2:00pm John Predyk & Nicole Vaugeois

Canada’s food artisans: Understanding an emerging economic sector. Theme: Innovation, Entrpreneurship & Social Change
This research presentation will describe a study that aims to identify and map the emerging food artisan economy in Canada and invite VIU collaborators to engage in the development of a SSHRC Insight Grant to expand the project. The past decade has seen a re-emergence of artisans as an economic force, a trend that is predicted to continue. Artisan design and engage in small-scale production of quality goods from natural and human-made materials, often locally sourced, such as clay, glass and wood, or from animal and plant substances such as milk, grain and meat. Food artisans play a critical role in providing destinations with authentic food products for residents and the tourism economy and in growing the food tourism industry. To date, VIU researchers have conducted an online search and developed an inventory of food artisan businesses across Canada during the summer of 2017. The research objectives were to 1) identify and record existing food artisan businesses in each province and territory and 2) describe the inventory of Canadian food artisans by type, location, business size and artisan products sold. Analysis was conducted in excel using descriptive statistics. Figures and tables are used to summarize the data and develop a profile of the artisan economy and geocodes are used to create a map illustrating the regional concentrations of food artisans across the country by type. There is much left to understand about this emerging sector and this research will fill an important gap in existing knowledge about the size and distribution of the food artisan sector. This knowledge will provide important insights about the growth & viability of the artisan food sector which plays a critical role in promoting sustainability in rural areas.