A report to Metro Vancouver’s regional planning committee on June 12 highlights just how much food moves through the Lower Mainland.
Perhaps not surprising, given that Vancouver is a port city, is the dominant position of international food exports – close to 28 million tonnes. Cereal grains and oil seeds dominate the shipments, at nearly 22 million tonnes. Vegetables are a distant third at just 4 million tonnes. By contrast, total food imports through the port totaled a mere 1.3 million tonnes, dominated by a mix of prepared foodstuffs.
The region receives nearly twice as much from the US via the Pacific Highway border crossing as it ships south. Total imports of 1.2 million tonnes are primarily composed of fresh fruits and vegetables, which together total approximately 700,000 tonnes. That’s as much as the region sends south, half of which is made up of animal and vegetable fats, milling products and cereals.
All told, the region exports 29.3 million tonnes to the rest of BC, Canada and international trading partners including the US. The region’s total food demand is 4.4 million tonnes, of which 500,000 tonnes come from the rest of BC and 400,000 is produced in the region.
The report, prepared by Philip Davies of Davies Transportation Consulting Inc. of Vancouver, is based on data for 2018.