WHITE ROCK - To help promote its 14th season, the White Rock Farmers' Market is receiving $20,000 in funding from the B.C. government's Buy Local program for a marketing campaign to raise awareness and increase traffic to the market, Surrey-White Rock MLA Gordon Hogg announced today on behalf of Agriculture Minister Pat Pimm.
The campaign will focus on encouraging patrons to make healthy, sustainable food choices while supporting area farmers, small-scale food production and local artisans.
The weekly non-profit market currently has 70-plus vendors who all make, bake or grow their own products. All produce sold must be locally grown with 90 per cent being grown by the vendors themselves.
Advertising is the most important aspect of the campaign that includes the hanging of a large street banner across a major road, a mail drop to over 100,000 area homes and advertisements in local newspapers. Volunteers and staff are wearing Buy Local campaign t-shirts with the tag line, Celebrate the Heart of our Community.
To promote personal health and nutrition, the market will have a certified holistic nutritionist on site who will help customers, through a free personal consultation, develop a shopping list of local foods. To show visitors how farmers' market prices compare to other retail outlets, each week the nutritionist will take a selection of seasonal fruits and vegetables and do a price comparison against three supermarkets. The results will be posted at the market.
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 BC 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.
Surrey-White Rock MLA Gordon Hogg -
"The White Rock Farmers Society has for 14 years provided our community with a positive alternative for delivering locally grown and produced products. This grant will allow the society to increase their outreach to producers and consumers, providing additional healthy options for our community."
Minister of Agriculture Pat Pimm -
"Having easy access to fresh, healthy, locally produced foods is so important to today's B.C. families. The White Rock Farmers' Market not only provides an enjoyable shopping experience, it also connects consumers with growers to help them understand where their food comes from."
White Rock Farmers' Market, president Tina Landert -
"The White Rock Farmers' Market is thrilled and honoured to be supported by the ministry to promote our Buy Local campaign. Our market is a large part of our community and we appreciate this generous grant."
- The White Rock Farmers' market was started in 1998 and now is in its 14th year of operation.
- B.C. farmers' markets contributed $170 million in economic benefits in 2012, a 146 per cent increase from 2006.
- The market runs on Sundays from May 26-Dec. 15 and currently has 70-plus vendors.
- In 2006, the financial impact generated for the local economy by the White Rock Farmers' Market was $860,000. In 2012, that figure rose to $1.75 million.
- The number of B.C. farmers' markets has more than doubled in the last 10 years.
- The BC Association of Farmers' Markets represents a network of 125 markets throughout the province.
B.C. Buy Local program: http://www.gov.bc.ca/agri/buylocal.html
White Rock Farmers' Market: www.whiterockfarmersmarket.ca
Locate a farmers' market near you: http://met.bcfarmersmarket.org/market-search
Keep up to date on the latest in B.C. foods and beverages: https://www.facebook.com/FoodsBC
Ministry of Agriculture
250 889-5945 (cell)
White Rock Farmers' Market Society
604 897 3276