Buy BC programming is being relaunched to boost B.C.’s agriculture industry and fuel public interest in shopping for made-in-B.C. products.
Bringing back the brand power of this marketing program — popular with B.C. growers and producers, but cancelled in the early 2000s — will make it easier for British Columbians to explore new and different products from around the province.
The relaunch was announced by Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. Popham was joined by Vickey Brown, BC Association of Farmers’ Markets vice-president, and surrounded by local vendors at the Moss Street Market in Victoria, along with market-goers and local vendors.
“The goal is to connect more British Columbians and visitors with the great food and drinks made right here in B.C.,” said Popham. “When people are making their shopping decisions, we want them to reach for B.C. products.
“Much has changed since the program was cancelled more than a decade ago. There are new types of B.C. producers and products that we think British Columbians and visitors will fall in love with. And Buy BC will be instrumental in introducing those products to British Columbians and a global audience.”
The Buy BC Partnership Program involves cost-shared funding that is available not only to agriculture and seafood producers, processors and co-operatives, but also to relevant industry associations, as well as agricultural fairs and markets within B.C., like the Moss Street Market.
As well, logo-licencing agreements will be available for B.C. agriculture and seafood companies that do not require cost-shared funding, but still wish to use the Buy BC logo on products to help consumers easily identify their product as a local product.
“We are thrilled to see this support for B.C. farmers, growers and makers of local food that can be found at over 145 community farmers’ markets across the province,” said Wylie Bystedt, president of the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets. “More and more British Columbians are seeking out unique, local, in-season foods, and the Buy BC Partnership Program will make it easier to choose these foods, which is an integral part of ensuring a thriving local food sector in B.C.”
The Buy BC Partnership Program will provide $2 million in funding per year, over the next three years, to help eligible applicants with their marketing efforts using the Buy BC logo on their products or promotional materials.
“The Ministry of Agriculture’s three pillars of Grow BC, Feed BC and Buy BC are supporting the province’s agriculture sectors and encouraging British Columbians to choose B.C. products which in turn, support our local farmers and ranchers,” said Stan Vander Waal, president, BC Agriculture Council. “Placing the Buy BC partnership logo on B.C. products strengthens the local brand, and reminds consumers that we grow and raise some of the most trusted and highest-quality product in the world.”
The provincial government’s Buy BC Partnership Program will be administered and delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia, with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture.