Apples took center stage at the launch of a Buy BC program in Coquitlam’s new grocery store.
Today (November 8), a campaign to encourage Coquitlam residents to buy more local produce, including apples, was launched at the new Save-On-Foods in Sunwood Square.
Darrell Jones, chairman of Save-On-Foods and the Pattison Food Group, hosted the event, which saw Agriculture Minister Lana Popham tour the 65,000 square feet. shop.
Popham and Coquitlam-Burke Mountain MP Fin Donnelly were in town to launch a partnership with the western Canadian grocery chain and the province to relaunch the Buy BC campaign, which will use posters, stickers and displays to encourage people to buy BC meat. , fish, fruit and vegetables as well as food and wine.
Jones said up to 2,500 products are locally grown or produced on Save-On-Foods’ shelves.
“For us, supporting local is our way of doing business,” Jones said.
Popham said the Buy BC campaign will support Okanagan fruit growers and help Fraser Valley farmers recover from extreme weather events, like last year’s atmospheric river, which flooded the Fraser Valley and drought this summer.
She said identifying BC products will help consumers make informed choices.
“Consumers want to know where their food comes from,” she said.
Donnelly told the News from the three cities that locally grown foods contribute to food security and are more sustainable because they don’t have to travel as far.
Fall apple harvest takes center stage
British Columbia’s fall apple harvest was heavily featured in Tuesday’s announcement.
Jones said Save-On-Foods stores compete to create attractive displays for the annual Apple Cup top prizes.
“The competition is fierce,” he said.
And while McIntosh and Delicious apples may have been the fruit of choice for previous generations, Jones said Gala was now the top-selling apple, followed by Ambrosia.
And while the summer heat may have resulted in smaller apples, the fruit tastes “just as good,” Jones said.
Marketing program supports BC farmers
Warren Sarafinchan, president and CEO of the BC Tree Fruits Cooperative, which participates in the partnership, was also present for the event via video link due to snow.
Since the relaunch of Buy BC, the program has invested $10 million to support more than 300 producers, processors, cooperatives, agricultural fairs, farmers’ markets and associations with marketing activities that have generated approximately $80 million in sales.
Wine tastings in a grocery store?
Meanwhile, the new Save-On-Foods store in Coquitlam opened just over two months ago and will be a prototype for the company’s future, according to Jones.
He said customers have so far expressed a taste for conveniences such as a juice bar, pizza oven, grill station, bespoke cake bakery and automated grocery ordering.
There’s also a cafe serving BC wine with food and a great wine store, with tastings.
“This is what the stores will look like,” Jones said.
However, the Sunwood Square location is approximately 25,000 square feet larger than a typical Save-On-Foods; it was a former Safeway store, Jones noted.