengthen the local food economy by identifying opportunities to diversify local farm production and to expand local markets. The project will work to connect producers with local agency/institutional buyers, and examine food production models including food safety requirements, and explore the feasibility of enhancing food processing infrastructure and value-added production capacity in the region. More Information
Ministry of Agriculture
The Provincial Ministry provides B.C. industry sector support, partnership programs, investment agriculture foundation information, and contacts to federal and provincial agencies relating to agriculture. More Information
City of Kamloops Agriculture In Brief
A number of reports developed by the City of Kamloops with the Ministry of Agriculture provides information on the Agriculture Industry in Kamloops. More Information
Kamloops Regional Farmers’ Market Society (KRFMS)
The purpose of the Kamloops Regional Farmers’ Market Society (KRFMS) is to encourage, support and provide an outlet for local produce. More Information
AgriFoodBC brings together people from the agri-food sector to share ideas, information, knowledge, and technology tools—all in one place. As a result, agri-food stakeholders can benefit and enhance their business or organizational success, while saving time and money. More Information
BC Agriculture Council (BCAC)
The BC Agriculture Council represents over 14,000 B.C. farmers and ranchers and close to 30 farm sector associations from all regions of the province with a mission to continually improve the social, economic and environmental sustainability of B.C. agriculture. More Information
BC Food Processors Association (BCFPA)
The BCFPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to represent all segments of the food, beverage and natural health products processing industry. More Information
BC Seafood Alliance
The Seafood Alliance represents the united voice of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses that comprise B.C.’s seafood sector, providing effective leadership, advocacy and communication in pursuit of a profitable and sustainable seafood industry in British Columbia. More Information