Happy to see the launch of the Campbell River Food Map today are Michelle White (Ross Mountain Farm)

Think local and eat local with the Campbell River Food Map

A wide range of local retailers, restaurants, cafes and farms have already put themselves on the map

Campbell River’s Food Map will be released today to coincide with the annual Earth Week Film Festival and will be available online at www.foodmap.campbellriver.ca

The Food Map was developed by the city in partnership with the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce and with funding from the Real Estate Foundation of BC to encourage the growing, sale, production, and consumption of local food products.

“The map will help strengthen the local economy and support a positive business climate by promoting local businesses that offer unique agriculture and food products that are grown and produced in the community,” says Colleen Evans, President of the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce.

The project builds on the Chamber’s ‘Think Local’ campaign which is designed to strengthen the local economy by increasing awareness about local businesses, as well as the products and services that they offer.

A Think Local, Eat Local logo has been created as part of the map promotion, which will identify businesses that have listed products on the map.

“We’ve heard back from participating businesses, and there is definitely an appetite for this tool in the community,” says Richard Buchan, the City’s Food Map/Green Initiatives Coordinator. “Some of the participating businesses have even said that they may be using the Think Local, Eat Local logo on their product packaging, menus/flyers, roadside signs, delivery vehicles, and in their storefront windows. Be on the lookout for the Think Local, Eat Local brand if you’re interested in supporting local businesses and buying local food.”

A wide range of local retailers, restaurants, cafes and farms have already put themselves on the map, collectively listing hundreds of locally grown and produced products.

The map contains an interactive inventory of local products, which will allow users to search for items based on location, seasonal availability, organic certification, pesticide use, and more. This inventory can be updated by the retailers listed on the map, which will help ensure that the information remains current.

“Our agriculture plan outlines a 50-year vision for the community, which received a stamp of approval from the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, as well as recognition from the Minister of Agriculture in 2011,” says Coun. Mary Storry, who holds the council portfolio for planning and public works.  “The Food Map addresses a number of the innovative actions recommended in the Plan, including the development of a Made in Campbell River Identity, digital growers guide, and agricultural land registry.”

The agricultural land inventory is another valuable feature of the Food Map.

Private land owners will be able to list properties available for lease or rent that include an agricultural function such as farming or gardening. For example, aging residents who find it difficult to manage their property may benefit from partnering with local community groups interested in small-scale local food production or recreational gardening.

Some public lands will also be listed as having potential for food growing projects such as community gardens. While the sites aren’t guaranteed for these purposes, the inventory provides community groups with options to explore for new community gardens, restoration initiatives and urban orchards.

For more information on the Food Map or to have your business or farm listed, contact Richard Buchan at 250-286-5700 or email: richard.buchan@campbellriver.ca