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BC Farmer Starts Growing Saffron

Photo by Elena Shirnina on Pexels.com

A farmer from Abbotsford might be one of the first BC farmers to plant and successfully harvest saffron in the province. Most of the saffron in the market today around the world is being produced in Iran, they represent over 80 percent of the world’s saffron supply.

Growing One Of The World’s Most Expensive Spices

The farmers in Iran have been successful at planting and harvesting saffron in this region because of the ideal conditions. While an area like BC on the other hand is quite different in climate, and before now it might not have been thought to be possible by many for this crop to be able to be planted and successfully harvested, as it has been by this Abby farmer.

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This opens up new opportunity in the province for BC farmers who might be looking for more lucrative crops to start growing, when others might not be performing as they had hoped. But it doesn’t come without some trial and error first. It’s reported that the wet climate found in the province had helped in the growing process of the saffron and didn’t work against it in making it possible for the crop to be planted and harvested later on.

Saffron is regarded as the most expensive spice in the world and that is because of the tedious harvesting process which requires that the flower be hand-picked and then those threads are dried before being sold onto the market.

The Cost of Saffron

How much is saffron? According to a report from Business Insider just last year, saffron can cost up to $10,000 per kilogram.

Saffron is used in a variety of dishes today and a small bottle of saffron can cost around $30 for 5 grams of saffron, it depends on the quality, and other factors like where you are purchasing from etc.

This is a great Business Insider video on why saffron is so expensive it details the amount of physical labor that goes into plucking each of those threads that later has to be dried before being sold onto the market. This is a great video report from BI that talks about not only the high demand and labor process that goes into farming saffron but also the history of this crop as well.

Saffron isn’t a common crop that is grown in Canada or BC and to hear that there has been a farmer in Abbotsford that has grown saffron is surprising. This might be the start of something new for the local food market and bring with it a lot of new opportunity as this is one of the most highly sought after spices in the world today.

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It’s anticipated that by 2027 this market for saffron worldwide is going to reach over $1.4 billion. There are thousands of restaurants around the world that use saffron, as well as millions of consumers who love to buy and cook with this product.

Some of the most popular crops that are grown around BC are crops like canola, barley, oats, peas, and wheat. You can also find many apple orchards as well though and other fruits being grown in the Okanagan and around BC. Saffron however that is one that you might not have heard of being grown in this region until now, this might just be the start of it.

Categories: bc, business, community, food

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