Grocery shoppers will have an easier time identifying B.C. products when visiting Safeway stores, as the Buy BC brand will be featured in the retailer’s locations around the province.
Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, was joined by Safeway’s Ralf Mundel, vice-president of B.C. operations, and Jana Sobey, vice-president, merchandising, at the Robson Street Safeway to announce that Safeway is the second major grocery store chain in the province to feature the Buy BC logo.
The Buy BC marketing program is recognized provincewide. It makes it easier for British Columbians to identify B.C. food and seafood products from around the province. Created in the 1990s, the program is popular with B.C. farmers, producers and consumers, and was revitalized last year.
“It’s exciting to have this new Buy BC partnership with Safeway, which makes it very simple for customers to support B.C. farmers when grocery shopping,” Popham said. “When British Columbians buy locally grown, raised, harvested and processed food and beverages, they are getting a fresher, more sustainable product that comes directly from people in B.C.’s agriculture and seafood industries.”
The Buy BC partnership launch event provided an opportunity for over 20 B.C. food producers and processors to promote and provide samples of their products to shoppers.
“At Sobeys, supporting our local products and suppliers to thrive is a core priority for us in B.C. and in over 1,500 stores and 900 communities across Canada,” Sobey said. “Through our partnership with the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture, we have the opportunity to showcase and celebrate the many unique products that our local supplier partners bring to our customers and communities, seasonally and year-round.”
The Robson Safeway store will be the first location to showcase Buy BC. By the end of September 2019, British Columbians can expect to see the Buy BC brand on grocery shelves in all B.C. Safeway stores. Customers will see Buy BC point-of-sale materials like banners, stickers and shelf displays set up in store to help identify food and beverage products made in B.C.
“I am very proud to highlight B.C. traceable dairy in my ice cream and the Buy BC program validates this,” said Lori Joyce, founder and CEO, Betterwith Foods Inc. “With support from the Buy BC program, my ice creams are easier to identify as a B.C. product in the freezer, which is an asset to small B.C. businesses like mine. The Buy BC messaging helps educate customers of their choice to buy local food and beverages, which in turn helps strengthen our communities and the families in them."
Certified Buy BC products provide the public with confidence that those products meet specific criteria regarding their connection to B.C. as the place of origin or manufacture of the products themselves or their ingredients. To be considered for authorization to use the Buy BC logo, applicants must be a B.C.-based:
- industry association, board, or council; agricultural fair and/or farmers market; agriculture, food and beverage, and/or seafood retailer, wholesaler or distributor; or other non-profit agriculture, food and beverage, and/or seafood organization; or
- primary agriculture and/or seafood producer or co-operative; or agriculture, food and beverage, and/or seafood processor.
Companies must also have a head office in B.C. or be entitled to do business in B.C. and sell or market one or more products grown or processed in B.C.
The Province is providing over $2 million a year in cost-shared support through the Buy BC program to producers, processors, industry associations, boards, councils, co-operatives, fairs and farmers markets for marketing materials to help promote their products. There is no cost for B.C. companies interested in getting licensed to use the Buy BC logo on their product packaging and it helps customers identify their product as being grown, raised, harvested or processed in B.C.
- The Province currently has over 240 licensed groups under the Buy BC program.
- A Buy BC brand recognition survey of approximately 5,000 B.C. consumers found that 74% of participants recognized the Buy BC logo.
Buy BC: https://buybc.gov.bc.ca/