South­west Mar­ket­place hop­ing to high­light lo­cal pro­duc­ers

The Southwest Booster - - NEWS -

Sup­port­ing lo­cal pro­duc­ers and prod­ucts is the fo­cus of the first an­nual South­west Mar­ket­place.

The June 25 to 28 event, hosted at the Stock­ade and run­ning in con­junc­tion with Fron­tier Days 2009, is aim­ing to high­light prod­ucts and pro­duc­ers who are right here in the South­west.

Event or­ga­nizer Judi Tay­lor said Cana­dian im­ports of food prod­ucts are on the rise and lo­cal sus­tain­abil­ity is a con­cern as a re­sult of this trend.

“We’re want­ing to pro­mote lo­cal shop­ping. Ac­tu­ally go­ing to your gro­cery store isn’t nec­es­sar­ily lo­cal shop­ping be­cause we’re still buy­ing im­ported prod­ucts. So what we’re want­ing to do is raise aware­ness to peo­ple of the South­west what we have here and what we can sup­port here,” Tay­lor ex­plained.

The South­west al­ready boasts pro­duc­tion of a wide range of unique prod­ucts, but the re­gion needs to in­crease their aware­ness of hid­den gems. She points out the South­west of­fers prod­ucts rang­ing from soap to vine­yards and wine mak­ing, plus fish farms to or­chards.

The new South­west En­ter­prise Re­gion is the key player in this ini­tia­tive sup­port­ing the sus­tain­abil­ity of the South­west, and they are get­ting sup­port from the Swift Cur­rent Ag and Ex and Swift Cur­rent Tourism.

Tay­lor said this is a per­fect op­por­tu­nity for the full range of prod­ucts pro­duced in the South­west to build some ex­cite­ment around their prod­ucts. She noted that crops like lentils, flax, and mus­tard are grown here, maybe not in a huge sup­ply, but aware­ness at an event like the South­west Mar­ket­place will in­crease it’s ex­po­sure and al­low peo­ple to sup­port their ef­forts.

She noted that sup­port lo­cal ini­tia­tives worked dur­ing the BSE cri­sis, when every­one sup­ported Cana­dian and Saskatchewan beef, with Saskatchewan’s beef mar­ket ac­tu­ally in­creas­ing dur­ing that pe­riod.

“Let’s raise the pride of South­west Saskatchewan. We can be some­body on the map, we can be unique and we can be spe­cial. So hope­fully we can bring a good show­case out of the wood­work and have the whole South­west show­cased there.”

There is cur­rently an ef­fort to re­cruit ad­di­tional dis­plays for the Mar­ket­place event. They are aim­ing to at­tract: new/ex­ist­ing small busi­ness; artists, in­clud­ing dec­o­ra­tive, vis­ual, me­dia, lit­er­ary, and per­form­ing; lo­cal foods and pro­duc­ers; crafts­peo­ple; restau­rants/food ser­vices; man­u­fac­tur­ers; re­tail­ers; re­search and de­vel­op­ment; home-based busi­nesses; con­sul­tants; ex­porter/im­porter; hos­pi­tal­ity and tourism; re­new­able/al­ter­na­tive en­ergy; farm­ing and ru­ral busi­nesses; holis­tic health; pro­ducer groups; and oth­ers.

Along with prod­uct sales there will be booths for pre­sen­ta­tions on dif­fer­ent prod­ucts and ser­vices.

Regis­tra­tion dead­line is June 15, and par­tic­i­pants can book booths for as short a pe­riod as half a day in or­der to ex­pand the va­ri­ety of par­tic­i­pants.

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