We Heart Local

We Heart Local

January 27, 2014 11:00 ET

Introducing BC's First Province-Wide We Heart Local Partnership Program

The We Heart Local Partnership Program provides valuable recognition to businesses supplying local food, making it easy for consumers looking for local options

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Jan. 27, 2014) - Buy Local. Eat Natural is excited to announce the launch of the BC-wide We Heart Local Partnership Program. The We Heart Local Partnership Program is designed to provide greater consumer recognition for businesses and restaurants across BC offering local products or ingredients. The We Local symbol next to a food item, menu item, recipe, or establishment provides a clear assurance to consumers that they are buying local.

The launch of the program also coincides with the launch of the new We Heart Local mobile app [http://bit.ly/1dPzyCi] . This free app connects British Columbians to the local BC food community. Features include:

  • Search, explore and locate tasty local BC food places using the convenient geo-targeted map.
  • View mouth-watering recipes based on fresh local BC ingredients.
  • Know what's in season and where to buy it for a fresh and healthy BC farm-to-table experience.
  • Learn more about the We Heart Local community. Be proud of supporting local BC farmers for superior quality and flavourful foods.
  • Save your favourite local food places and recipes so you can enjoy easy access to the best local BC foods and venues
  • Share all your favourite local food places and recipes with friends and We Heart Local community on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or email.

Explains Rhonda Driediger, Chair of the BC Agriculture Council, and founding partner of the We Heart Local Partnership Program: "Much like the Ocean Wise program has driven support for sustainable seafood, our goal with the We Heart Local Partnership Program is to drive the consumer movement towards supporting buying local food in BC. When businesses enlist in the We Heart Local Program, they'll be equipped with We Heart Local brand recognition, assuring consumers they supply and support local. Without a doubt, the We Heart Local Program is something all participating businesses will be proud to be a part of."

Says Pat Pimm, B.C. Agriculture Minister: "The We Heart Local campaign is helping folks discover and enjoy the huge variety of foods produced in B.C. The smart phone app, and increased promotion in stores and restaurants will speak to tourists and locals alike, and help increase sales of B.C. foods."

Adds Chris Whittaker, Executive Chef at Vancouver-based Forage restaurant: "With the We Heart Local program businesses like mine will finally have a strong and consistent way to let consumers know that indeed they will find locally grown and produced food on the menu. I'm personally very excited to see this movement shape up, and to have the support of technology like the mobile app which will help the general public find establishments like mine and more broadly, to discover many amazing foods around the province!"

The We Heart Local Partnership Program is driven by the BC Agriculture Council and the BC Ministry of Agriculture, with participation from many partners across BC including our Advisory
Committee members:

Christina Burridge, Executive Director, BC Seafood Alliance
Julie Dickson Olmstead, Communications Director, Overwaitea Food Group
Gay Hahn, CEO, Avalon Dairy
Lee Humphries, Executive Chef, The Local Group/Local Lounge Grille
Elizabeth Quinn, Executive Director, BC Association of Farmers' Markets
Gillian Robbins, BC Poultry Farmer

Here's how the We Heart Local Partnership Program works:

  • All participating businesses in the program will receive valuable recognition on the Buy Local. Eat Natural. Website [www.buylocaleatnatural.com], and via all Buy Local. Eat Natural. social media channels.
  • All participating businesses will be listed and searchable on the newly launched Buy Local. Eat Natural. mobile app, designed to help consumers find local food options. This app, which is being promoted to British Columbians, will become the standard local food-finder for all of BC.
  • All participants will have opportunities to be featured in various We Heart Local campaigns and events along with ambassador opportunities such as promoted cooking classes.
  • All partners are able to use the We Heart Local brand on menus, storefronts, ads, social media, etc. to make their establishments more findable by locally conscious consumers.

Qualifying criteria for the We Heart Local Partnership Program:

  • Restaurant partners must have a minimum of 5 menu items made with qualifying products
  • Retail partners must offer at least 10% of their total product mix with qualifying products
  • Merchants, market vendors, food trucks, and boutique retailers must offer at least 20 qualifying products OR ensure that more than 50% of their products qualify
  • Farmers and harvesters must ensure that more than 50% of their products qualify, AND must sell directly to customers

To apply for this program, visit: http://buylocaleatnatural.com/we-heart-local/.

About Buy Local. Eat Natural.

Buy Local. Eat Natural. is a not-for-profit community forum that aims to promote and bring together BC's local food products, growers and producers. An initiative from the BC agriculture sector, Buy Local. Eat Natural. is supported by the BC Agriculture Council and the BC Ministry of Agriculture and sustained by thousands of passionate local food enthusiasts, like yourself! Join us here:

www.buylocaleatnatural.com

@eatlocalnatural #weheartlocal

facebook.com/buylocaleatnatural

pinterest.com/eatlocalnatural

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