VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 31, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The BC Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM) announced the expansion of its BC Farmers’ Market Trail initiative this summer. The new online resource and trip-planning tool connects locals and tourists to regional food and farmers through 145 BCAFM member farmers’ markets across the province.

“The BC Farmers Market Trail is an excellent resource that both visitors and locals can use to find local produce and artisan goods,” says Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Sharing local and seasonal specialties is a great way to showcase all that British Columbia offers and supports the work of makers and growers. Exploring our province through farmer’s markets and healthy, fresh food is a great way to travel.”

Designed to meet BC’s demand for information on sourcing all things local, the BC Farmers’ Market Trail is a free, user-friendly tool that enables the public to find farmers’ markets featuring food and goods that have been grown or made in BC. Research shows that British Columbians’ food purchasing decisions are strongly influenced by their interest in supporting the local economy (80%), the desire for fresh food (79%), and how safe the food they purchase is for consumption (77%).

“The BC Farmers’ Market Trail is a great example of marketing collaboration and alignment across the province, connecting travelers with ways to eat and shop locally for farm fresh foods,” says Marsha Walden, CEO of Destination BC. “This trail unites the collective power of tourism champions in towns, cities, and regions with a common purpose – the result being a great trip-planning tool for visitors and residents that enables them to enjoy healthy food choices on the way to their destination.”

This season, the BC Farmers’ Market Trail will expand to feature farmers’ markets in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, Northern BC, Sunshine Coast, and Vancouver Island and Gulf Island regions, in addition to the Kootenay Rockies and Columbia Basin region which launched in 2018. Now in its second year, the growth of the Trail reflects the desire amongst British Columbians to support the local economy through farmers’ markets, which contribute more than $150 million in economic benefits to the provincial economy annually.

“On the Trail, each BC farmers’ market is beautifully profiled to showcase the uniqueness of every community and diversity of every region,” says Heather O’Hara, BCAFM executive director. “BC farmers’ markets feature the best that the province has to offer from local farmers and entrepreneurs, making local food and artisan goods more accessible to shoppers, and providing an economic boost to each and every community.”

Ready to visit your local BC farmers’ market?
Use the BC Farmers' Market Trail as your trip-planning tool to source fresh, local produce across BC this summer.

Find in-season fruits and vegetables, locally raised meat and eggs, artisan cheese, preserves, honey, craft beer, wine, spirits, baked treats, handmade artisan goods and more. Notable vendors this year include Big Rock Ranch in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, Woodgrain Farm in Northern BC, Paradise Valley Produce on the Sunshine Coast, Little Qualicum Cheeseworks on Vancouver Island, and Linden Lane Farms in the Kootenay Rockies and Columbia Basin region. There are many more gems to be discovered at every BC farmers’ market and by supporting local farmers, you are helping to sustain BC’s foodlands for future generations.

The BC Association Farmers’ Markets is a non-profit organization committed to developing and strengthening the capacity of its member farmers’ markets in all regions of British Columbia. The BCAFM educates, engages and inspires people to create a vibrant farming sector in BC, one that nourishes and supports BC’s natural environment and communities. To learn more about the BCAFM and membership, visit www.bcfarmersmarket.org.

The BC Farmers’ Market Trail is supported by Destination BC’s Co-operative Marketing Program, in partnership with Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Marketing Association, Columbia Basin Trust, Island Coastal Economic Trust, Kootenay Rockies Tourism, Northern Development Initiative Trust, Sunshine Coast Tourism and Tourism Vancouver Island. Destination BC’s Co-operative Marketing Program enables communities and sector organizations, who share common interests and marketing goals, to align with provincial tourism priorities, maximize funding and marketing impact, and raise BC tourism revenues. Destination BC contributed $50,000 to the BC Farmers’ Market Trail for 2019/20. For more information about the program, visit www.DestinationBC.ca.

Connect with the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets on social media:

Media Contact

Krystal Wiggins
The Social Agency
+1.778.861.8944
krystal@thesocialagency.ca
www.thesocialagency.ca 

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at: https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/89e1beb0-d649-4a46-a563-c843ce27eea7