VICTORIA - Soon British Columbians will be able to trace where their purchased shellfish comes from as part of the B.C. Government's Buy Local program.
The BC Shellfish Grower's Association is receiving $35,125 to develop promotional materials to be used at trade shows and for website development, including social-media tools and a mobile application.
The social-media tools will help bridge the gap between producer and consumer through interactive tools such as video, health and nutrition information, recipes, a mobile web app, and an 'oysterpedia' detailing the various oysters grown in B.C.
The Buy Local program offers successful applicants matching funds up to $100,000 to launch or expand local food marketing campaigns.
Building the local market for B.C. foods is a key commitment of government's Agrifoods Strategy, a component of the B.C. Jobs Plan, to lead the agrifoods sector growth into a $14-billion-a-year industry by 2017.
The provincial government's Buy Local program is administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C.
Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick -
"B.C. shellfish are served at restaurants and homes around the world. Our shellfish aquaculture is a $37 million industry that provides 1,000 full-time, year-round jobs in some of B.C.'s most rural, coastal and First Nation communities. They are another example of how our reputation for supplying safe, healthy food provides jobs and economic benefits to our coastal communities."
"Shellfish growers offer British Columbians great-tasting and sustainable meals fresh from the Pacific. I encourage consumers to get social with tools the association is creating and use them to explore and enjoy B.C. shellfish."
BC Shellfish Grower's Association executive director, Roberta Stevenson -
"The contribution from the Buy Local program will give the shellfish farmers of British Columbia an opportunity to market their sustainably grown products locally to retailers, consumers and B.C. chefs."
- Shellfish aquaculture is the cultivation and harvesting (farming) of aquatic invertebrates and marine plants.
- Shellfish stock cultivated commercially in B.C. includes mussels, oysters, clams and scallops. New species such as abalone, geoducks, quahogs and sea urchins are in the experimental stages of development.
- In 2011, the total shellfish harvest from the capture fisheries and culture operations was 24,000 tonnes and contributed nine per cent to the total B.C. seafood harvest.
- The British Columbia Shellfish Grower's Association (BCSGA) has been the voice of the shellfish industry since 1948. The non-profit association represents approximately 70 per cent of shellfish growers in B.C. in addition to suppliers and service providers to the industry.
- B.C. shellfish are also popular around the globe. Top export markets in 2011 were China, Japan, Hong Kong, U.S., Taiwan and Singapore.
B.C. Buy Local Program: http://www.gov.bc.ca/agri/buylocal.html
BC Shellfish Grower's Association: http://bcsga.ca/
Photo Link: http://flic.kr/p/dWhT5N
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Agriculture
BC Shellfish Grower's Association