The first-ever Fraser Valley Food Symposium, held April 29 at University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), brought together more than 100 people from the local food community.
Participants included producers, processors, chefs, restaurateurs, drink experts, food retailers, food media, destination marketing organizations, and business and community leaders.
Speakers for the day included Dr. Lenore Newman and Dr. Jon Thomas from UFV, as well as Sam Glasgow, Mateo Ocejo and Dan Oostenbrink.
They also included panelists Josh Vanderheide, Summer Dhillon, Jason Dykstra, Kendall Ballantine, Taya Hawes Piui, Laurent Faddani and Spencer Croteau.
Keynote speaker Ned Bell from Oceanwise rounded out a day of conversation aimed at developing greater opportunities to bring valley food to local dinner tables and the global community.
The goal of the symposium was to increase competitiveness among producers, chefs and food processors by creating a valley food culture and making a case for certification that will help to define products and expand their market share.
The symposium was supported by Buy BC and the UFV.
A post-symposium reception was held at the Railway District Community Market on West Railway Street in downtown Abbotsford, providing networking opportunities for participants and showcasing local food and drink prepared by local chefs.
The key strategic priority of the Valley Food and Farm Collective is to connect Fraser Valley farmers, chefs and members of the food and beverage industry to facilitate greater opportunities to bring valley food to dinner tables.