The Fraser Valley is home to an abundance of diverse, locally owned and operated agrifood businesses for British Columbians to explore and discover.
Residents and visitors in the valley are treated to fresh flavours from their backyards, all year round.
The provincial government’s Buy Local Program is supporting the B.C. agrifood and seafood industry with funding to increase sales and grow brand awareness. Seven companies in the Fraser Valley are receiving up to a combined total of $281,460 of Buy Local funding to develop promotional materials, advertising campaigns and participate in tradeshows and events.
Since 2009, Backyard Vineyards has been producing award-winning varietals, blended, and bubbly wines from 100% B.C. grapes that are grown on-site in their vineyard in the Township of Langley and complemented with fruit selected from the Fraser Valley and South Okanagan. With each of their exceptional B.C. VQA wines, Backyard Vineyards captures the true essence of British Columbia.
Dead Frog Brewery is encouraging British Columbians to collect experiences, not things with their local craft beer. Born in 2006 and located in Aldergrove, the company creates flavours offered all year round as well as seasonal specialty beers, such as Blueberry Blast Kettle Sour and Winter Beeracle Winter Ale. Dead Frog brews its beer in small batches with no preservatives or pasteurization, making a hoppin’ good time for consumers.
Established in the early 1960s, Driediger Farms is a wholesale and retail producer and distributor of fresh and frozen berries. Grown on over 160 acres of land, their berries are available during the season from their on-farm retail market. The company has a strong commitment to producing quality products in a sustainable manner and being involved in the local and agricultural community.
Vista D’Oro Farms is a culinary agritourism destination for British Columbians located in South Langley. The farm grows culinary herbs, orchard fruits and grapes on 10 acres of rich, fertile B.C. soil and produces and sells preserves from on-farm ingredients at the Farmgate Shop and Tasting Room. The Preservatory at Vista D’Oro creates seasonal lines of artisanal preserves using traditional cooking methods combined with distinctive flavour pairings.
For over 40 years and five generations of farmers, Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry has been serving British Columbians a variety of poultry: Pekin duck, specialty chicken, Muscovy duck, geese, squab and turkey. Located in Chilliwack, the company believes in connecting with its customers and teaching the community more about the food it is eating.
Locally processed and packaged, Gramma Dees Gourmet Snacks are vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and full of flavour. Owner Doug Davidson was introduced to cheese bread in Brazil and became so fond of it that he and his family used an old family recipe to create Gramma Dees Gourmet Snacks so that all British Columbians can enjoy the Brazilian-style cheese bread.
Whether they are fresh or frozen, Gojoy goji berries are full of flavour and antioxidants. Grown in the nutrient-rich soil of the Fraser Valley, owner Peter Breederland is operating the only goji berry farm in Canada. British Columbians are invited to the farm in Aldergrove during harvesting months to pick their own fresh goji berries. Gojoy also sells frozen goji berries year-round and processes berries into a five-fruit blend smoothie mix, offering many ways to enjoy the small, versatile berry that is big in flavour.
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/
Mary Polak, MLA for Langley –
“B.C. is home to locally grown and produced agrifoods and seafood, just like the products offered by these companies in our community. Thanks to the hard work and dedication from these individuals, British Columbians have fresh, local options at their local grocery store, full of the flavours our province is known for.”
Rich Coleman, MLA for Fort Langley-Aldergrove –
“Local companies are growing and producing diverse, quality products for British Columbians to enjoy, keeping hard-earned dollars in the local economy and creating jobs in the community. Thanks to the Buy Local funding program, more and more local businesses are being recognized for their individual, creative products and flavours that are unique and fresh.”
John Martin, MLA for Chilliwack –
“Chilliwack is home to some of the best agri-businesses in the province, and Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry in Yarrow is no exception. The Buy Local program is just one of many ways we can support the growth of these businesses and help farmers in the Fraser Valley succeed in reaching new and emerging markets.”
James Cambridge, winemaker, Backyard Vineyards –
"It's incredibly important to support local farms and small business in British Columbia. The financial support provided through the Buy Local BC program allowed us to punch above our weight in a number of areas of our business, resulting in one of the most fruitful years we've had yet."
Derrick Smith, CEO, Dead Frog Brewery –
"The Buy Local funding has helped give us the resources to launch our Collect Experiences, Not Things campaign, which has led to some of our most successful products ever. With the funding, we've been able to get the word out on our new Dead Frog Dozen Mixer Pack and our seasonal Atomic Cherry Tart Cherry Ale, and increase sales over 300% over last year for certain products."
Jennifer Lavigne, domestic marketing manager, Driediger Farms –
“Driediger Farms has been a part of the community for over 50 years, making us a trusted source of products for British Columbians. With the help from the provincial government’s Buy Local program, we are growing our brand awareness and increasing sales on the farm while promoting to new vendors in the market place.”
Lee Murphy, owner, Vista D’Oro Farms Ltd. –
“The Preservatory is launching new branding and a marketing campaign with the assistance of the Buy Local Program funding - with a new website launching in the coming weeks. We’re so grateful for the continued support of our small family business from the Ministry of Agriculture.”
Ken Falk, president and GM, Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry –
“It’s awesome for us to be able to work cooperatively with government and the poultry industry in delivering results through programs such as Buy Local. We’re feeding those most important to us in life, and we all want to know that the products we consume are the safest, most wholesome and highest quality anywhere! Our family loves to farm, and produce good food!”
Doug Davidson, owner, Gramma Dees Gourmet Snacks –
“We believe that the Buy Local program is beneficial in so many ways! It supports local companies so they can create more jobs, give customers more product options and help preserve the environment. It’s a privilege to be a truly British Columbian company and it’s an honour to be part of this program.”
Peter Breederland, owner, Gojoy Berries –
“We are very grateful for the support provided by the Buy Local grant. The funding has helped us to market, and easily access, our locally grown goji berries."
For more information about Backyard Vineyards, visit: http://www.backyardvineyards.ca/
Check out the seasonal flavours of beer from Dead Frog Brewery: www.deadfrog.ca
Check out Driediger Farms and plan your next visit: http://driedigerfarms.com/index.php/berry-upick-strawberry-blueberry-raspberry-blackberry-berryfarm-bcberries-farmfresh/
Find out more about Artisanal Preserves from Vista D’Oro: http://www.vistadoro.com/
For more information about Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry, visit: www.fvsp.ca
Find out where you can buy Gramma Dees cheese bread: http://www.grammadees.com/
See how goji berries are grown in B.C.: http://gojoy.ca
A backgrounder follows.