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BuyBCFood Launches with FoodCart Race at Safeway

The Buy BC Food Campaign is an initiative to help consumers easily identify foods and products grown or produced in British Columbia. This new program of the B.C. Food Processors Association (BCFPA), was launched yesterday with a Food Cart Race, at Safeway on Robson Street, that highlighted the range and variety of BC made food products. Safeway  has over 1600 such products currently available at their 76 retail stores throughout BC and is partnering with the BCFPA to promote this program. Nico Human, the CEO of the BCFPA welcomed everyone and explained the "rules" for the race.

Three grocery carts for Teams Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner were waiting to be filled with food products, grown or processed in BC. Each team had four members and their task was to fill their cart with as many BC Products as they could. Only one of each item was allowed.  Each team was divided into two groups, each with a basket and  an envelope of 4 "Must Have" items and they had 5 minutes to fill their carts. With running not permitted, it was quite a challenge to collect items from all sections of this large store, but the teams managed to collect a wide array of items.   In the end, the big winner was the FoodBank, as Mike Nash, Vice President of Retail Operations (BC) for Safeway, promised a donation of triple the value of all the items collected in the three carts, to go to the Food Banks.

We sampled some of the products from launch sponsors including  Freybe sausages, and Holy Crap Cereal (Handmade, allergen-free, certified organic breakfast cereals from Sechelt ,BC); and met  representatives from several local companies.  We were given a sample of a new product, sour-dough pasta which my colleague cooked later that evening, and really liked. My favorite example of locally grown food is the range of greens produced by Local Garden,  the innovative parkade rooftop company that is the first Verticrop™ farm in North America. I live on their peppery arugula and baby kale! 

After watching the ribbon-cutting that officially launched the program, we went wandering through the store to see the range of BC products and how distinctive the labeling was. I like the look of the signage. It will be interesting to see how effective this program will be.