Warba potatoes, B.C.’s special spud

FRASER VALLEY - Whether you call them 'taters, spuds or plain ol' potatoes, there's no question

FRASER VALLEY – Whether you call them ‘taters, spuds or plain ol’ potatoes, there’s no question this nightshade plays a big role in B.C., both on the fields and in our kitchens. To help give B.C. taters a boost, BCfresh was a recent recipient of a $16,000 Buy Local grant to help promote the Warba potato variety.

“The B.C. government is committed to promoting local foods, and when consumers buy local they are providing fresh and healthy food for their family while generating economic benefits for B.C. food producers and communities,” said Agriculture Minister Pat Pimm.

Warba potatoes are a heirloom product from the 1920s, designed to be an early-producing crop. They typically are available from June to August.

“Warba is a unique product – It’s the first local potato of the year,” said Brian Faulkner, vice-president of sales and marketing with BCfresh. “We’re one of the few companies, and perhaps the only company that we know of, to grow them commercially.”

BCfresh is a grower-owned distribution and marketing agency, representing over 50 family farms in B.C. They market and distribute local farmers’ products to local retailers, wholesalers, restaurants and national chains.

“Our family has grown Warba in B.C. as an early-variety potato for over 50 years, said Peter Guichon of Felix Farms, a grower of Warba potatoes. “We love its flavour and can hardly wait for the early summer harvest, the first in Canada.”

The government of B.C. is investing $2 million to help B.C. producers and processors promote local foods. This funding helps local businesses and organizations launch or expand their marketing campaigns, and allows B.C.’s diverse food industry to use customized promotions specific to their market and needs.

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