As the opportunities to buy local are growing, consumers are connecting with growers and learning more about the food they eat.
The City of Nanaimo is among those communities leading the way and promoting the benefits of buying locally.
The provincially funded Buy Local Program is helping locally owned and operated businesses promote their products to increase brand awareness and sales. Three Nanaimo-based companies are receiving up to $46,600 of funding to develop advertising materials, launch campaigns and run contests to encourage consumers to buy local.
Taste of BC Fine Foods is launching a campaign for Little Cedar Falls Steelhead. Based in Nanaimo, it is one of the first land-based recirculation aquaculture system salmon farms, setting a model for sustainable freshwater aquaculture. The family-farm model is projected to produce approximately 100 metric tons (1,000 kilograms) of steelhead per year, offering quality seafood for British Columbians to enjoy.
St. Jean’s Cannery and Smokehouse is known for its 100% wild and sustainable, locally sourced tuna and salmon. The one-man operation, started by Armand St. Jean, has developed in to a successful, thriving business contributing to the Nanaimo community for over 50 years. Today, it is the largest cannery serving the sport-fishing industry in B.C.
Local business, the Foley Dog Treat Company, wants dogs to have the option of eating locally sourced treats and foods. The company created an additional logo for their VitalityDog product called Local Dog. The logo is used to raise awareness of locally sourced ingredients and manufactured dog treats. The Foley Dog Treat Company wants to help pet owners ensure their dogs are fed and treated in the most healthy, sustainable and safe way possible.
The Buy Local program has received $8 million in B.C. government funding since 2012 to increase sales of locally grown and processed agrifood and seafood products within the province.
The B.C. government's Agrifood and Seafood Strategic Growth Plan supports the building of domestic markets and maintaining a secure food supply. The plan is a component of the BC Jobs Plan, and the roadmap to leading the agrifoods sector to becoming a $15-billion-a-year industry by 2020.
The provincial government's Buy Local program is administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia. Applications are available online: http://iafbc.ca/funding-opportunities/buy-local/
Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell –
“The support of the Buy Local Program is taking the B.C. agrifoods and seafood industry to new levels of success and gaining recognition worldwide. The local businesses that make up the community of Nanaimo are contributing to job creation, keeping hard-earned dollars in the local economy and providing locally sourced and produced products for families throughout the province.”
Steve Atkinson, owner, Taste of BC Fine Foods Ltd. –
“We make a home for our fish at Little Cedar Falls and take great care to ensure our steelhead salmon is superior in taste and quality for British Columbians. The Buy Local funding is a resource that lets us reach more audiences in B.C. and share our sustainable freshwater aquaculture salmon farm model, so our customers can learn more about the fish they are eating.”
Derek Perkins, marketing manager, St Jean’s Cannery and Smokehouse –
“The Buy Local BC program has been very positive for the St Jean’s brand and our Raincoast Trading product line. The local food movement is strong in B.C., and while awareness of St Jean’s is high in Nanaimo where we are headquartered, we knew our brands were lesser known on the mainland. With the funding provided by Agriculture BC we are able to educate consumers about our commitment to sourcing local, wild and sustainable seafood through an increased media buy that includes broadcast ads, social media promotions and a local blogger campaign.”
Cheryl Foley, owner, the Foley Dog Treat Company –
“Sustainable locally sourced ingredients are not just for humans. When we source local consumables and agriculture for our pets they benefit from safe, nutrient-dense, antibiotic-free foods.”
Find out more about Taste of BC Fine Foods Ltd. and salmon farming aquaculture: www.littlecedarfalls.com/home.html
For more information about St. Jean’s Cannery and Smokehouse, visit: www.stjeans.com
Make your dog happy and find out where to buy Foley dog treats: http://www.foleydogtreat.com/
B.C. Buy Local program: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/programs/bc-buy-local-program
A backgrounder follows.