FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
‘Buy Island’ Campaign Announced!
Local Business, Agriculture & Economic Benefits
CEDAR – Vancouver Island business, agricultural and economic interests will be furthered by a new ‘Buy Island campaign that has just been announced by the Vancouver Island & Coast Conservation Society. “Islanders have a great opportunity to boost our local businesses, and help the Island economy if they ‘Buy Island’ whenever they have a choice,” said Laurie Gourlay, president of VICCS, a non-profit society.
This Christmas, and as the new year begins, the Island-wide society is partnering with local business owners and Island farmers to encourage food purchases and gift shopping that gives back to the Island economy and the communities where we live.
“Small Island businesses are hardworking and passionate about what they sell,” says Patricia MacGregor, owner of Zuk Design, a Duncan print and web design company. Patricia and her husband began TASTECowichan.ca two years ago. The online directory promotes local businesses and events, helping to build a stronger and more sustainable local economy.
“But don’t let the name fool you,” Patricia says. “We’re about more than food. T.A.S.T.E. is Totally About Supporting Town Economy. Our aim is to help shoppers find local products, services and events, as well as to increase opportunities for locally-operated businesses to be more easily and affordably found online.”
The co-owner of Nanoose Edibles farm, and long-time Director of the Harvest Bounty Festival Society, remembers twenty-five years ago. “When we began farming about 25% of our food was Island grown,” says Barbara Ebell, also founding president of the Qualicum Beach Farmers Market.”That number has slipped by 1% per year to the current 3%. The Island now imports about $5.5 billion dollars of food every year – much of which we could easily grow ourselves. We have to do better if Island farms are to survive and local food security guaranteed.”
The ‘Buy Island’ campaign wants everyone to think about how far just 10% of their spending, in their friendly neighbourhood store or farmer’s market, would go to helping local sales… returning a little something to their community’s Xmas stocking, or maybe adding to the bonus in their own paycheque come the new year.
“It’s a win-win approach,” says Gourlay. “Buying Island-made, produced and marketed products will see your hard-earned dollars stimulate business, and the local economic spinoffs will boost the health and wellbeing of our coastal communities.”
Gourlay is excited about the ‘Buy Local’ plans that Zuk Design has to expand T.A.S.T.E. Island-wide, as well as the renewed support for a healthy, local food supply that Nanoose Edibles brings to the forefront. “And while we’re at it,” he says, “we’ll also be asking local government and industry to help build the Island’s economy. A ‘Buy Island’ policy, when signing contracts for products and services, will put Islanders first as well as stimulate solutions for sustainability.”
– 30 –
For more information:
Nanoose Edibles Farm,
Harvest Bounty Festival Society & Qualicum Beach Farmers Market
Patricia MacGregor <firstname.lastname@example.org> www.TASTECowichan.ca
Laurie Gourlay, President, VICCS
Vancouver Island & Coast Conservation Society
P.O. Box 333, Cedar, B.C., V9X 1W1, (250 722-3444)