Comox Valley creates local flavours for B.C.

Comox Valley creates local flavours for B.C.

From water buffalo yogurt and gelato to estate-grown wines and distilled honey-based spirits, the agrifoods industry continues to thrive in Courtenay and Comox.

The provincial government’s Buy Local Program helps B.C. fisheries, farmers and food processors promote their products and supports food-supply security in British Columbia. The program is providing up to $44,000 of funding to several companies located in the Comox Valley to help increase sales and brand awareness.

Wayward Distillation House is bringing Canada’s only honey-based spirits to shelves all over the province. To stand out from commercial distilleries, the company sources local, natural ingredients from the Comox Valley to create Wayward distilled spirits. The use of B.C. honey adds subtle and intricate flavours to its products, while supporting local growers and producers.

Local winery, 40 Knots Vineyard and Estate Winery is promoting their Stall Speed non-estate brand of wines to British Columbians who are looking for hotter-climate grapes that cannot be grown in the Comox Valley’s cool climate. With ethically and traditionally farmed Okanagan grapes, the wine is produced and bottled in the Comox Valley. 40 Knots is not only known for its wines, but also for the scenery and tasting room.

Water buffalo milk products continue to make waves in the agrifoods industry, with McClintock’s Farm being on the forefront of producing water buffalo yogurt and gelato. The Courtenay based operation is one of three operating water buffalo dairies, offering British Columbians new options for old favourites.

The Buy Local program has received $8 million in B.C. government funding since 2012 to increase sales of locally grown and processed agrifood and seafood products within the province.

The B.C. government’s Agrifood and Seafood Strategic Growth Plan supports the building of domestic markets and maintaining a secure food supply. The plan is a component of the BC Jobs Plan, and the roadmap to leading the agrifoods sector to becoming a $15-billion-a-year industry by 2020.

The provincial government’s Buy Local program is administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia. Applications are available at: http://iafbc.ca/funding-opportunities/buy-local/