Abbotsford agriculture is responsible for $3.83 billion in economic activity today, up from $1.8 billion in 2008, according to a newly released report.
The report, titled Canada’s Agricultural Hub: An Economic Impact Analysis of Agriculture in Abbotsford, was released Wednesday (May 25) by the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, under the academic guidance of the University of the Fraser Valley and the University of British Columbia.
It is a followup to the 2008 report “The Economic Impact of Agriculture in Abbotsford (market-based goods and services).”
Abbotsford Chamber CEO Katerina Anastasiadis said in a press release that the study highlights the “significant economic impact the agricultural sector plays in Abbotsford’s local economy while also highlighting the sector’s broader value to our region, country and ongoing food security.”
“The Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce supported Abbotsford farmers through the hardships of the past years – from the pandemic to the disastrous floods of 2021 – and will continue to be the voice emphasizing the critical importance of this sector,” she said.
The report found that Abbotsford is one of the most intensely farmed areas in North America and has the highest farm sales per hectare of any other city in Canada.
Farm-gate receipts for Abbotsford are approximately twice the amount of the next highest agriculture-producing communities of Chilliwack and Langley, the study found.
As one of the primary employment drivers for the region, agriculture accounts for more than 16,000 full-time jobs in Abbotsford today, equating to 23 per cent of all jobs in the city.
This compares to 11,000 full-time jobs in the industry – 20 per cent of all jobs – in 2008.
The report also found that the agriculture sector has grown twice as fast as the city’s population.
“As a leading hub of activity, 45 per cent of agri-business and value-added activity in Abbotsford is supported by farms outside of the city, versus 40 per cent in 2008,” the press release states.
Mayor Henry Braun said, through the pandemic, Abbotsford fared better than other municipalities, due in large part to the agriculture community.
“Abbotsford has the most productive agriculture land in Canada on a per-hectare basis and we are the number one agriculture producer, approaching $1 billion in sales annually. Agriculture is truly the heart of our community,” he said.
Financial support for the study was provided through the City of Abbotsford and TD sponsors.
The full report can be viewed on the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce website at abbotsfordchamber.com.