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.
"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," said BC Potato and Vegetable Growers' Association chair, Bill Zylmans.
The material will be used at trade shows and for website development, including social media tools and a mobile application.
"With farm gate receipts exceeding $25 million, commercial potatoes are an important field vegetable crop here in B.C.,” says Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick.
“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."
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.
- 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.