2017 is here and what better way to start it off than with healthy, locally grown and produced products to set the tone of the coming year. Enjoy B.C.’s agrifood and seafood and begin 2017 with a natural start!
The B.C. government’s Buy Local program is providing funding to the province’s agrifood and seafood companies wanting to expand their brand awareness and increase sales through buy local initiatives such as in-store promotions, tradeshows and events, and developing advertising materials. To start 2017 off with a bang, the Buy Local program is delivering a combined total of up to $101,200 of funding to three local companies.
Why not start by filling the refrigerator with fresh, nutritious vegetables to start the year off on the right foot. International Herbs is a young, exciting, and growing agricultural company supported by professionals in the fresh produce industry. As a small family-run operation in Surrey, the company offers a wide array of speciality products such as fresh culinary herbs, edible flowers, baby vegetables, baby lettuce and gourmet salads.
Left Coast Naturals, a manufacturer and distributor based in Burnaby, is producing organic and natural foods. The company distributes nearly 30 brands, 200 bulk foods, and two brands of their own, Hippie Foods and Left Coast Bulk Foods, to grocery, specialty and natural food stores throughout British Columbia. Left Coast Naturals is committed to serving the planet, the community, and their customers and they also believe that food made right can make a difference.
Change up the morning routine with HapiFoods Group Inc. and begin the day with Holy Crap cereal. Creators of the artisan cereal, Corin and Brian Mullins, are a husband and wife team that started the company in 2009 and have grown the business in a few short years to an award-winning business success story. The gluten-free, vegan, certified organic breakfast cereals are made in the coastal community of Gibsons and are available to British Columbians wanting a delicious breakfast full of tasty natural ingredients. Their newest cereal, Blue, coming soon features local blueberries as the anchor ingredient.
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 proof is in the pudding, the B.C. agrifood and seafood sector is leading the way in a competitive market and the Buy Local program is enabling local companies to be on the forefront of the industry. Each day, hardworking British Columbians are ensuring there are fresh, local options for us to enjoy, and the Buy Local Program increases those opportunities and supports the B.C. economy too, helping set the record $13 billion in revenue B.C. agrifood and seafood companies established in 2015.”
Stephanie Cadieux, MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale –
“Buying local ensures the freshest and most nutritious foods arrive at your family’s table, and you are supporting jobs in our agricultural industry at the same time. I like to know where my food comes from and I trust local producers because we have some of the highest standards in the world.”
Richard T. Lee, MLA for Burnaby North –
“We are fortunate to be so close to local farms and producers in our region and have access to the wide variety of fresh food and local products. Buying local also supports both agriculture and valued-added food processing jobs, as well as economic activity in our own neighbourhoods, and helps diversify and strengthen the local economy.”
For more information about International Herbs, visit: http://internationalherbs.net/
Check out where you can find Hippie Foods and Left Coast Bulk Foods: http://www.leftcoastnaturals.com/
Discover the story behind Holy Crap cereal: https://holycrap.com/
B.C. Buy Local program: http://iafbc.ca/funding-opportunities/buy-local/
Letnick Comments on buying local: https://soundcloud.com/bcgov/minister-letnick-buy-local-december-2016
A backgrounder follows.