Farmers’ markets all over the province are enticing British Columbians with locally grown and produced products, fresh from their own backyards.
The B.C. government’s Buy Local program is providing six local farmers’ markets with a combined total of $57,055 in funding.
The Buy Local program is helping agrifood companies promote their products through buy local initiatives. The Coquitlam Farmers’ Market Society is receiving up to $7,830 in funding to advertise through a social media campaign, creating promotional materials and updating the organization’s website to bring more visitors to their year round markets.
Farmers’ markets play an increasingly important role in the economic impact of a community and increasing the sales revenues of B.C. producers. With the goals of reconnecting local producers with suburban consumers, and citizens with each other, the Coquitlam Farmers’ Market Society operates one of Metro Vancouver’s longest running suburban farmers’ markets.
The Poirier Street Market is a weekly outdoor summer market that is celebrating its 21st year in the community this season. Along with over 65 vendors, visitors will find food events, demonstrations and workshops, entertainment and kids’ activities and crafts. During the colder months, the Port Moody Winter Farmers’ Market offers a weekly indoor/outdoor winter market with over 35 vendors and visitors can learn about gardening, growing their own food and participating in special cooking classes.
The Buy Local program has provided $356,565 in funding to farmers’ markets all over the province since 2012 to support food security in B.C. and help local businesses grow and thrive in the competitive agrifood industry. Farmers’ markets allow British Columbians to support B.C.’s farmers and eat local all year.
The B.C. government has committed $14 million to the Buy Local Program since 2012, including $6 million over the next three years announced in Balanced Budget 2017. Approximately 200 B.C. agrifood and seafood companies have expanded their reach and sales in communities throughout B.C. since the program began, with the $8 million of funding accessed to date resulting in $29 million in investments through matching funds.
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/
Linda Reimer, MLA for Port Moody-Coquitlam –
“The Buy Local program is investing in the province’s farmers’ markets to deliver fresh tasting, home-grown, locally produced products to the homes of British Columbians throughout B.C. The hard-working individuals that make up the sector share their passion for authentic flavours and dedication to providing for B.C.’s families.”
Tabitha McLoughlin, executive director, Coquitlam Farmers’ Market Society –
“We are thrilled to have received the BC Buy Local funding for our Discover Your Farmers Market! project. The focus of the project will be to engage with community members who may not have been to the market, and to encourage them to discover the tastes, smells, and deliciousness of local produce grown in BC. Through print, online and social media we will have a series of interactive events happening that will draw people to the Farmers Market and discover what many people already know; that a farmers market is more than just a place to buy food, it is a community hub, a place to meet the folks who make, bake and grow your food.”
Artisan Farmers’ Markets: http://www.artisanmarkets.ca/
Coquitlam Farmers’ Market Society: http://makebakegrow.com/
Lepp Farm Market Inc.: http://www.leppfarmmarket.com/
Royal City Farmers’ Market Association: http://rcfm.ca/
Salt Spring Community Market Society: https://saltspringmarket.com/salt-spring-island-markets/tuesday-market/
Tofino Public Market Society: http://www.tofinomarket.com/
A backgrounder follows.