A toast to B.C. producers

With the bounty of late summer hitting store shelves, I hope you’ve noticed a logo hanging next to local products, and maybe that’s a factor in deciding what should be in your shopping cart.

Buy BC.

What is Buy BC? And why does it matter?

It’s not just for produce, but for everything you might put on your table, from beef to salmon to desserts, paired with local wine, freshly pressed juices, a craft beer or cider, or a martini made from local gin or vodka…the list goes on.

Buy BC promotes all these ingredients, and was relaunched by the provincial government a couple of years ago as a cost-sharing funding program to support local growers, producers, farms, restaurants and more.

Look for the Buy BC symbol when you’re shopping, and choose products that are grown, harvested, raised and processed locally by your neighbours all over the province.

Why? First, you’re supporting the local economy and probably a nearby farm or, quite often, a family business.

Second, you’re reducing your carbon footprint. How ‘bout dem apples from the Okanagan? Around 12 varieties are grown in province, and rather than source your Granny Smiths (my favourite), from further away, it takes less gas and emissions to get them to the store from a nearby orchard.

Third, don’t we all want to know where our food comes from? I look for the “grown in” info. The closer that cabbage was grown to my kitchen, the happier I am. It surely will taste better than a bag of Brussel sprouts that had to fly here.

The Buy BC website includes a list of restaurants, where to find farmers’ markets, what’s in season, a featured recipe. There is also info for a province-wide, annual menu-planning session for farmers, ranchers, chefs and members of the food and beverage industry to create more opportunities to bring local food to plates around the province.

The event is called Every Chef Needs a Farmer, Every Farmer Needs a Chef and happens Nov. 12 in Vancouver.

Here in the Okanagan and nearby valleys, we’re lucky to be so close to the land and people grow and raise everything around us.

There’s nothing fresher than a pear that was picked a few hours before you hopped in the car to go get it, maybe baked with a local cheese, drizzled in local honey made, next to a good glass of Okanagan wine.


Sept. 14, Naramata: The annual Naramata Tailgate Party takes place at the Naramata Heritage Inn, with multiple wineries from the Naramata Bench.

Sept. 18, Kelowna: Join PipART Creations at Volcanic Hills to create some art – Mixed Media Wine Bottles.

Sept. 21, Kelowna: Appleooza, a cider-tasting event, takes place at the Packinghouse with a number of cideries and food trucks.


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About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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