Cowichan producers co-operative setting first year agenda

The Cowichan Region’s new producers co-operative is moving forward on bringing more local food to market this spring, and food producers are encouraged to attend the group’s first annual general meeting on Thursday, Jan. 29.

Cow-Op.ca, the online marketplace for Cowichan farmers, will be the first item to launch in a series of priority initiatives set out by the Cowichan Valley Co-operative Marketplace, the region’s new food producers co-operative.

Incorporated in November of 2014, the CVCM is a not-for-profit co-operative guided by a board of members made up of local farmers, business owners and community partners including Cowichan Green Community. Funding for the development of the website and business plan has been provided by Coastal Community Credit Union and Economic Development Cowichan.

"Cowichan farmers make significant contributions to our local economy, which is why it’s important to us to lend them our support," says Moira Hauk, Coastal Community’s Regional Manager for South Vancouver Island. "Cow-Op.ca is an innovative and truly unique solution for helping local food producers share their goods all year-round. We can’t wait to see the lasting benefits this website will have for Cowichan businesses."

Cow-Op.ca will be the first online marketplace of its kind for the region and will feature a variety of produce, meats, eggs, seafood, cheeses, honey, and more all grown or produced throughout the Cowichan Region.

"Cow-Op.ca will give farmers yet another option alongside existing farmers markets, CSAs, and farmgates sales, to get their yummy local fare onto Cowichan plates, with great convenience and no waste," explained Heather Kaye, coordinator for the new website. Future initiatives for the co-operative include a delivery truck and food waste processing.

The AGM is a pot luck and will run from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. at The Station, 360 Duncan St.

Cowichan food producers are encouraged to attend, become a member of the co-op and learn more about the online marketplace initiative. Because it’s a pot luck people are asked to confirm their attendance. The evening will begin with a cheque presentation from Coastal Community Credit Union.

For more details or to attend the AGM and info session, contact Heather at 250-748-8506 or email info@cow-op.ca