British Columbia's key players in the agriculture, seafood, and food and beverage industries gathered at the Sandhill Winery to attend the first kickoff event to celebrate Buy BC: Eat Drink Local.
The Buy BC: Eat Drink Local campaign is a new promotion aimed at educating British Columbians on the positive effect their choices have in B.C. when they choose to support local agriculture, seafood and food processing companies. It will help local producers connect with the hospitality sector and increase the number of B.C. products that are profiled and served in restaurants and food service establishments around the province.
The highlight of the campaign will be a month-long dining promotion in May 2018, offering consumers the experience to learn about and enjoy fresh dishes made with local ingredients. The campaign will also feature the return of the Buy BC logo, making it easier for people to support B.C. farmers, seafood and food processors, with an easy-to-identify brand on food products grown and made in B.C.
Agriculture Minister Lana Popham was joined by British Columbia Restaurant & Food Services Association (BCRFA) president and CEO Ian Tostenson at the event to encourage local restaurants, food service establishments and B.C. food and beverage producers to reserve their spot to participate in Buy BC: Eat Drink Local.
"I encourage restaurateurs to sign up now for Buy BC: Eat Drink Local and get your profile on the new Buy BC: Eat Drink Local website," said Popham. "Let's get British Columbians excited about the products that are being grown and produced in our province and celebrate the success of B.C.'s agriculture, seafood and food-processing industry. It's time to get the Buy BC conversation going and give consumers a simple way to support local products grown, harvested and made by their fellow British Columbians."
Three local chefs provided the fare for the event, giving guests a taste of what's to come next May. Adam Relvas of Relvas Catering, Tina Tang of Predator Ridge Resort and Ross Derrick of The Table at Codfathers Market, created special dishes highlighting delicious and fresh B.C. ingredients as well as their own unique culinary styles.
Participating restaurants will develop a special, month-long menu showcasing the variety of food produced in the province and British Columbians can learn which restaurants will be serving Buy BC: Eat Drink Local menus by visiting: http://www.eatdrinklocal.ca
The site provides visitors with the opportunity to take part in online conversations about why consumers should #BuyBC and #EatDrinkLocal.
"We are proud to be working on Buy BC: Eat Drink Local with the provincial government. I admire the government's passion to partner with us to connect local producers, restaurants and the public to B.C. food and beverage. Combined, our local products and restaurants are world class," said Tostenson. "The restaurants of British Columbia are the best place to showcase what B.C. has to offer as we are taste makers and culinary. We are committed to sourcing from our 'backyard' not only because it makes taste sense, but economic sense."
The Ministry of Agriculture is taking a three-pronged approach to build opportunities and sales for B.C. food producers, and those wishing to join the sector. Buy BC, Feed BC and Grow BC will be introduced to encourage and promote B.C. agriculture. Buy BC will offer a recognizable brand on local products and help B.C food and beverage businesses expand their sales in the province. Feed BC will help increase the use of B.C. foods in hospitals and other government facilities while creating opportunities to start or expand a farm or food business in communities throughout the province. Grow BC will centre on policies and programs that support farmers and help B.C. producers expand local food production as well as support young British Columbians who want to farm.
Buy BC: Eat Drink Local website: http://www.eatdrinklocal.ca/
For more information on Relvas Catering, visit: http://www.relvascatering.com/
Check out what the dining experience at the Predator Ridge Resort has to offer: https://www.predatorridge.com/dining/
Learn more about The Table at Codfathers: https://thetableatcodfathers.com/
Agriculture Minister Popham’s statement on B.C. Craft Beer Month: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017AGRI0054-001706
Jill MilneGovernment Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Agriculture
Ian TostensonBritish Columbia Restaurant & Food Services Association