AGRICULTURE–Province Makes It Easier to Select Local Products Choosing Nova Scotia products will be easier than ever thanks to increased funding for Select Nova Scotia, the province’s buy-local marketing initiative. A new $250,000 investment by the province doubles program funding to $500,000 for Select Nova Scotia beginning this year. The successful provincial marketing program launched in 2007 to promote local food products by increasing consumer awareness. “Government recognizes the importance of promoting local food to support our farmers and the local economy,” said Jim Morton, MLA Kings North, on behalf of Agriculture Minister John MacDonell. “Buying local is good for Nova Scotia consumers and good for Nova Scotia businesses. It’s a win-win.” The additional funding will allow for a more robust marketing campaign, which began on television and online in late March. It also includes a redesign of Select Nova Scotia’s logo to showcase the provincial flag–making it even easier to identify local products. “As business owners who add value to a primary product and sell directly to the consumer, we know first-hand the importance of producer/customer relationships,” said Jeanita Rand, co-owner of Fox Hill Farm. “Today’s consumers want to know where their food comes from, how it’s made, and they want to have a relationship with you. Select Nova Scotia builds on this by increasing consumer awareness and connecting producers to consumers.” More than 400 businesses across the province are part of the Select Nova Scotia network. The program supports local businesses by sponsoring signature events including the Incredible Picnics in August and the Incredible Community Suppers in February, which together attracted more than 9,500 participants in 2012. Since Select Nova Scotia began, awareness of buying local has increased 33 per cent among Nova Scotians, more farmers markets are popping up across the province, and Nova Scotians are buying more local food. Visit www.selectnovascotia.ca for information on local products, where to buy local, recipes for seasonal foods, events and attractions featuring local products, and the benefits of eating and buying local.