President of Wildsight Elk Valley Mary Cosman, and Regional and Elk Valley Director Casey Brennan at the Mountain Market in Fernie. (Scott Tibballs/The Free Press)

Keeping it local: Wildsight aims to showcase local produce

The local branch of Wildsight plans to help local producers get their produce to buyers more easily

Wildsight Elk Valley is going to convert its office space on 2nd Ave. in Fernie into a year-round shop front for local farmers and producers to sell their goods.

With the shopfront set to fill a gap in the market, Graham Preston said that there was a need for a space for local producers to get their goods to consumers locally.

“There’s a tonne of people who would love to buy local food,” said Preston, who added that what local producers there were often struggled to reach consumers.

Preston is one of the coordinators of the project with Wildsight.

Preston said having a local-focused outlet for local producers went hand-in-hand with the wider themes of 2020 and the stresses on the food supply chain due to the pandemic.

“There’s growing concern about food security in Canada,” he said.

“We’ve had a lot of perspective shifts in the last few months. While its great to be ordering things from across the world, there’s a lot of value and importance in supporting your local businesses, your local farmers.”

To start with, Preston explained that Wildsight was seeking donations from the community to help kick-start the effort to convert the space into a shop front.

With a planned opening in October 2020, the space would be used to showcase local produce available to buy, though Preston said that in the beginning the concept would look more like online shopping, where buyers could order online then pick up on specific days of the week.

Despite only just launching their appeal for donations from the community to help fund the transformation of their office space into a shop front, Preston said there was already plenty of interest from potential vendors and members of the community.

Those wishing to donate can find information on how to do so at the Wildsight website.

If you want to donate and learn more about the project, go to wildsight.ca/branches/elkvalley/local/.

READ MORE: Wildsight turns a sour situation into sweet online learning.

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