December 7, 2010
MANITOBANS ENCOURAGED TO BUY LOCAL THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
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Celebrating with Manitoba Products Good for Community, Economy: Struthers
Manitobans are encouraged to celebrate this holiday season by buying local and shopping for foods, gifts and seasonal products produced and created by local farmers, processors and craftspeople, Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Stan Struthers said today.
“During this festive season, we gather to share good food with family and friends and we are fortunate to have local access to so many excellent products like cheese, meats, vegetables and beverages for our feasts,” said Struthers. “We have a vibrant, diversified agriculture sector that provides an abundance of everything we need for a healthy menu of fine food products. Also, buying locally produced foods, agricultural products and giftware supports Manitoba families. It helps them make a living and strengthens the economic development of rural communities.”
To help consumers identify local food products, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) has produced a booklet, the Manitoba Food Product Directory, which is available through MAFRI GO Centres. This information is also available online at: www.manitoba.ca/agriculture/consumer/buymanitoba.
Also, with the holiday season in mind, the Manitoba Food Processors Association is publishing its annual Christmas flyer on Dec. 11 in the Winnipeg Free Press that will showcase Manitoba-made processed foods.
Real Christmas trees are a Manitoba tradition and many producers are available to supply local consumers with exactly what they need, Struthers said.
“Real trees smell great and are good for the environment because they’re biodegradable,” he said. “Choosing and decorating a Manitoba-grown tree can be a family event and the end product can be mulch for the garden.”
Consumers can find local growers at www.realchristmastrees.mb.ca.
For those who enjoy the warmth and beauty of a log in the fireplace, the Flax Power company in Carman now manufactures a new power log made from flax shives. The logs are a renewable biomass fuel source that is also environmentally friendly. Orders for delivery can be placed by calling 204-727-8111, contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or online at:
Struthers noted local crafters create exquisite products that can solve the problem of gift giving for best friends and hard-to-buy-for relatives.
“Talented Manitobans from all parts of our province have grown businesses that support themselves and their families, as well as local economies by introducing unique products like original designs in jewellery, clothing, Aboriginal art and pottery,” he said. “Local craft fairs and shops are a great opportunity to find one-of-a-kind treasures, so people should watch for these events in their communities.”
Other gift opportunities are available through a product development and marketing initiative called Uniquely Manitoba. Its marketing strategy includes promotions to Manitoba buyers and to world markets through an ongoing Virtual Gift Show at www.uniquelymanitoba.ca It also produces a publication featuring the products offered for sale by entrepreneurs from throughout the province.
“Buying local benefits us all,” said Struthers. “The people who produce the raw materials, those who process and develop them along the value chain, the people who create new products and those who sell all this merchandise all contribute to the quality of life we enjoy here. Let’s support them. Let’s buy Manitoban.”
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