Earlier this month, B.C. Food Systems Network Co-Chair Brent Mansfield released an eight page report detailing the price hikes B.C. consumers are facing as a result of chronic drought in California. Between July 2013 and 2014, the drought, now in its third year, has led to produce price increases of between 5.7% and 9.6%. Mansfield predicts that over the next year prices will likely keep going up with consumers continuing to feel the pinch.
The report led to a veritable media frenzy in B.C. as the media sought to come to terms with the vulnerability of B.C.'s food system. Shocking to many was that with its rich soils and favourable climate, the amount of food produced in B.C. has dropped significantly over time while imports have gone up. The remedy, according to Mansfield, is to support local farmers so that more food can be grown within the province. Read the full report here.