Kits Farmers Market - Local Food from Vancouver's Green Economy

Local Food

Vancouver has been a pioneer of the local food movement, with this subsector of its Green Economy now a positive economic force in its own right.

Eating fresh, locally produced food has always been a way of life in Vancouver, thanks to the bounty flowing from nearby lands and waters. Some of world’s best fruits, vegetables and seafood are found here, and in fact, Condé Nast recently named Vancouver one of the Best Food Cities in the world.

Growing the economy and creating green jobs

Today, eating local food — also known as the locavore movement is an important sector in its own right under the Green Economy umbrella, positively impacting jobs and the economy in a way that was unthinkable only 20 years ago. A 2014 report published by the VEC found that, in 2013, the local food subsector employed 6,000 people — a whopping 21 percent increase from only a few short years earlier in 2010.

Vancouver’s farmers’ markets are at the heart of the local food movement and are growing rapidly. In fact, today’s greatly-expanded network of markets now provides a $15 million benefit to the local economy, a significant jump over sales in 1994. In that first year of operation, markets earned $40,000 over 11 weeks.

Vancouver Farmers Markets, 2014
Total vendor sales $8.2 million
Markets per week 7 summer, 2 winter, 1 holiday market
Months per year in operation 12
Number of vendors 265
Total customers per week 20,000 (average)
Number of acres in food production for domestic consumption 16,250 (6,576 hectares)

Part of Vancouver’s DNA

Vancouver is one of the only cities in the world with an official food strategy – a plan to create a sustainable, secure food system for its citizens. It also has a highly active Vancouver Food Policy Council made up of farmers, distributors, activists, and academics. This advisory group helps City Council develop food policy and is one of the oldest of its kind in North America. Supporting the local food economy is central to Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan (GCAP) which aims to boost assets such as urban farms, community gardens, farmers markets, and orchards — part of Vancouver’s overall plan to be the greenest city in the world by 2020.

Local Food Champions

Vancouver has hundreds of local food champions – innovators that are leading in every local food sector, including farms, retailers, restaurants, processors, manufacturers, distributors, caterers and social enterprise organizations. The Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) is proud to support these pioneers – amongst many others – in growing our city, creating new jobs and adding an exciting new branch to our local economy.

  • Stanley Park Brewery
  • Bishop’s
  • Vancouver Convention Centre
  • Solefood
  • Earnest Ice Cream
  • Forage
  • Culver City Salads
  • >Commissary Connect
  • Skipper Otto’s
  • Greens
  • Nourish
  • Get Local
  • Fresh Direct
  • Go Fish
  • SPUD
  • Brassneck Brewery
  • Fable
  • Choices Market
  • Farmer’s Apprentice
  • Longtable Distillery
  • Two Rivers Meats
  • UBC Farm
  • Discovery Organics