There’s government cash to eat up for food producers interested in rolling out “shop local” campaigns.
On Nov.8, the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture announced its Buy Local Program. The $2-million initiative offers applicants matching funds from $5,000 to $100,000 to launch or expand local food marketing campaigns. Those eligible to dish in on the dough include associations, co-operatives, marketing boards, Aboriginal groups, companies and non-profit organizations.
Since being appointed Minister of Agriculture, Norm Letnick said he has met with farmers and food processors in communities across B.C. He said he’s heard some great ideas on how officials can promote the province’s diverse food products.
“Now is the time to turn those ideas into new dollars for local food producers,” Letnick said in a statement. “I encourage those eligible and interested in promoting local products to apply for the funding that is available.”
Funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis, the ministry stated. Campaigns can promote B.C. food, seafood, agricultural products, agritourism and include in-store promotions, social media or web campaigns, advertising and on-product labelling. Applicants must be based in B.C., and applications will be reviewed by an Industry Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from farming, manufacturing, seafood, restaurants and the retail sector.
The Investment Agriculture Foundation has poured $1.5 million into the Buy Local Program, with the British Columbia Agriculture Council administering $500,000 into the initiative.
The program’s application form and further information is available at www.gov.bc.ca/agri/buylocal.html.