Buy Local gives funds

Business is booming for BX Press, a third-generation apple orchard and cidery near Vernon, according to owner Melissa Dobernigg.

The company was one of two area businesses handed a combined $34,300 in funding through the province's Buy Local program to launch advertising campaigns and marketing strategies.

“(The cidery) has been so well received that I'm continually blown away by how much Vernon has supported us,” said Dobernigg, following a cheque presentation in Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster's office.

She said the cidery has gone from making 6,000 to 40,000 litres a year, the equivalent of 80,000 bottles. It uses apples from its own orchard.

“Buy Local has allowed us greater presence on the Lower Mainland and in Victoria,” said Dobernigg. “The funding has helped us with packaging and labelling as well as setting up an online store.”

The Vernon-based Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia (COABC) also received funding.

The not-for-profit umbrella association represents organic certifying agencies in the province. Its mission is to promote organic agriculture and ensure the quality of locally grown and processed organic foods.

"There are many reasons to choose local certified organic products, such as supporting local farmers and enjoying great tasting food,” said Jen Gamble, executive director of operations.

Gamble said the funding enables the association to promote organic products at farmers' markets and increase awareness about certified organics.

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