Support B.C. Farmers & Food with these Actions

Support B.C. Farmers

For many, a quintessential summer experience in B.C. is biting into a juicy Okanagan peach purchased at a roadside farmstand on a hot and sunny day. The recent news from farmers and the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association that peach and stone fruit harvests are down at least 90% is a hard hit for consumers seeking summer stone fruits, and a devastating blow to local farmers. 

“After several hard years in a row, growers are feeling the financial and emotional pressure of low yields, low returns, and an erosion of public awareness for local agriculture production,” says the BCFGA on their website

The work we do at Good to Grow generally focuses on the post-production side of local food–when the food becomes a packaged product ready to hit shelves–but it is never far from our minds how a product is made and where ingredients come from: B.C. farmers and producers.

Around this time of summer market season, we usually share a blog post featuring the benefits of farmers’ markets for food and beverage businesses, like Five Tips for a Fruitful Farmers’ Market.  However, we’re shifting the focus to show our support to farmers and share ways you can support your local farmer as a consumer or business.

Ways to Support Local Farmers:

  • Source Local
    The B.C. food and beverage community is incredible at supporting each other and coming together in times of need. If you are a business or restaurant owner reading this and not sourcing local first for your brand or business, we encourage you to consider sourcing local when you can. Your consumers, community, and local economy will love you for it.
  • Buy Local
    You’ve heard it, you know it, so focus on it: buy local. As consumers, it’s easy to see a product that you need and grab-and-go. Stop and check to see where you’re buying from. Pick the B.C. apple over the across-the-border apple. Pick the frozen fruit with the Buy BC logo. Buy the B.C. wine. Head to the aisle or section that is dedicated to local products produced by local people with locally farmed foods.
  • Visit Local BC Farmers’ Markets
    In your weekly meal plan and shop, carve out time to go to the local farmers’ market. It’s the best way to engage with the people who grow and produce your food, support their work, and find new foods and brands to try. Here’s a list of B.C. farmers’ markets.
  • Ask Your Retailer
    Do you know a product that you love from a local farm, but can’t find it at your grocery store? Are you a food and beverage business with an excellent retailer relationship that can advocate for more local farm products? Tell them! Share that you are looking for a local food or brand at their store and you would be a buyer if they bring it in. If you don’t see B.C. fruit or vegetables, ask why.
  • Find a Farm Experience
    When you’re looking for something fun for everyone, find a local farm in your area that offers U-pick, purchasing on-premise, or a fun farm experience. Visit and say hi and thank you to the people who grow B.C.’s food.
  • Keep B.C. Food and Farmers at the Forefront
    We know that farmers, the current government, scientists, and specialists are working together towards what the future of farming in B.C. looks like, and what solutions we can create to best protect farmers and food security in the face of climate change. As consumers and businesses, let’s keep advocating and keep B.C. food and farmers at the forefront of our minds. 

Pick up the summer roadside fruit when you see it, and enjoy every juicy bite!

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