Community Food Hub
For Innovation and
Food Hubs provide physical infrastructure to bridge connections between small scale producers, farmers and the larger markets. Enabling food producers and farmers to expand production through shared-infrastructure allows for increased production capacity, and stimulates local economies ability to infiltrate larger markets. (source: Food Secure Canada)
The Capital Region’s Food Hub located in Esquimalt at 808 Viewfield Rd, is being designed to create opportunities for small to medium processors to scale up into larger markets through access to our shared HACCP (health and safety standard required by larger purchasers) kitchen. With the addition of equipment to clean fresh local produce, a pathway is created for farmers and processors to add value and extend the shelf life of regional vegetables. Canada Gap (on farm health and safety standards) certified produce can be washed in the facility and move directly into the HACCP kitchen for processing and sales into the larger grocery and institutional stream.
The hub is already home to the new social enterprise, the South Island FarmHub. The SI FarmHub aggregates and distributes local produce from small and medium farms into the wholesale markets and through its online home delivery service. The Farmbucks program (donated money distributed to charities to purchase locally grown and processed food) allows the Farmhub to serve organizations feeding the most vulnerable.
Sharing space and facilities in the Food Security Distribution Center with the Mustard Seed’s Food Rescue Operations means together we can offer the capacity of the existing commercial kitchen services and training kitchen and continue the mission to serve good local food to our most vulnerable populations.
The Victoria Community Food Hub Society is leading the development of the Food Hub in our region. The Mustard Seed is our partner in the integrated hub.
The vision: Good Food for All.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and our partnership with the City of Victoria.
Imagine all the synergies and collaborations that can arise from being in the same space - a space that includes growers, processors and distribution capacity!
Victoria Community Food Hub Society
The Victoria Community Food Hub Society (VCFHS) was incorporated as a Charity in 2013. It works hand in hand with its key partners the Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable (CRFAIR) and the Foodshare Network to promote a healthy and sustainable food system in the Capital Region. The VCFHS efforts are focused on ensuring that this food system provides healthy food to the most vulnerable people in our community and works to increase their resources, food skills and social connections for a healthier future.
The South Island Farm Hub operates under the Victoria Community Food Hub Society making good food - fresh from local farms - available to everyone in our community. Learn more about the SI FarmHub and its vision of strenghtening food access and the local food economy in the region here.
Food Hub Timeline
The Province of BC, VanCity Credit Union and The Victoria Foundation contributed $2.3 million to the purchase of #102 – 808 Viewfield by The Mustard Seed Street Church (MSSC) to operate a community food hub to support and strengthen the Capital Region’s food security.
A feasibility study and business plan was completed by agri-food consulting group Farm Food Drink. This plan laid out the development of the food hub utilizing the existing warehouse, linking food security related initiatives and infrastructure to support local food producers and distributors.
Implementation of the Plan is propelled forward with the onset of the pandemic. The VCFHS SI FarmHub is program is developed with an investment from the Rapid Relief Fund. Less than a year later the SI FarmHub has achieved $265,000 in sales of over 20 Farms and 6 processors.
VCFHS completed an evaluation with the Ministry of Agriculture, and were then invited to apply with the City of Victoria, to continue to build management, equipment purchase and communications for a full scale food processing and innovation hub. This plan outlines the implementation of the business plan for the next two years.
The B.C Government announces plan to invest 2 million dollars in regional Food Hub network across Vancouver Island. The Capital Region Food Hub development is in partnership with the City of Victoria, the Victoria Community Food Hub Society, and the Mustard Seed Street Church.
June 2021 Facilities Plan completed (The site will include equipment to wash local produce that can move directly into the shared HACCP kitchen for processing and a processing line that will increase the efficiencies of cooking, pureeing, packaging and vacuum sealing products)
This phase of the Food Hub gets a branding makeover! Introducing "Kitchen Connect: Food Business Incubator and Processing Facility"
Renovations and facility tours with potential processing tenants are in full swing! Due to supply chain issues, progress has been delayed. However we are excited to be on track for a Spring opening!
How will the Hub support community?
The vision is for the Capital Region Food Hub to become a location that utilizes facilities, equipment, training, and services to integrate, support and act as a catalyst for growth of the local food economy. The model strives to further innovative collaboration between food rescue initiatives, food handling and preparation training. The Hub will aim to support marginalized populations, food processing entrepreneurs, farmers, social innovators and community members through shared access to infrastructure, programming and resources.
South Island Farm Hub Team | 2021
Colleen, South Island Farm Hub | 2020
In the media
In the media
New food hubs to strengthen food security on the Island | BC Government, Mar 2021
Food and beverage producers will soon have more opportunities to grow their businesses while increasing food security with the development of three new food hubs in Bowser, Cowichan Valley and Victoria.
"The Victoria Foodhub development makes it possible for small agricultural producers like myself to develop and grow viable food businesses in the Capital Region. In partnership with the South Island Farmhub, we are excited to expand the Eat Island Grown brand this year, bringing new locally-grown and processed products to retailers in our community. The Victoria Foodhub and the processing capacity it will offer brings an opportunity for new partnerships between farmers, processors and retailers to be established. These partnerships will support the expansion of local food production, and be a great step towards developing a more food secure South Vancouver Island."
Ty James, Farmer and Founder Eat Island Grown
"This is a tremendous investment that improves community access to healthy local food and
provides local economic opportunities. Were thankful to the Province for empowering businesses to maximize the potential of locally grown food and find new ways to improve food security, which has become all the more important during the pandemic."
Lisa Helps, Mayor, City of Victoria
“The development of a regional food hub is the culmination of years of work to identify the infrastructure needed in the region to support advancing the food and farm sector. This food hub is unique in that it is marrying economic development goals with social good, supporting
food services and distribution of good local food to people in our region. There is a lot of potential in this initiative and we are pleased with the support from the many partners
Linda Geggie, spokesperson, Victoria Community Food Hub Society
“This funding and the continued partnership with the Victoria Community Food Hub Society is just the next step around food security and strengthening our local food economy in Southern Vancouver Island.. We have seen incredible human and environmental impacts with our Food Recovery programs and know that this new development and strengthening of current key partnerships will continue to bring incredible outcomes to our local families, farmers and non-profit agencies. “
Janiene Boice, Senior Director Mustard Seed Street Church