VICTORIA - As part of the British Columbia government's Buy Local program, the B.C. Certified Seed Potato Growers Association is receiving $5,000 to develop promotional materials that will help raise awareness about the value of buying B.C. certified seed potatoes. The material will be used at trade shows and for website development, including social media tools and a mobile application.
The project will connect seed purchasers and producers through a web-based, market-exchange tool and improve access for B.C. consumers to potatoes grown from B.C. certified potato seeds.
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 -
"With farm gate receipts exceeding $25 million, commercial potatoes are an important field vegetable crop here in B.C. This funding will allow more opportunity for consumers to access potatoes originating from B.C. certified seeds. Besides being fresh and nutritious, buying locally grown produce ensures that your dollars stay in the community."
BC Potato and Vegetable Growers' Association, chair, Bill Zylmans -
"This project promotes the benefits of B.C. certified seed and the role the B.C. seed potato industry plays in the production of quality seed."
- Potatoes grow from eyes, pieces of tuber used to clone the parent plant. Each seed potato can be a small whole potato or a part of a potato, but it must have at least one eye to produce the new growth.
- Seed potatoes are grown under a regulated certification program to make sure that they are as disease-free as possible.
- B.C. grows approximately 1,100 acres of certified seed potatoes grown by approximately 20 growers, producing over 20 different varieties.
- Seed potatoes are grown in the Lower Mainland, the Kootenay region, the Okanagan Valley and on Vancouver Island.
- Potatoes grow well in almost every part of this country, even up to and within the Arctic Circle.
B.C. Buy Local program: http://www.gov.bc.ca/agri/buylocal.html
BC Potato and Vegetable Growers' Association:http://www.bcac.bc.ca/member-associations/bc-potato-vegetable-growers-association
Keep up to date on the latest in B.C. foods and beverages: https://www.facebook.com/FoodsBC
Ministry of Agriculture
Bill Zylmans, chair
BC Potato and Vegetable Growers' Association
604 220-4903 or 1 888 940-2024