COWICHAN VALLEY – Economic Development Cowichan and Community Futures have partnered with the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA) to offer local producers a free Island Good licence. VIEA developed the Island Good brand program as a way for shoppers to easily identify local food products on grocery shelves.
“There is a growing demand for locally made food and products, and we know it can be hard for small producers to stand-out. To help them be seen, and hopefully increase their sales, we will support these businesses to take advantage of the successful Island Good program,” says Cathy Robertson, General Manager of Community Futures Cowichan.
Barry O’Riordan, Manager of Economic Development Cowichan added, “Awareness of the need to support Cowichan and Vancouver Island businesses has come into sharp focus, but identifying Island produced or grown products is no easy task. Economic Development Cowichan is delighted to support Cowichan businesses leverage the Island Good branding to boost sales and support economic recovery in the region.”
According to BC Buy Local, for every $100 spent at a local business, $63 is re-circulated back into the BC economy. VIEA notes that every one per cent increase in sales of local products equals 50 jobs.
Cowichan businesses that generate products on Vancouver Island or sell their products from the island may qualify for this free licensing opportunity – available on a first-come-first-served basis until the funding is spent.
To fill out an application form, please visit the Island Good website at https://islandgood.ca/
“More and more Island producers, manufacturers, and retailers are using the power of the Island Good brand, and it’s now available to all products made on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Everything from potatoes to airplane parts!” said VIEA President George Hansen.
After launching the pilot program, the Island Good branding led to increased sales of food and beverage products by an average of 16 per cent in 45 grocery stores over a six-month period. The success of the brand has translated into an expansion from food to now include all Vancouver Island made products.
Barry O’Riordan is Manager of Economic Development Cowichan