The province’s farmers, fishers and food and beverage processors can now apply for the latest round of Buy BC funding to help promote their products and increase sales within B.C.
“The Buy BC program plays such an important role in keeping people and our local economies working, helping British Columbians easily identify and access products made here at home,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. “Over 500 businesses are now using the Buy BC logo to promote the amazing local products that are grown, raised, harvested and processed by our hard-working, dedicated farmers and food producers.”
Since the program was relaunched in 2018:
- 116 B.C. companies have received cost-shared funding; and
- over 500 B.C. companies have been licensed to use the Buy BC logo.
Buy BC has helped many local businesses increase their sales and share local products with British Columbians.
For example, the Squamish Water Kefir Company was established in 2015 by two self-proclaimed nutrition nerds, Sabrina and Kristin. Their locally produced fermented drink contains probiotics, vitamins and minerals, and comes in flavours such as sparkling lemon ginger and sparkling blood orange. The pair used Buy BC to promote their business and introduce buyers and consumers to their new line of locally made kefir-based popsicles.
“We were very excited to be accepted to the Buy BC program for 2020-21,” said Sabrina Horlyck, owner, Squamish Water Kefir Company. “This program allowed us, as a small business, to create a marketing campaign we would otherwise not have been able to implement and really put our brand out there and reach the audience we needed to achieve real growth and success. In this past year, we feel we have really shed the ‘startup’ feel and shown retailers and consumers our brand offers a quality product that brings value to their lives.”
In Kelowna, Little Creek Dressing has been making small-batch organic, vegan artisan dressings to add to salads or include in recipes since 1995. The company produces five flavours, Okanagan's original, Okanagan caesar, cherry balsamic, summer strawberry and Asian apricot, that capture the flavours of the region in a bottle. Little Creek Dressing promoted its products by using the Buy BC logo on point-of-sale items and promotional materials, along with an online advertising campaign.
“Little Creek Dressing began with the support of the B.C. government’s program to help farms create value-added products back in the ‘90s, and that support continues today with the Buy BC Program,” said Jubi Steinhauer, executive director, Little Creek Dressing. “We are grateful to be able to use the Buy BC logo and to get support on our marketing initiatives.”
Sheringham Distillery Ltd. is located in Sooke on southern Vancouver Island. Jason and Alayne MacIsaac own and run the distillery that uses local ingredients. The distillery incorporated the Buy BC logo onto labels of its locally made vodka and gin, and delivered print and social media ad campaigns to help identify its product in the B.C. marketplace.
“The Buy BC program has been a wonderful and rewarding addition to our business. It has allowed us to free up capital we have used to create new product lines, as well as target more territories with added marketing materials,” said Terence Fitzgerald, senior vice-president, Sheringham Distillery. “As we expand our business, the program has given us the chance to include marketing materials in all product boxes shipped, provide promotional materials to retailers and add different items we have not created before. Best of all, we get to promote this amazing province while adding to the health of our bottom line.”
The Buy BC Partnership Program is providing $2 million this year to help eligible applicants with their marketing efforts using the Buy BC logo on their products or promotional materials to help consumers easily identify their product as a B.C. product.
This application intake window for Buy BC funding is open from March 10 until April 7, 2021. 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/
For more information about Buy BC: https://buybc.gov.bc.ca/
Buy BC e-commerce success stories: https://buybc.gov.bc.ca/about-buy-bc/success-stories/
Buy BC: New Opportunities for Vancouver Island Seafood Companies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RdYkaiJCx0
Squamish Water Kefir Company: http://squamishwaterkefir.com/
Little Creek Dressing: https://www.littlecreekdressing.ca/
Sheringham Distillery Ltd.: https://www.sheringhamdistillery.com/