Op/Ed: Buy BC First, says BC Premier
By John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia
This B.C. Day long weekend, let’s take time to enjoy food, friends and family. Let’s also celebrate the farmers, producers, and local businesses who provide quality food and drink grown right here in B.C.
B.C. farmers grow fresh, local food delivered to us at farmers’ markets, grocery stores, and restaurants. We need to do more to make sure B.C. farmers survive and thrive.
Our government is taking strong steps to support farmers and producers, jobs, and communities all over the province. Through our three-pronged approach – BuyBC, GrowBC, and FeedBC – we are making B.C.’s agricultural sector even stronger.
With more and more people in B.C. interested in buying and eating locally, our government is encouraging people to BuyBC first. Through the BuyBC brand, we’ve made it easier for consumers to recognize locally grown or produced goods and businesses. BuyBC provides marketing support and a recognizable logo for B.C. farmers, producers, and local businesses. It’s a win-win for people producing and buying made-in-B.C. goods.
The local food, wine, and craft beer industry is thriving all over B.C. To celebrate B.C.’s booming wine industry, we declared April as B.C. wine month. To connect people to local, seasonal, and sustainable food in restaurants and bars, we launched the EAT DRINK LOCAL campaign, which connects local producers with restaurateurs and chefs to showcase B.C.’s quality products in the culinary scene.
Buying local means $46 out of $100 we spend goes back into the province’s economy. When you BuyBC, you support local workers and help boost our shared prosperity.
As we encourage more people to BuyBC, we must also make sure people have an opportunity to grow a career in agriculture. To get more young people farming, we’re making sure they have the land to farm on through the GrowBC program. This program also helps fruit and nut growers expand local food production. More people in B.C. – and the rest of the world – will have access to high-quality B.C. produce.
To put fresh, local food on more people’s plates around the province, our government established the FeedBC program. Through FeedBC, we’re making sure foods grown and processed in B.C. are used in hospitals, schools, and government facilities. We’re also supporting lower-income families, seniors and pregnant women to buy fresh, local food at B.C. farmers’ markets. This means more people, regardless of income, will be consuming healthy, local food from their local farmer and producer.
This long weekend, I encourage you to visit your local farmers market. Buy local ingredients, including local beer and wine. When we support our local food and drink industry, we’re supporting our local workers, jobs, communities, and our long-term shared prosperity. This B.C. Day, BuyBC to help build a better B.C.