The city of Duncan is home to farmers, fishers and producers providing the community with many local fresh, diverse products right from their own backyards. Duncan is among those promoting buying local, which supports the local economy and creates jobs.
The provincial government’s Buy Local Program helps B.C. farmers and food processors promote their products and supports food supply security in B.C. The program is providing over $31,700 of funding to three Duncan-based companies to help increase sales and brand awareness.
Hope Farm Healing Centre is a program by the Mustard Seed that seeks to connect people to the land through a community-based farm. Residents of the program learn how to grow vegetables and hay, as well as caring for animals such as chickens, ducks and pigs. The products produced on the farm are sold on site and at local farmers’ markets for everyone to enjoy.
Averill Creek Vineyard is a family run 40 acre estate winery dedicated to producing premium quality wines that showcase the flavours of Vancouver Island. Owners, Andy and Wendy Johnston, are working hard to share their passion with British Columbians through events to showcase and increase awareness about their wines.
Duncan’s Farmers’ Market is a large year round outdoor market offering consumers locally grown, raised, foraged, fished, distilled, processed and produced goods. Rain or shine, every Saturday, vendors are offering delicious, fresh products and connecting with customers to help them learn more about the products they are buying.
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 at: http://iafbc.ca/funding-opportunities/buy-local/
Norm Letnick, Minister of Agriculture–
“The province’s agrifoods sector is growing and companies like Averill Creek Vineyard, the vendors at the Duncan Farmers’ market and Hope Farm are contributing to the local economy and creating jobs for British Columbians. The Buy Local Program supports these hard working individuals, enabling them to succeed in a highly competitive market.”
Kevin Corbett, program manager, Hope Farm Healing Centre –
“Hope Farm is grateful for the funds granted through the BC Ministry of Agriculture Buy Local Program that have allowed us to upgrade onsite signage, and develop other marketing resources that will help us promote our local, natural and ethically grown and raised farm fresh products we are proud to share with our community.”
Tricia Mutcher, operations/marketing manager, Averill Creek Vineyard –
“The funding received from Buy Local BC will be focused on promoting Averill Creek Vineyard as a destination for wine tourism within the Vancouver Island region. We hope to engage wine consumers through a series of winery hosted events and hospitality partnerships that support the local wine and food industry.”
Barry O’Riordan, executive director, Duncan Farmers’ Market –
“I want to thank the Ministry of Agriculture for recognizing the value to society of buying locally, and for providing us with this grant. To really establish a societal mind-set where buying locally is valued, we do need to do our research. The information we gather will be invaluable in this regard.”
“Buying locally at Duncan Farmers' Market supports the livelihoods of almost two hundred small businesses, who in turn support other small businesses in the Cowichan Valley, multiplying the economic benefit of each dollar spent. Beyond this, buying locally means so many intangible things that often go unnoticed, but are perhaps even more important, and lead to a better quality of life in the community. Such benefits include strengthening of local food security, understanding our relationships with resources and the land, learning about how things are made, and ultimately building community. At Duncan Farmers' Market we are proud to play our part in advancing this movement.”
For more information about Hope Farm, visit: http://mustardseed.ca/ministries/hopefarm/
Plan your next trip to Averill Creek Vineyard: www.averillcreek.ca/
Buy Local at the Duncan Farmers’ Market: www.duncanfarmersmarket.ca/
B.C. Buy Local program: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/programs/bc-buy-local-program