The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (CSFS) at UBC Farm integrates interdisciplinary academic, community, and production programs to explore and exemplify healthy and sustainable food systems. It provides a globally unique research and teaching environment aimed at improving the sustainability and resiliency of our regional, national, and global food systems, embodying the concept of campus as a living lab, and providing researchers with a research platform where social, economic, and environmental interventions can be designed, tested, and monitored within a living food system. Research opportunities span the whole seed to plate continuum while integrating a multitude of disciplines and sectors to provide global leadership for transformation leading to resilient and secure future food systems.
The proposed Food and Beverage Technology Centre (FBTC) at CSFS will promote the competitiveness of British Columbia’s $8 billion food and natural health product processing industry through a multi-dimensional partnership between industry and the University of British Columbia.
The physical infrastructure for the Centre will consist of a main building (the “Farm Centre”) and supporting outbuildings, described as follows:
- The Farm Centre will be the face of the CSFS and the FBTC, housing research and teaching facilities; facilities for educational and community programs and events; children’s program facilities; offices for CSFS staff, faculty and partners; and residences for the site’s caretakers. It will be located near the entry gate to the UBC Farm.
- A series of outbuildings will support and enhance the Farm Centre and will include research, production and teaching greenhouses, facilities to support market activities, a workshop facility, and facilities to manage the livestock on the site.
The FBTC facility will foster a competitive advantage in food and beverage product development for British Columbia by creating an innovation hub and knowledge portal that will be globally unique in four ways:
– Vertical integration: The centre will facilitate collaboration between industry and UBC across the supply chain from agricultural cultivation, food pilot processing, culinary arts, and extending to food services, retail and export.
– Jobs and Training: The centre will have the facilities and network of knowledge experts to be an incubator for food and beverage entrepreneurs, and a training ground for food technologists and scientists.
– Health and sustainability: The centre’s facilities and knowledge expertise will integrate with UBC Farm’s sustainable food systems research and teaching capacities, and specialize in BC’s prospective competitive advantages in the global marketplace: the health and organic food sector, and sustainable production (reductions in waste and in water and energy usage).
– Gateway to Asia and domestic market access: The centre’s partnerships between industry and UBC will focus on areas that will position the BC food processing ecosystem for competitiveness in the Asian and domestic markets, such as food safety, sensory innovation, and value-added BC agricultural products. The centre will promote food and beverage security for domestic markets by building local capacity.