The City of Port Alberni is considering turning the former Port Fish plant into a food processing hub. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Port Alberni pitches for provincial food hub in former Port Fish processing plant

BC Ministry of Agriculture offering up to $750,000 for successful applicants

The City of Port Alberni is hoping to become a regional food innovation and processing hub, with some help from the provincial government.

The BC Ministry of Agriculture is currently holding a two-stage “competition” to choose regional food hub sites around the province. Ten proponents across BC will be invited to submit proposals, and the successful proponents will be awarded up to $750,000 for equipment and training of individuals on a variety of food processing and food safety aspects.

Port Alberni has submitted a response to the Ministry’s Request for Qualifications (RFQ) in the hopes of creating a full-scale food processing and innovation centre.

Economic development manager Pat Deakin explained during a council meeting on Monday, July 8 that the Port Alberni Port Authority (PAPA) has offered matching funds to bring the former Port Fish plant (located near Tyee Landing) up to current seafood processing standards. A company called Canadian Seafood Processing Ltd. has secured financing to do that, but only needs 4,000 of the 12,000 square feet in the building.

Both PAPA and Canadian Seafood Processing, he said, are “open” to the idea of putting additional processing equipment, for fruit, vegetables and meat, in the remainder of the building through this provincial funding.

Port Fish was best known for processing hake and groundfish, but the plant closed back in 2011 and the building has not been used since then.

RELATED: West Coast sailing rough employment seas to help fish processing thrive

“The Port Authority saw fit to offer this incentive to try and get it brought up to current standards, and get it utilized and producing for the community,” said Deakin on Monday.

Councillor Helen Poon expressed her support for the initiative. “It will be good for employment opportunities in the city and it won’t cost us anything,” she said.

Mayor Sharie Minions agreed that it was an “exciting” opportunity. “I think this is an industry in our community that has a lot of room for growth,” she added.

North Island College, Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood Limited Partnership, Cascadia Seaweed and the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District’s Agricultural Development Committee are also partnering on the project.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Stray cat with ‘serious burns’ recovering at Alberni SPCA

The BC SPCA’s Alberni-Clayoquot branch is asking members of the public for help with medical costs

B.C. government puts kibosh on drag racing at Alberni Valley Regional Airport

AVDRA was hopeful for a three-year temporary contract to race at the airport

Wet, white and windy winter weather hits Port Alberni

Snow expected to turn to rain on Thursday

Public invited to join Port Alberni budget discussions

Committee of the whole meeting scheduled for Jan. 20

Port Alberni’s Five Acre Shaker music fest expanded to four days

Festival at McLean Mill Historic Park is now in its sixth year

Fashion Fridays: Look your best this year

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Special prosecutor to review Cranbrook toddler drowning case

Evidence disclosure at issue in the case of a woman sentenced for criminal negligence causing death

UPDATE: Supreme Court dismisses B.C.’s appeal in Trans Mountain pipeline case

Judges decide whether B.C.’s power to protect environment can include impeding a federal project

10 B.C. cities break temperature records in winter storm

Quesnel dipped to -41.9 C, breaking a record from 1916

Vancouver Island child struck, pinned under SUV while sledding

Boy suffers serious injuries, no charges laid in incident

Unprepared for chemistry test, B.C. student begs superintendent to call another snow day

The student from West Vancouver promised he would study more, but was distracted by skiing and hot chocolate

Blast of winter continues across B.C., bringing frigid weather and more snow

A number of weather warnings continued Thursday as winter storms continue in B.C.

Over 16,000 people nabbed by RCMP between border crossings in 2019

In 2019, 63,830 claims were filed, up from 55,040 in 2018

Most Read