We Heart Local
If you run a farmgate operation selling local produce or products, you probably wish some giant organization would come in and help you market your products for free.
Well guess what? There's an app for that. And a website. And free marketing materials.
All you have to do is apply.
The 'We Heart Local' Partnership Program launched on Jan. 27 at the annual BC Agriculture Council Gala. It's literally a free program designed to market your products to the public in your area.
The concept was brought to life by the BCAC and the BC Minister of Agriculture. Minister Pat Pimm says it is very much a marketing program designed to encourage people to find your business, and buy your products.
"The We Heart Local campaign is helping folks discover and enjoy the huge variety of foods produced in B.C.," said Pimm. "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."
You can download the We Heart Local app to your iPhone, iPod, or iPad via the iTunes store. Users can search for nearby purveyors of locally produced products, check out recipes based on BC ingredients and check out what's in season locally.
BCAC Chair Rhonda Driediger says the program was based on the successful experience of BC's seafood producers.
"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," she said.
For a farmgate operation or winery to be listed on the We Heart Local app and website, more than half of their products must be produced in BC, and they must sell directly to consumers. This includes processed foods, but only for processed foods that are processed and packaged entirely in BC. For example, if you have a market selling jams and jellies produced outside BC, you would not qualify.
For those businesses that do qualify, you'll be featured on the We Heart Local app and website. Users will be able to find your business simply by searching for 'Nearby' businesses.
As well, your business will receive 'We Heart Local' branding materials to use on menus, storefronts, ads, websites, and in your social media.
"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," says Driediger. "Without a doubt, the We Heart Local Program is something all participating businesses will be proud to be a part of." ■
For more information, or to apply for the program, go to: