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Surrey recognized for Leadership and Innovation in Agriculture

September 30, 2016

The City of Surrey received an award for Leadership and Innovation in Agriculture at the Union of BC Municipalities annual convention held in Victoria this week. Surrey won the inaugural award for its Biopod Initiative, which aims to stimulate agri-tech development, provide opportunities for careers in agriculture and strengthen the local food system.

"We are so pleased to be awarded this honour,” said Mayor Linda Hepner. “The Biopod Initiative is our commitment as a City to ensure we are engaging innovators, educators, and youth to solve global food security issues through agricultural innovation"

The Biopod Initiative is a partnership between the City of Surrey, the University of the Fraser Valley and the John Volken Academy, a Surrey-based addictions recovery institution. The project provides agricultural skills training and certification for academy students, builds the qualified labour force for greenhouse operations in the region and provides a commercial greenhouse for agri-tech development and demonstration.

Presented by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM), the BC Agriculture Council (BCAC) and the Ministry of Agriculture, the category of Leadership & Innovation for Agriculture was introduced this year to recognize communities that have undergone and can demonstrate a shift in their overall approach to agricultural planning and decision-making activities such that planning for agriculture is a top priority.

Applications were adjudicated by the UBCM Community Excellence Awards selection committee, which consisted of four members of the UBCM executive, a past UBCM president, as well as one representative each from Metro Vancouver, the Ministry of Agriculture and BCAC.

The UBCM’s Community Excellence Awards program is an opportunity to showcase municipalities and regional districts who "lead the pack," take risks to innovate, establish new partnerships, and question established ways of doing business and pioneer new customer service practices. The program recognizes ideas that rise above challenges with vision, creativity and teamwork. The Community Excellence Awards are designed to profile excellence in local government and to create successful pathways and incentives for others to follow.


Program information:

Stephen Wu
Manager, Economic Development
City of Surrey                                                                             


Media inquiries:

Oliver Lum
Communications Manager
Office of the Mayor
City of Surrey