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We Heart Local banner

Buy Local. Eat Natural is has just launched a province-wide We Heart Local Partnership Program, 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 lets consumers know that they’re buying local. The We Heart Local mobile app has launched in tandem with this partnership. The free app (at the time of this writing only available for the iPhone via the iTunes store) offers a wealth of knowledge, including:

French Made Baking Caneles
[French Made Baking’s Caneles]

– Explore and locate tasty local BC food spots via geo-targeted search
– Mouth-watering recipes based on fresh, local BC ingredients
– Seasonal ingredient lists and where to buy for a fresh, healthy BC farm-to-table experience
– More information about the We Heart Local community
– Option to save your favourite local food places and recipes for later use
– Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or email favourite local food places and recipes to friends as well as to the We Heart Local community

Fraser River Sockeye, cured with rhubarb and Vancouver Island sea salt, Hannabrook Greens, rhubarb gel
[Rhubarb-cured Fraser River Sockeye, Vancouver Island sea salt, Hannabrook Greens]

According to Rhonda Driediger, BC Agriculture Council Chair 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.”

Pat Pimm, BC Agriculture Minister adds, “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.”

Forage/Apple pie, honey streusel, quince jelly
[Forage’s apple pie, honey streusel, and quince jelly]

Forage Vancouver’s Executive Chef Chris Whittaker also weighed in: “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 Advisory Committee members Christina Burridge, Julie Dickson Olmstead, Gay Hahn, Lee Humphries, Elizabeth Quinn, and Gillian Robbins.

Diane's Choice salad

Participating businesses and partners have much to gain by being part of the We Heart Local Partnership Program:
– Receive valuable recognition on the Buy Local. Eat Natural. Website and via all Buy Local. Eat Natural. social media channels
– Be listed and searchable on the newly launched Buy Local. Eat Natural. mobile app, designed to help consumers find local food options
– Opportunities to be featured in various We Heart Local campaigns and events along with ambassador opportunities such as promoted cooking classes
– Use of the We Heart Local brand on menus, storefronts, ads, and social media to make their establishments more findable by consumers

Rain or Shine Ice Cream-24
[Locally-sourced ingredients go into Kitsilano’s Rain or Shine ice cream tacos]

For more information and to apply for this program, visit the We Local website.

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 is sustained by thousands of passionate local food enthusiasts! Join us online, via Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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