Buy Local gets boost

Two South Okanagan agri-food companies are getting a shot in the arm from B.C.’s Buy Local program.

The program splits the cost of marketing for local growers and producers to help promote the industry and increase support for local companies.

Howling Moon Cider House in Oliver and Bordertown Vineyards and Estate Winery in Osoyoos will receive up to $30,762 in provincial grant cash.

Howling Moon will get up to $11,875, and Bordertown up to $17,387.

Both companies are aiming to increase sales by 25 per cent over the coming year.

The Buy Local Program has dispersed $8 million in funding since 2012, with the aim of increasing sales of locally grown and processed agri-food and seafood in the province.

Howling Moon owner Kate Durisek said the program will help the business to market its product across B.C.

“Getting support from the Buy Local funding program has given a huge boost to the brand and overall market presence of our family-run business,” Durisek said.

“It’s been integral to the growth of our operations.”

Bordertown’s Cindy Ferrie said the funding will go toward various marketing strategies, including launching a wine club.

“Which basically allows us to sell wine directly to the consumer,” she said.

The winery is also using events like Feast of Fields, which took place Aug. 14 in Kelowna, to promote itself.

The promotions must tout Buy Local as well as the recipient.

“You basically promote the benefits of promoting foods or wines or whatever that are proudly produced and processed and packaged right in British Columbia,” said Ferrie.

The growth plan is a component of the BC Jobs Plan and the roadmap to leading the agri-foods sector to becoming a $15-billion-a-year industry by 2020.

Applications for the Buy Local Program are available at the program’s website.

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