The Buy BC program was revitalized last year and is once again a big hit, as consumers are reaching for products with the new Buy BC logo at their local grocery store and farmers markets.
“I am so excited to see the success of the Buy BC program — that’s the power of a strong brand,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “Buy BC promotes local food and beverages and encourages British Columbians to purchase products made close to home. I want to encourage our B.C. agriculture, food and beverage sector to apply for funding and be the next chapter in our Buy BC success story.”
Since the inception of the Buy BC program in 2018:
- 178 B.C. companies have certified products;
- 115 B.C. companies have received cost-shared funding; and
- 58 B.C. companies now have a licence for promotional materials.
Anita’s Organic Mill is an artisan-quality and certified organic and kosher mill in Chilliwack. It produces white, whole grain and sprouted flours, cereals and mixes sourced directly from farmers in Armstrong and Creston. With $44,268 in Buy BC funding, Anita’s launched an online membership-based bake club, connecting and educating baking enthusiasts. It has also introduced consumers to a new line of gluten-free products.
“Thanks to Buy BC, we are excited to report that Anita’s sales are up 36% and our new of line of gluten-free products are available in 100 local stores,” said Jayda Smith, Anita’s vice-president. “These results could not have been achieved without the funding of this project.”
In the Fraser Valley, G&D Growers are introducing freeze dried B.C. blueberries to consumers. A healthy snack product, the blueberries are processed locally, with no preservatives or additives, and no added sugar. With $36,703 in Buy BC funding, the fourth-generation family farm is focused on expanding its customer reach on Vancouver Island, northern B.C. and the Okanagan.
“In an ever-changing world of food security, it has become increasingly important to consumers to identify countries of origin,” said Jatinder Dhaliwal, G&D owner. “The Buy BC program has been a great tool for us to help customers identify locally grown blueberries. The assistance of the program will help us establish a market where we can get more value for our blueberries.”
Cloverdale Country Farms is a locally owned, all-natural and organic speciality grocer showcasing each season’s unique, locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. With $35,519 in Buy BC funding, the Surrey-based business is promoting to customers the benefits that come from fresh, local, quality crops.
“We believe that fresh, wholesome foods are the foundation of a healthy life, family and community,” said Randy Sihota, Cloverdale Country Farms owner. “We are thankful for the support we have received from our customers over the years and now with the Buy BC funding, we will be increasing our social media and marketing efforts to welcome more people through our doors.”
“Love in, love out” is the philosophy of Grown Here Farms, as they believe that what goes into how a product was made is just as important as what comes out. The business has an organic farm in Cawston. With $30,000 in Buy BC funding, Grown Here Farms is increasing awareness of its B.C. grown, organic products through its in-store demonstrations and net-zero trike-delivery in Vancouver.
“We provide our customers with fresh, local products from small, family farms, using sustainable transportation,” said Krystine McInnes, Grown Here Farms founder. “We have a great story to tell and the Buy BC funding is helping us reach more consumers with our positive message.”
The Buy BC Partnership Program provides $2 million per year until March 2021 to help eligible applicants with their marketing efforts using the Buy BC logo on their products or promotional materials.
From Oct. 1, 2019, until Nov. 29, 2019, applications are being accepted for the next round of funding. The provincial government's Buy BC Partnership Program is delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia. For application details, visit: https://iafbc.ca/buy-bc/
Buy BC: https://buybc.gov.bc.ca/