Buy Local! Buy Fresh! campaign goes mobile with Blackberry app
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Buy Local! Buy Fresh! campaign goes mobile with Blackberry app

Businesses are increasingly turning to mobile technology to spread their message, extending the usefulness of the devices and providing convenience to the people who use them. To that end Foodlink will be launching its recently developed Local Food App on May 23 as an extension of its popular Buy Local! Buy Fresh! map.

“The app just seemed like a logical extension to what we already offer with our paper map and online local food finder and we have made some real good connections here in the community,” said Anna Contini, manager of Foodlink Waterloo Region. “The app enables the user to search for any local food products in Waterloo Region and access the database information all on their mobile device.”

The app allows users to interface with Foodlink’s existing database, providing live up-to-date information, as well as directions to farms, markets and retail outlets using GPS mapping technology and Google maps API integration.
Currently the app is a free download for Blackberry devices, offering instant access to local food sources.

“Initially the app is just for Blackberry, with the plan to make it available on other devices,” said Contini. “This is the test period and making it available for Blackberry users made sense for the Waterloo Region.”
Foodlink will also be launching the 11th edition of the Buy Local! Buy Fresh! map, a year-round guide directing people to more than 70 local farms, farmers’ markets and other businesses that produce and sell local foods. This year the launch will take place at the Elmira Farmers’ Market on May 26.

The Elmira Farmers’ Market is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this month and it seemed like a good fit, said Contini.

“We chose the market because of the authenticity of the Elmira market. Their slogan of ‘We Make It, Bake It, Grow It’ relays the message that without exception everything is local at this market,” said Contini.

The Elmira outdoor market features a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, preserves, maple syrup and home baked goods. The market is located behind the Elmira Home Hardware on Church Street; it runs every Saturday morning from May to October.

Foodlink’s map and mobile app are part of a larger campaign that champion local food and local farms that includes the annual Taste Local! Taste Fresh! as well as a comprehensive website that includes a local food blog, farm profiles, on-line newsletter and local food recipes, she explained.

Copies of the new 2012 Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Map are free and available at all public libraries across the region, as well as selected food retailers, restaurants, markets and other local businesses. A full listing of map pick-up locations as well as downloading details for the free app can be found at www.foodlink.ca.

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