Phillips Soda Works’ Russell Stefan, left, and Portofino Bread’s Scott Girard show off their companies’ products. Both businesses are part of the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s Island Good program. Photo courtesy VIEA

These local foods are Island Good

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance members, grocery chains team up to provide locally produced food

By Jennifer Blyth

Monday Magazine contributor

You may have noticed some new locally themed signage on your grocery shelves in the last few months, and that’s Island Good.

An initiative of the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance, in partnership with four major grocery chains, the program is designed to help shoppers choose products grown or produced on Vancouver Island.

“The customers have responded very positively,” says George Hanson, VIEA president. “There have been lots of in-store conversations between customers and retailers and we’re receiving lots of emails and phone calls to the office.”

The pilot project is underway in all Thrifty Foods, Country Grocer (except Salt Spring), Quality Foods and 49th Parallel grocery stores on Vancouver Island and continues through August. Throughout the campaign, ‘Island Good’ stickers, posters, shelf talkers, pricing signs and other features will draw customer attention to vast range of Island products in all store departments.

While products are featured from throughout the Island – from Hertel’s Meats in Port Alberni to Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish in Port Hardy – you’ll also find excellent representation from the South Island.

Products to look for include Phillips Soda Works from Victoria, Eurosa and Galey farms from Saanich, Oak Bay’s HeeHaw Horseradish, and Level Ground Coffee, Portofino Breads and Melinda’s Biscotti from the Saanich Peninsula.

With Island food products easy to find on grocery shelves, VIEA anticipates an increased demand will follow, and that in turn will lead to increased production, more jobs and more production capacity as shopping dollars stay on Vancouver Island to support Island growers, producers and grocers.

To learn more, visit islandgood.ca.

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