Buying local food, supporting local farmers will infuse innovation into agriculture industry: Langley’s mayor

If there were a regular demand for local food and produce from the public, Langley’s mayor claims it would start a chain reaction in the agricultural industry, sparking innovation in technology development.

But if that doesn’t happen, farmers will just continue to worry about the bottom line and keeping their farms afloat.

At a Metro Vancouver agriculture committee, Surrey city councillor Linda Hepner said, “What do we expect in the business in regards to technology?”

She said there was missing innovation in the agricultural technology industry.

Hepner wanted to know what people are doing successfully around the world. “What can we do to encourage tech start-ups here?”

Langley mayor Jack Froese said, “We need to educate the public on the agricultural business.”

There needs to be a push for the public to buy local food and support the local farmers, he said.

“Tech development is only if the farmers get paid for their products.”

In news release by the BC Association of Farmers’ Market, it said farmers’ market contribute nearly $170 million annually and “are now in full swing throughout British Columbia.”

There has been a 62% increase in the number of markets, it said.

“With a loyal customer base, farmers and vendors are finding the stability they need with this marketing channel.”

To see what kind of agricultural technological ideas are happening, UBC Farm has student research internships, ranging from studying consumers attitudes about organic certification to free choice feeding regimes on poultry health.

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