Five focus areas proposed for developing agriculture and food sector

February 6, 2024

Five focus areas proposed for developing agriculture and food sector

The Agriculture and Food Sector Development Strategy set out to explore what is needed to help Strathcona County attract investment in agriculture and food production, processing, and manufacturing. It looks to identify ways to connect agriculture and food businesses with resources, support networks and science expertise.

Towards development of the strategy, extensive engagement opportunities have been held with agriculture and food producers, processors, manufacturers; food service and retail; agriculture and food industry representatives, and residents. This included multiple surveys, interviews, small group meetings, and online engagement through County Voice. In total, over 1,000 people contributed their views. 

Engagement began in February 2023 leading up to urban and rural sessions in January 2024 to validate five proposed focus areas and respective themes:

  • Encourage the expansion of existing agriculture and food operations  
    • Themes: infrastructure; services; land; support networks
  • Attract investment to sector with a focus on economic growth and viability 
    • Themes: reduce barrier to entry; sustainability
       
  • Support opportunities for diversity and non-traditional agriculture 
    • Themes: opportunity for diversification; growing undercover; processing; agritourism
       
  • Farmers’ markets 
    • Themes: connection; variety; size
       
  • Awareness and marketing 
    • Themes: marketing strategies; education; connection 

From this engagement, a draft strategy will be completed to share back with members of the agriculture and food sector, and residents. The finalized strategy is expected to be presented to Strathcona County’s Priorities Committee mid-year for consideration.

The County extends its thanks to all residents and businesses who contributed to the development of this strategy. The Community Engagement Summary is available at strathcona.ca/agfoodstrategy.  

 

Contact: Strathcona County Communications, 780-410-6595