BC GOVERNMENT NEWS RELEASE / MARCH 11, 2013 / VICTORIA – The B.C. government’s Buy Local program will encourage diners and shoppers to connect the B.C. seafood they are about to enjoy with the place and people who harvested it, through $69,794 in funding to promote Ecotrust Canada’s ‘ThisFish’ program.

ThisFish is a web-based seafood traceability system that was developed in collaboration with the B.C. fishing industry to connect consumers to fish harvesters. The funding will be used toward expanding the market potential of traceable B.C. seafood by engaging local small retail and restaurant markets. The system also is used to market and share information along the seafood supply chain. It will assure consumers that the products they buy are indeed local B.C. seafood.

The Buy Local program offers successful applicants matching funds up to $100,000 to launch or expand local food marketing campaigns.

Building the local market for British Columbia foods is a key commitment of government’s Agrifoods Strategy, a component of the BC Jobs Plan, to lead the agrifoods sector growth into a $14-billion-a-year industry by 2017.

The provincial government’s Buy Local program is administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C, an industry-led organization fostering growth and innovation for BC agrifoods.

Quotes

Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick –

“British Columbia’s seafood industry has a wholesale value of $1.4 billion and provides thousands of jobs in the commercial fishing and seafood processing sectors. Programs like ThisFish will encourage local retailers and restaurants to use B.C. seafood products and consumers to buy local.”

Ecotrust Canada president Brenda Reid-Kuecks –

“Ecotrust Canada’s ThisFish traceability system empowers people to make more informed choices about the seafood they buy by providing them with trusted information on a product’s quality, sustainability and authenticity.”

“Recent studies have shown that one-third of seafood in North America is mislabelled. By tracing your seafood using ThisFish, you can discover whether it is local and comes from a B.C. fish harvester.”

Quick Facts

  • In 2011, B.C. seafood was served in approximately two billion meals in 73 countries.
  • More than 100 species of fish, shellfish and marine plants are produced from British Columbia’s oceans and fresh waters.
  • British Columbia is a global leader in sustainable fisheries management.
  • Salmon products generated 53 per cent of the total wholesale value of all B.C. seafood.

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