|Kelowna-Lake Country MLA and Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick is pictured alongside Catherine Frechette from Tourism Kelowna, Helen Kennedy from Arlo's Honey Farm and chef Rod Butters from RauDZ Regional Table. On Monday, Tourism Kelowna announced the Farm to Table program that will pair area farmers with local restaurants using $100,000 in Buy Local funding from the B.C. government.|
"It's a win-win all the way around," said Kennedy.
On Monday, Tourism Kelowna announced the Farm to Table program that will pair area farmers with local restaurants using $100,000 in Buy Local funding from the B.C. government.
"The $100,000 being matched by our $100,000 will go a long way to help farmers and producers, who can then have a link to the farm, encouraging tourists to come and buy local, not only at restaurants, but also buy local at the farm gate," said Kelowna-Lake Country MLA and Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick at a press conference at the Laurel Packinghouse.
The Farm to Table program's aim will be to grow awareness of Kelowna as a centre for agri-tourism experiences and in turn support the buy local movement.
"One of the important things for Kelowna as a tourist destination is that we like to see repeat visitation, and when people have those experiences where they connect with something that is full circle, it's exciting to them and that really generates repeat visitation," said Catherine Frechette, communications manager with Tourism Kelowna.
Frechette said that people can expect to see the campaign for the upcoming busy summer tourist season. There will also be a Farm to Table brochure that'll include a map, which will highlight the different farms and restaurants and see where food from each location is sourced to and from.
Frechette said that the program is geared towards driving people to the farms that are tourist ready.
Rod Butters, chef and owner from RauDZ Regional Table, deals with 150 local suppliers at his restaurant.
"It's great to support the producers and farmers, with me being the end result. The more that they get help, the better it is in the long run," said Butters.
In 2011, Kelowna's tourism industry generated $279 million in visitor spending. The B.C. governments Agrifoods Strategy, a component of the BC Jobs Plan, plans to lead the agrifoods sector growth into a $14-billion-a-year industry by 2017.