For local producers, getting the word out and being recognized for their quality products produced in the North Cariboo is top on the priority list. To that end North Cariboo Farm Country – Grown for You brand was launched by the North Cariboo Agricultural Marketing Association (FARMED) in partnership with Quesnel Community Economic Development Corporation.
The branding project is part of FARMED’s larger North Cariboo Agriculture Awareness and Market Project.
The agriculture sector in the North Cariboo is comprised of a wide variety of family-based mixed farms producing products such as meat, poultry, birch syrup, vegetables, fruit, fibre, wines and honey.
In addition to the products, the North Cariboo also offers a wide variety of services such as accommodation and agritourism experiences.
However, understanding how to communicate this wealth of consumer products and services to locals and visitors is the task FARMED has embarked on.
Twenty-one local businesses have signed up to brand their products and services under the North Cariboo Farm Country – Grown for You logo. Farmers’ Market shoppers will have received reusable shopping bags at the summer markets and the brand will be prominent at the Christmas Markets, Nov. 30, Dec. 7 and 14. Other branding projects are also in development.
Many consumers are unaware of the wealth of local shopping available during the winter months.
Along with locally raised beef, lamb, goat and poultry products, the North Cariboo also offers soaps, vinegars, birch syrup products, winter vegetables, jams, jellies and other value-added canning, blankets, alpaca products, wool, other fibre products and a host of activities including birthday party venues, horse boarding and riding lessons, B&B services, wagon and sleigh rides.
“Brand recognition helps to raise awareness of the diversity of products available in the North Cariboo,” FARMED secretary Lori Fogerty said.
“Whether they are grown, made or services provided, brand recognition aids the producer by assisting them in marketing, which will then lead to increased sales and a contribution to the local economy.
“It is estimated that when purchasing from local producers, 45 per cent of the dollars spent remain within the region as compared to 10 per cent when purchasing from larger chains.”
By marketing their products and services under a unified brand, local producers increase the opportunity to reach new consumers and expand their market.
FARMED sees this as important for several reasons. Agriculture, over the last decade, has been relatively unchanged and the aging demographic of farmers in the region shows over the next few years there is great potential for increased productivity and for younger farmers to get in the game.
There is increasing demand for locally-produced goods and producers must step up and meet this demand, thus expanding such areas as agritourism, farm gate sales and alternate crops as well as what has traditionally been on offer.
Many of the products offered from local producers are available at Good For You Market.
Other tools, created by FARMED, can assist the consumer to access local products and services such as the Year-Round North Cariboo Farm Products Guide, with more than 60 farms listed with their products, contact information and where they’re available for purchase. The guide is available at the Visitor Centre and North Cariboo Co-op, free of charge or at the FARMED website www.farmed.ca.
Whenever you see the North Cariboo Grown for You logo, consumers can trust they are a neighbour who is providing local, quality products and services. Be a good neighbour and shop locally.
Visit the North Cariboo Farm Country – Grown for You website, grownforyou.farmed.ca to find where the products and services you are looking for can be found locally.