Online shoppers in the Cowichan region are now able to buy produce from the convenience of their own home via the Cow-op.ca, the region’s first online farmers’ marketplace of locally grown and processed food.
Cow-op.ca offers consumers an ever-changing variety of seasonal veggies, fruits, meats, eggs, cheeses, preserves, baking, honey and more all grown or produced throughout the Cowichan Region. The online model is convenient for food producers and customers alike, as the farmers save time and buyers are able to shop from their computer year-round while directly supporting local family farms and businesses.
“Anyone will be able to use this service,” explains Jenni Capps, Market Manager for the Cow-op.ca. “It is open to families, individuals, restaurants, retailers and wholesalers. We accept Visa and Mastercard, and it will be easy to purchase through our online system. It is a really convenient way for busy families and others who cannot always get to the markets each week to access local foods.”
Cow-op.ca is an initiative of the Cowichan Valley Co-operative Marketplace (CVCM) in partnership with Cowichan Green Community. 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. Funding for the development of the website was generously provided by Coastal Community Credit Union and Cowichan Economic Development.
How Does it Work?
The weekly ordering cycle runs from Friday to Tuesday, when the system temporarily closes to allow farmers and processors to fulfill their orders and prepare for delivery. All items ordered are delivered to Cowichan Green Community’s commercial kitchen Thursday mornings, conveniently located at 360 Duncan St. right next to the Duncan Garage. Pre-bagged orders are picked up by the customer each Thursday afternoon between 3pm and 6pm.
Cow-op.ca is a complimentary resource to all the other markets in our Valley, intending to offer another great way to access local foods and reach customers the regular markets might not. “Ordering from the Cow-Op helps to strengthen and build our community and to preserve our precious agricultural land,” adds Capps. “Not to mention buying local means buying fresh!”