Two food producers from the community have received funding from the provincial Ministry of Agriculture to help promote their local products.
Naturally Homegrown Foods Ltd. in Maple Ridge received a $100,000 grant to market its Hardbite potato chips and Hopcott Premium Meats in Pitt Meadows received a grant of $16,883 to help increase awareness and sales in the Lower Mainland of its local beef.
The grants are part of a new provincial program called Buy Local.
Hopcott Premium Meats, with its retail store on Old Dewdney Trunk Road, offers a traditional butcher shop experience, said the companys community liaison Sarah Hopcott.
The grant will allow them to put on events where people can learn about the food being produced in Pitt Meadows they will hold a meet-the-rancher event in July and a special local food day in September in conjunction with their Meadows Maze.
We know a lot of people are interested... in where their food is coming from, Hopcott said. People can have a lot of confidence in how [our beef is] being produced and where its being produced.
The grant will also be used to take part in a consumer food trade show, Eat Vancouver.
In addition to their own beef feedlot and retail store, the Hopcotts also have a corn maze, cranberry bogs, and small-scale berry production.
Kirk Homenick, president of Naturally Homegrown Foods, said his company was pretty excited about receiving the grant. It will be used for creative marketing and public relations, he said.
The potato chips they make, the only ones produced in B.C., are made with natural ingredients from potatoes grown in the province, cooked in small batches, Homenick explained.
We really cook with a lot of care and attention, he said.
Hardbite chips are distributed across Canada and the United States, as well as into Asia, Homenick said. The company employs eight people and is located in the Maple Meadows industrial park.
Hopcott Premium Meats is located on the farm established in 1932 by Fred and Jane Hopcott. It is currently run by Bob Hopcott and his four children.
The buy-local funds will also assist Hopcotts in hosting beef education events and various agritourism activities to be held at Hopcott Farms, as well as participating in an advertising campaign focused on local food.
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