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Buy Local funds to benefit apple growers in Okanagan

Contributor
By Contributor
March 18th, 2013

The growers of two varieties of apples that were first known as SPA493 and 8S6923 and then introduced to consumers as Salish and Aurora Golden Gala are now receiving Buy Local program funds to help promote these tasty new B.C. products.

The Okanagan Plant Improvement Corporation (PICO) is receiving $25,000 to assist in building consumer awareness for the “Born in BC. Raised in the Okanagan” brand and the two apples that were launched in 2012.

“Being from the Okanagan there is always a sense of pride when I see our local, high-quality fruits being shared with the rest of B.C. and the world,” said Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick.

“With an estimated $54 million in farm gate sales in 2012, the British Columbia apple industry has much to celebrate and I congratulate PICO on receiving this funding.”

PICO will also be using the funding to educate growers and retailers about the brand and consumers can look forward to in-store demos and increased promotional activities as the word gets out about these two new apples and the benefits of buying locally.

“We are delighted that the provincial government has recognized the innovative approach developed by PICO in its efforts to brand and market new apple varieties introduced in B.C.,” said PICO general manager and CEO John Kingsmill

“In time, we anticipate that consumers will come to recognize the “Born in BC. Raised in the Okanagan” brand and will eagerly purchase the new varieties appearing under it.”

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 B.C. 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.

Quick Facts:

  • Apples and sweet cherries are B.C.’s two largest tree fruit crops.
  • The Salish apple is medium sized with a pinkish red blush over a yellow background colour. The flavour is tangy, juicy and very crisp.
  • Aurora Golden Gala is a mid-season, yellow dessert apple with exceptional texture and keeping quality. The flavour is light with honey and tropical notes.

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